Short essays by Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., the author of TING AND I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion, published in September 2011 by Outskirts Press (Parker, CO, USA), available from outskirtspress.com/tingandi, Barnes and Noble [bn.com], and Amazon [amazon.com], in paperback or ebook formats. Please visit us at tingandi.com for more information.
Sunday, March 1, 2020
UNDERSTANDING SASSIE, Ch. 30, Questions Answered
DONALD, RUTH, AND JANE
he next day was a busy one at the Riverview Animal Shelter. A
large truck of dog food and supplies had arrived, and several new animals
had been surrendered.
was busy. Ruth and Donald usually met to compare schedules and prioritize the
work for the day.
Today, it was noon before anyone could consider taking a
break. Jane, Ruth, and Donald decided to meet in the break room, grab a quick
lunch and analyze the day’s accomplishments.
wanted to ask for some personal advice before they got down to the shelter’s
concerns. “I’ve discovered a problem with my mom and I’d like your advice on
what I should do,” Ruth began. As she repeated Valerie’s story, she was
surprised to see Donald start crying.
Ruth, I am so sorry!” Donald kept saying. “Will you ever forgive me?”
both Ruth and Jane got up to hug him. “Whatever it is,” Ruth began, “you know
how much I respect and care for you. I can never be angry with you!”
looked up at Ruth and began to cry even harder. “I was angry and felt like a
bag of garbage.”
talked, Ruth began to listen closely to what he was saying. She asked, “You
were raised in New York City. Were you adopted as a baby?”
Donald replied, “Yes,” he continued to say, “I never should have meant to hurt
Valerie. When I believed she didn’t want me and that she had thrown me away
because she did not care about me, I wanted to hurt her. Now that I know the
truth, I am ashamed of how I have acted!”
cradled Donald in her arms. He leaned toward her, and Ruth began to caress his
hair. She wiped away his tears. “I am proud to call you my brother! Though
we’ve only worked together a short time I’ve felt like I have known you
forever. I have always wished for a brother, especially a brother like you.
When I first met you, I believed that you are someone special. Now I know why,”
Ruth announced. “You need to come home with me and meet your family!”
That night, Sassie gave her happy dance and recognized that
the tears of all the humans were happy tears.
She decided she wanted to give
everyone lots of kisses.
With her permission, I serialized a chapter a week, on this blog, near-final material from this instructive novel by dog trainer Helen A. Bemis, published by Outskirts Press and available through amazon.com: UNDERSTANDING SASSIE