2015 Christmas Short Story
by RL Williams
Excitement was in the air on this day before Christmas. Colder weather was forecast for later in the day after some rain showers moved through.
“Come on, everyone in the car,” Laurie directed her two children.
“Hey Mom, can we stop by the mall and see Santa again?” Artie asked.
“No, not enough time,” she replied and added, “put on your seatbelts.”
“Maybe see Santa later on?” Millie suggested.
“We’ll see how the time goes. If we get these Christmas party decorations home and put up in time we may stop by Santa’s Village,” she offered.
Their car headed off down the street.
A few minutes later, Laurie noticed a rust colored car up ahead on the opposite side of the two lane road. The car pulled off the roadway and stopped in the grass.
“What the heck?” Laurie said to herself as she saw the passenger door open and two objects thrown out onto the grass.
As Laurie drove past the scene, the car sped off in the opposite direction.
In the rear view mirror, Laurie noticed that the two discarded items were moving.
“Oh no!” she snapped as she saw that the unidentified objects were actually two smaller sized dogs, one a longer haired tan Yorkie mix and the other a bit larger white mix.
“Mom!” Millie yelled, “there are two doggies back there.”
“I know,” she confirmed.
“I don’t have time to go back …” she paused for a moment.
“But I must go back there and help them,” she decided.
At the next side street, she stopped and turned around.
By now the two dogs were wandering here and there and looking around in every direction.
Heading toward the abandoned dogs, she noticed the small tan colored Yorkie was darting toward the roadway.
In a split second, another car speeding toward the scene hit the poor dog with a glancing blow.
“Oh no,” she frowned as the poor dog stumbled to the side of the road.
Artie and Millie were spared the vision from the safety of the seatbelts and the taller front seats in front of them.
Laurie pulled well off the side of the road near the downed dog.
“Millie, Artie, stay in the car. Let me go check on that doggie,” she explained.
Laurie got out of the car and approached the whimpering Yorkie lying in the grass.
“Hi boy,” she greeted as she slowly reached out to pet the dog.
The ailing dog tried to get up but fell back down.
“We need to get you to a vet,” Laurie decided as she scooped up the dog and returned to the car.
“Artie, open the door,” she said.
Laurie put the small dog on the floorboard of the car’s back seat.
“Mom, is the doggie going to be ok?” Millie asked.
“I hope so, we need to get him to a vet,” she replied.
“Look Mom!” Artie noticed. “Another dog is coming up to the car.”
“Oh, that is the other dog I saw with this dog,” she explained.
“We can’t leave that doggie here can we?” Millie wondered.
“Ummm …” she thought for a moment, “no, we’ll take this one too.”
Laurie opened the front passenger door and the second dog jumped in the front seat.
“Wow Mom,” Artie blurted out, “I think this doggie and the hurt doggie are friends.”
“Yes, I think you are right,” she agreed as she somehow knew the dog sitting in the front seat was concerned for the injured dog in the back.
Minutes later they arrived at the closest vet office they could find as a light rain was falling.
“Hope they are still open and they didn’t close early for Christmas Eve,” Laurie thought to herself.
“Artie, Mille,” she asked, “can you get out and go open the front door to the vet’s office?”
Both children ran to the front door and opened it as Laurie felt a sigh of relief to see they were not closed for the day.
Laurie gently picked up the lame Yorkie and took the dog into the office.
She didn’t notice that another car had just pulled into the parking lot.
A few moments after entering the waiting room a receptionist came out from the back.
“May I help you?” she asked.
“We found this little dog on the road after it was hit by a car,” Laurie explained.
“Oh my,” the receptionist frowned, “bring him into that examination room right over there and someone will be in shortly.”
“Can you let us borrow a leash and a collar?” Laurie asked. “We have another dog in the car that we found with this one and we need to bring him in.”
“No problem,” the receptionist replied. “Let me get a leash and I will go out and get the other dog.”
Laurie gave her the car key and then took the Yorkie into the examination room.
Within a minute or so, a vet technician came in the room and did a quick assessment.
“I’ll be right back,” the vet tech said as she left the room.
Laurie noticed through the open door that the waiting room was empty except for a man that had come in just after she did. The vet tech stopped for a moment to speak with the receptionist before returning to the examination room.
“The doctor will be in shortly,” the vet tech said.
Laurie, Artie, Millie, and the vet tech surrounded the hurt Yorkie, trying to comfort him the best they could.
“Hello,” the white-coated veterinarian said, entering the small room. “What do we have here?”
The vet did a quick examination.
