A few years ago my mother brought home a stray Brittany Spaniel that was roaming around our neighborhood. After looking him over we discovered that he was homeless without a collar. We searched through the whole neighborhood for his owners, and even posted flyers around to try and find where he belonged. After finding that he apparently belonged to no one, we took him into our home, named him, and treated him as one of our own. Scooter McGee was gentle, playful, and fit in with all of my other dogs.
One night a little after my mom found him, at around nine o’clock my sister and I went to bring scooter back inside to go to bed. We stood by the door and waited patiently for him to show up, as is the custom in our house, but he didn’t. Aimee and I walked outside and started to call his name, and that’s when I heard the thunder and could smell the rain coming off the lake. I could sense that something was wrong as his name echoed from our lips across the lake.
I remember my sister’s shrill cry of “oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh”, as I glanced over my left shoulder all the way across the yard to my sister’s cries. I still recall, vividly, the image of a white creature against the pitch black sky hanging from what looked to be mid-air as I raced to close the distance between Scooter and me. I remember seeing him up close and seeing his head on the other side of the fence and how the new collar we just bought him was twisted around the wrought iron fence post. Without even much of a second though I knew what had happened. I knew that he was choking himself to death because he had tried to jump the fence to get away from the thunder, but wasn’t quite tall enough to make it.
I remember the strength it took to lift him up enough so that he could breathe. I remember the courage that came forth to tell my sister to go find help as I waited alone for what seemed like eons. I remember how heavy my arms became holding Scooter up. How much my arms burned and screamed for me to let go of scooter even as I held on tight. I remember making the conscience decision to push through the pain; to sacrifice myself in that moment of need to keep his life safe.
I believe that Scooter McGee showed me that I have a choice, that I always have a choice. By not giving up and pushing through the pain to save Scooter’s life I learned the value of choice. I know that Scooter taught me that the choice to help and the choice to give up is always there waiting for you to decide your own path.
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