A dog story called His Master's Smile. A canine article by Ron Hevener, a reputable kennel owner and published author of pets stories.
His Master's Smile
 
 
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  With his master's help, he grew to understand that collars, leashes and manners were important things to know about. He grew accustomed to riding in a car, accustomed to the slippery floor of a veterinarian's office and the bitter taste of medicine ... He grew accustomed to many things, to please the one he loved.
 
There were others like his master. As time went by, he saw many of these gods, for that's what they were to him. He heard them speak and did not understand their words, he saw their eyebrows raise and fall, he saw the gesture of their hands and felt their laughter. "Is that thing worth showing?" they asked.
 
"We'll see," came the answer from the one who mattered to him most. "His mother is the best one I have and his sire is a winner."
 
As spring burned into summer and summer leaves began to fall, they worked. They worked together, side by side, early in the morning. They roamed the pasture and fields, just the two of them, a master and his dog; a master and his dog sharing a secret. "You can do it," he was told. "I know you can."
 
After what seemed like endless mornings and endless nights, when it felt as if this would be his lot in life forever, something changed. "We've done enough now, my friend. It's time to show them."
 
Show them? Show them what? What are we going to show them?
 
"We're going to show them what you were born to be," came the answer, as he felt his master's smile upon him.
 
He was frightened that day. Was he good enough? Would he do the right thing or would he let his master down? What was ahead for him, he wondered, as he hopped into the car. Were they going to the vet's office? Please say they weren't going to the vet's office for shots or medicine. But, they weren't going to the vet. This time, they drove past the vet. He breathed a sigh of relief and fell asleep.
 
It was the sounds that woke him: sounds of barking, air compressors and excited chatter. The smell of sausage, French fries and dogs -- hundreds of them; more dogs than he had ever seen in his life -- lured him to full attention. Where are we, he wondered, pressing his nose against the window. What's happening?
 
"Come on, fella," his master said, opening the door and snapping on a leash after they came to a stop. "Good boy!"
"Good" is what he always tried to be. Was it his imagination, or was his master standing extra tall today? Was his master brushing him with extra-careful attention? Were people looking at them in a different way than they used to?
"Where'd you get that one?" somebody with a poodle asked.
"Bred him myself," came the answer.
"Yeah? Who's he out of?"
"The best one I have and his sire's a winner."
"Wait a minute -" came a voice of disbelief. "That can't be the one I saw at your place. That pup was just about the scrawniest thing I ever saw!"
  Nobody had ever told him he was scrawny. Nobody had ever told him he was any different from a flower or a cloud or a beautiful butterfly. Nobody had ever told him anything ... except that he was important; except that he was loved.
 
The class was called, the entries filed into the ring ... proudly, he stood as the judge ran her hands through his hair, over his back and down his legs. Down and back they trotted; around the ring they went. As still as a living statue he stood, though every fiber of his being wished to jump into his master's arms.
 
One by one the entries went through their paces. One by one, they went to the end of the line. One by one, they waited the judge's brave decision.
 
"Around again, please," she directed ... and, sure of herself, she pointed: "One! ... Two! ... Three! ... Four!" as the crowd clapped their approval.
 
No, it wasn't as if he understood exactly "what" he had done to make everyone so happy. It wasn't as if he had fought off a raging bear, or saved a lost child. He hadn't run for help or chased away a thief. He hadn't done any of those things. He hadn't done anything but be himself, standing bravely before a crowd of strangers; standing beside the one he loved. There it was: His master's hand upon his shoulder; his master's voice at his ear; his master's smile upon him.

Ron Hevener
Lochranza Kennels
www.ronhevener.com

  These stories may not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website or it's employees.
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