“Let’s get some x-rays and some bloodwork. Looks like his back leg is broken,” the vet explains.
“We will also get him something for pain,” the vet assures Laurie. “We will know more once we get the x-rays and bloodwork results.”
The vet tech took the dog to another back room and Laurie, Artie, and Mille returned to the now empty waiting room, except for the second leashed dog Laurie rescued.
After a while, the vet tech returned.
“We should know more in a few minutes,” the vet tech acknowledged.
“I am so lucky you were still open,” Laurie said gratefully.
“Well, we were supposed to close about 30 minutes ago,” the vet tech replied.
“Oh, sorry we are keeping you,” Laurie apologized.
“Don’t worry about it. The other staff has left for the day, so it’s me, our receptionist, and the doctor,” the vet tech said.
After about another 30 minutes, the vet returned.
“Well, we have some good news. It looks like he is going to be ok after some recovery time. He has a broken leg, an infection, and some bruising. Everything considered, he is one lucky dog,” the vet explained.
“We also checked for a microchip and there wasn’t one. Unfortunately, this time of year a lot of people will dump their dogs around here,” the vet sighed.
“Yes,” Laurie agreed, “we saw a car stop and throw him and this other dog out of the car and leave.”
“I was afraid of that,” the vet said shaking his head from side to side.
There was a brief moment of silence and everyone looked at each other.
“Mom,” both Artie and Millie asked almost in unison, “can we keep him?”
Laurie thought for a moment, initially with reasons why they couldn’t keep one or both dogs.
“In the slight chance they are someone else's dogs that were stolen or picked up and dumped, you could foster them for a while and if no responsible owner is found then you could keep them or foster them until a new home or a rescue group could be found,” the vet offered.
“Please Mom,” Millie asked.
“Please, please, please. It could be our Christmas present,” Artie added.
“I guess we could keep them and see if the owner can be found,” Laurie decided as she looked at Artie and Millie. “But if an owner shows up who is really missing them, they will have to go to that home, ok?”
“All right,” Artie replied. “It could be our Christmas present to them.”
“We should call him Lucky,” Millie offered.
“Yes,” Artie agreed, “and we could call the other doggie OK because he was ok when we found him.”
“Sounds great,” the vet smiled. “We will check the other dog for a microchip and anything obvious. The Yorkie is bandaged up and we will send some meds home with him and instructions on how to care for him. You can bring him back in a couple of days for a follow-up.”
Laurie smiled for a moment and then a reality check set in.
“I don’t know how we are going to pay for all this,” she thought to herself and frowned.
She sat down and thought about how she doesn’t have the money at the moment for all of this, especially considering what the bill was going to be for the injured Yorkie.
The receptionist was finishing up some paperwork as Laurie approached.
“Ummm …” she hesitated, “I was wondering about the bill for all of this …”
“Oh, I completely forgot to tell you,” the receptionist interrupted, “that man that came in after you has paid for everything including the follow-ups.”
“What?” Laurie asked, confused. “I don’t understand.”
“He said that his dog was hit by a car on Christmas Eve a few years ago and nobody stopped to help him,” the receptionist explained. “The poor dog ran out the front door when someone had broken in to their house. Hours later, he found his dog beside the road, still barely alive. He brought him in here, but too much time had passed and his dog passed away moments after they arrived. In fact, he told me today that the spot where you rescued this dog from is just a few feet away from where his dog was hit. Every Christmas Eve afternoon he revisits that spot to put a flower beside the road where his dog was hit. He was on his way to do that when he saw you pick up the injured Yorkie, but you left before he could catch up to you.”
“Wow, I don’t know what to say,” Laurie sighed.
“When he left,” the receptionist added, “he said simply to tell you Merry Christmas.”
Moments later, the bandaged Yorkie and the second rescued dog appeared, ready to go home.
The vet tech explained the medications and went over the care instructions for the Yorkie.
“See you next time for your follow-up,” the receptionist said. “Merry Christmas.”
“Thank you so much,” Laurie said gratefully. “Merry Christmas to you too.”
“All right guys, are we ready to go home?” Laurie asked Artie, Millie, and the two dogs, Lucky and OK.
Everyone headed out the front door.
The rain had stopped and the skies cleared.
When they reached the car, Artie looked up and smiled.
“Look Mom,” he said excited, “there’s a rainbow!”
“Wow,” Millie delighted, “that is a big rainbow.”
“Yes, it is,” Laurie said in wonderment. “I’m thinking that Rainbow Bridge up there is for that kind man who paid for our doggie’s care …”
Laurie paused a moment and then smiled.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
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