Chapter Four – My Furry Friend

Posted on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Sunlight blasted into my room and birds chirped like mad.

My head felt okay, and when I sat up I didn’t feel dizzy. But man I was tired. Every time I fell asleep mom had woken me up.   And that dream. Was it a dream?  It all felt so real.

“Gabe, come on boy, are you still here?”  My eyes searched every inch of my room.

“Rats,” I said, banging my fist into the bed. The one good thing about this town and I imagined it all.

I swung my feet around onto the floor and into my slippers. Walking over to my dresser to grab some jeans I heard a thump on the closet door.  I pressed my ear up against it.


I slowly reached for the doorknob.

Out came Gabe with a half-chewed sock in his mouth, blue threads caught in his teeth.

“Wa ha! So you are here, and you’re like every other dog.”  Inside the closet, socks lay tattered and torn into rags.

The mess didn’t matter.  Of course mom might think differently, so I stuffed everything under my mattress until I could sneak it all out.

Mom wanted me resting in my room one more day and I thought it was a great idea.  It gave me lots of time with Gabe.   I wasn’t sure how long he would be here.

“Let’s see Gabe, what’re we going to do all day?” I stared at him for a while and still could not believe my eyes.  Had he really saved me?  That reminded me that I had made some promises; to be a better person, and to stop complaining.  If I didn’t keep those promises it might be reason for Gabe to leave me.  He was the only friend I had in this town.

Gabe pushed at my hand with his nose.

I looked around and sighed.  I guess I could get started by cleaning this room.  Gabe could help.

I turned on my CD player and slowly increased the volume until it was loud, but didn’t hurt my head. I got out a big yellow plastic crate,  picked up my video game controllers and tossed them

Pulling my new found furry friend close I said, “see Gabe, in the basket.  Put this stuff in the basket.” I spread my arms and turned around.

Gabe sat and watched.  Next I picked up some video games and chucked them in.

“See Gabe.”  But he gave me that sideways look again.

When I spotted the baseball I knew I had struck gold.  I walked over to him and gently forced his mouth open.  I placed the ball inside and when he had a good hold of it, I pointed towards the basket.

He sat and looked up to me and I pointed to the crate. To my amazement, he walked over to the basket and dropped it in.

“Yes, good boy.” I gave him a rub and we wrestled on the floor for a while.

Once I got him started there was no stopping him. He would see something and pounce on it, his rear end up in the air, and tail wagging.

My football was tricky but he managed to bite the very end.  But he couldn’t get a hold of the basketball.  Every time it rolled away from him he would let out a little whine.  He tried snagging it with one of his paws and pulling it to his mouth, but once he got it there he couldn’t get his mouth on it.  He put his nose to the ground and rolled it over to the basket. I picked it up and slam-dunked it for him.  Some of my stuff got a little dog drool on it, but I figured it was a small price to pay.

When the floor was clear I walked over to my closet.  That was always the worst place.  Most of my stuff seemed drawn there as if there was a big dirt magnet inside. Things were piled so high I didn’t know where to start and I didn’t want Gabe slobbering on everything.  Mom would wonder why all my clothes were in the laundry hamper. I gave Gabe the first command that came into my head.

“Go Gabe, go dig.”  As soon as I said that, Gabe walked into the closet and began to scratch his paws on the floor.  A pair of jeans, and a mustard stained T-shirt flew through the air and hit me in the chest. Jackets, pajamas, socks, gray moldy towels and crumpled food wrappers shot out like they had been blown from a cannon. Some things landed on the other side of my room.    A pair of underwear soared like a bird and flopped on top of my head.  I bent over holding my side and laughed into my hand.  I didn’t want mom bounding up the stairs again.

“Awesome job Gabe.” Too bad Gabe couldn’t fold.

After sorting my clothes into two piles; clean and dirty, the next task was a stack of dirty dishes.  I could see why Mom always said, “rinse your plates right away when you’re done.”  Bits of melted cheese and ketchup stuck to bottom, and the glasses had cloudy rings.

