Hannah Merrick raced across her backyard with her dog Murphy at her heels. She laughed when he caught up and then reached into her pocket and threw him a bright red squeaky ball.
“You’re such a good boy,” said Hannah as she threw the ball.
The sun was shining in the sky and there was a light breeze that rippled through her long blond hair. She smiled as she watched her dog fetch the ball and bring it back to her. When she had gotten him he had not known any tricks. Hannah tried not to think of what his life was like before she had gotten him. Instead, she did all that she could to make his life better. She was working towards getting Murphy certified as a service dog. He brought her such joy and she wanted to be able to do the same for others. Getting him certified was a fair amount of work but Hannah knew that it would be worth it in the end.
“I can imagine you getting him dressed up for Halloween and Christmas and taking him to schools and seniors centers,” said her husband Chris as he walked out into the backyard to join them.
“One day I hope so,” said Hannah, “do you think its true what people say about dogs looking like them? Murphy and I are both blondes after all.”
Chris laughed and replied, “A happy coincidence.”
“If everything works out with Murphy, I’m thinking that I might like to train other rescue dogs and begin either a business or charitable organization so that people who need visits get them,” said Hannah.
At that moment Murphy barked as if to echo Hannah’s thoughts. She laughed.
“It’s an ambitious plan,” said Chris, “but do you have time for it?”
“I don’t know,” said Hannah, “anyways, it wouldn’t be for a while because I’ve got to see how things go with Murphy and not all dogs are going to have the same natural learning desire that he does either.”
“One step at a time,” replied Chris, “and we’ll figure out how best this works for us.”
“I’m glad that you said us,” answered Hannah.
“Well,” said Chris, “you weren’t the only one who fell in love with Murphy’s face and sweet personality. In some ways, you could describe it as how I fell in love with you.”
“Except that I was a lot more reluctant than Murphy was, definitely at first.”
“True,” answered Chris as Murphy brought the ball back to him, “but then again, you had a lot more freedom than Murphy here. You weren’t locked in a cage looking for your forever home, you could have chosen any man that you wanted.”
“But I didn’t,” said Hannah as she tossed Murphy a dog treat, “I chose you.”
“It might have been different if you hadn’t gotten a flat tire on your car driving home from your job interview in the rain. I’d been trying to get you to go out with me before that, but then you had a need for me to rescue you.”
“I had a need for help, that’s true,” said Hannah, “but I would have called someone if you hadn’t come along.”
“Ah, but aren’t you glad it was me?” asked Chris tossing the ball to Hannah. She caught it and laughed, throwing it for Murphy. They enjoyed spending time together outside and having an interesting conversation was a special part of it.
“You know that I am,” said Hannah, “At the time I felt obligated to go out with you to thank you because you wouldn’t take any money, but then our relationship grew and grew and now here we are with our own home including a backyard and about to celebrate our third anniversary.”
“I think we can say that the rescues we’ve made in our lives have been good ones. I rescued you from the roadway in the rain, you rescued me from being a bachelor all my life, and together we rescued Murphy.”
“I agree,” said Hannah, “mind you, you rescue people and animals all the time as an EMT.”
“But you will always be my most special rescue,” answered Chris.
“That’s good, although I’m sure that I’ve been one of your calmer rescues.”
“True to a certain degree. Your tire was quite easy to change but it took me months to woo you, usually my work rescues are over in a matter of hours, and although a few keep me awake at night due to Adrenalin or analyzing things when they don’t go right, I spent quite a few sleepless hours thinking about you.”
“I had my share of those too,” replied Hannah, “you had my stomach in knots and my mind confused and it took me some time to figure out all of my emotions before I felt confident enough to commit to you.”
“I’m glad that you did,” said Chris, “because my life wouldn’t be complete without you in it.”
Hannah walked towards him to give him a hug and as she did, Murphy barked. Hannah laughed and said, “You too, Murphy, you make our lives even more complete.”
As Chris looked from his wife to his dog, he felt love surge through every muscle in his body and he vowed that he would do everything that he could to help her dream of helping more people with rescue dogs if that was what she decided to do. He hoped to someday have children, but in the meantime he could live with rescuing fur children.
© 2011 Steven Burton All Rights Reserved
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