Then I got another totally brilliant idea.

I held a dish up to Gabe’s face and he licked it.  He couldn’t get everything off, but he made a great effort.  His pink tongue danced and slid into every corner reaching for the smallest of crumbs.  He even tried to lick everything inside the glass, reaching his tongue further and further.

We spent the rest of the day snoozing and learning new tricks. It was nice to be able to relax and not have to worry about being the new kid, fitting in, or pretending that I was cool.

I taught him to fall to the floor, and play dead, when I shot him with my finger.  I even got him to crawl on his belly when I told him he was only wounded.   Later I took the clean dishes downstairs and filled up the dishwasher.

Mom was ironing.  “Well, so you’re up and around. How’re you feeling?  You can come out of your room if you want; you look a whole lot better.  Well except for that big purple egg on your forehead.”

“Actually Mom, I’m feeling a little tired again.  I think I’ll read or have a nap.

“Read?” asked mom.  “Gee, maybe that bump on your head did you some good.”

“Ya right mom.” I rolled my eyes.

“Sorry buddy, just teasing.”

I hated being called “buddy,” as much as “sport.”

I was a little tired. In my room I called Gabe up on the bed.  He spun around and around, pushing the covers with his paws; first one way then the other.  After finding the perfect spot, he flopped down.

I put my head on the pillow.

I thought about tomorrow when I could take him outside and wondered if any one else would be able to see him.

I slept till supper.   I wasn’t hungry so I pushed the peas and meatloaf around on my plate until Mom began to clear the table.  I helped her load the dishes even though I was dying to go back and see Gabe.

Gabe dive-bombed me when I opened the door.

In the morning I was a little scared that maybe he wouldn’t be able to leave my room, but when I stepped into the hall and called him, he bolted ahead of me.

My stomach growled when the smell of bacon and toast hit me.

Mom had her back to me as she flipped pancakes at the stove. Sitting in her yellow flowered high chair eating bananas was my three-year-old sister Tara.  She squeezed them through her fingers and rubbed it into her fuzzy brown hair. She smiled at me as I came in and held out her goo-covered hands.

I froze when she looked at Gabe and said, “doggy, doggy.”

Oh no, she could see him.  I had forgotten about my baby sister.  She started giggling and saying “doggy” over and over, and she tried to get out of her chair.

“What the heck has gotten into her?  Tara, what are you saying? Trevor, help me, you always seem to be able to understand her. Why is she saying doggy?”

“I don’t know Mom; she must have seen one on TV.”   I lied, hoping it wouldn’t make Gabe mad, seeing as he was an angel and all.

“Well, Trevor what do you want to do today?  We can go to the mall, or the zoo, or maybe the arcade.  It can be your day, whatever you want.”

I knew Mom was trying to be nice, but I didn’t want to do anything today except stay with Gabe.

“Well, Mom, I just feel like hanging out.”

Mom got that worried look on her face. “Well okay, I did say it was your choice, just… don’t go near the lake, okay? Maybe your friend Bruce will come by, he said he would come back later.”

“Oh sure, great.”  He was the last person I wanted to see.

Gabe stayed under the table as I smothered my pancakes with syrup and wolfed them down.  They were warm and sweet.  I ate five of them.

Mom looked and me and shook her head.  “Guess you are on the mend.”

When I was finished, I lowered my plate to Gabe and he licked off the rest of the syrup. He kept slapping his sticky lips and tongue together, even when I took it away. I put the plate back up on the table as mom turned around.

“Trevor, gee, what’d you do, lick your plate clean?   I don’t know what’s happened to you since that accident, but it seems to have knocked some goodness into you.  I peeked into your room after you were in bed and I couldn’t believe my eyes.  It looks great.”

“Aahhh, no problem mom.”

I left the table in a flash and raced upstairs with Gabe at my feet.  I dressed as fast as I could and ran out the door before mom could change her mind, or decide she had better come with me.  This was the last day before school started and I wanted to stay away from everyone.  And I wanted to find out how special Gabe was.

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