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Sparky Finds Sprinkles
By Rose Padrick
Cats are maddening!!!
My owners have some friends who recently moved into a new home. Their names are Roy and Joanne and they have two small boys Nicholas and Hayden.
I really enjoy going to visit them, I always use my best manners and they treat me like one of the children.
The new house has lots of nooks and crannies where the children and I can play a good game of hide and sniff. The children hide and I sniff them out, then we run squealing, or in my case panting, to the safe place. The game is lots of fun and keeps us busy for a long time.
The only problem in all this is Sprinkles.
Sprinkles is a little almost-all-black cat, she was named Sprinkles because she has just a sprinkle of white hairs amid her all black fur.
She never comes when called and won't do any tricks, but the children love her and if she is in the mood, she enjoys playing with them.
However she is a very independent creature and most of the time prefers to watch the goings on curled up on a tall dresser - that is when she is not making my life miserable.
Sprinkles delights in hiding under a chair or atop a table, jumping out and landing on my back jabbing me with her sharp claws, then leaping off and running away. She always catches me when I am playing with the children and not paying any attention to her so I am totally unaware.
I know I am not supposed to bark in the house but it just comes out and I find myself chasing her without even knowing I am doing it.
 I always end up in trouble, sometimes even tied up outside and she will always come strolling past flipping her tail and purring. It is very hard not to start barking and chasing again.
The last time we visited she jumped me and when I chased her she ran right out the door. Then when she found herself outside she decided to do some exploring and bounced across the street into the woods.
I knew I was in big trouble but that didn't bother me as much as the little boys crying for her to come back.
Nicholas and Hayden had their little noses pressed against the front window, Nicholas sobbing "Tum back! Pinkles, tum back!"
Hayden joined in crying "C'mere, Tat, c'mere!"
Sprinkles never looked back; she just kept leaping through the tall grass until she disappeared into the bushes.
It hurt my heart to see the little boys crying, I nosed in between them and kissed their faces hoping to make them giggle, but it didn't work. I lay down and rolled over but they were not interested this time.
They wanted their cat to come back.
I didn't know what I could do, but I knew I had to do something, so I bolted out the same door and ran across the street disappearing into the same bushes.
Finding her scent was a little difficult as it was mixed with the scents of rabbits, raccoons, other cats and dogs, but once I picked it up I was able to follow it easily.
I was close on her trail but she was always a step ahead of me.
Sprinkles began to run, I kept up with her, barking at her to stop, but cats are very quick and agile and she was up a tree in a flash.
She sat on a high branch washing her face with her front paw as I circled the tree.
That is when I spotted the snake! A big brown snake a few branches above Sprinkles was silently making its way down to the branch she was sitting on!
I circled the tree alternately scratching the ground and trying to climb up it, barking as loud as I could, "Bark! Bark! Bark!" "Sprinkles run! Jump out of the tree! Get away!"
But the silly cat just sat and stared at me, slowly swishing her tail, taking great pleasure in seeing me so upset.
The snake didn't take its eyes off Sprinkles for a second as it slithered the length of the fat branch directly above the little cat and its darting tongue was inches above her ears when Roy and Joanne burst through the bushes.
Just as the startled cat leaped out of the tree, landed right on me (purposely I'm sure), knocking me to the ground, and took off at a lightning-fast run for home, the snake swooshed down the tree trunk and made a dash for the bushes.
Roy and Joanne smothered me in hugs and kisses, and when we arrived back at their house told everyone what a brave boy I was, and how that old snake would have eaten their little Sprinkles if I had not kept barking till they got there.
Nicholas and Hayden gave me long squeezy hugs and wanted to play hide and sniff some more.
Sprinkles looked down at all the goings on in pure boredom, lazily stretched and jumped to the top of the bookcase.
We were on our third round of the game when I came around a corner and suddenly felt the familiar sharp sting of claws nipping my hindquarters.
I yelped in pain and spun around just in time to see a set of black hind legs disappear around a corner. I just kept running after Hayden and Nicholas, my cat chasing days are over.
Sparky Takes a Plane Ride
By Rose Padrick
My family got up very early this morning and have been acting strangely all day. Jay and Gregory did not lay with me on the floor watching TV this morning; they pulled big soft boxes out of their bedrooms and I could smell they were full of clothes. R.J. put all the boxes in the car and Hannah rushed around the house turning lights on even though it is still light.
"C'mon guys! Let's go!" Hannah's voice is sharper than usual, making Jay and Gregory move a little faster.
I feel the excitement as we all get into the truck and begin a long drive.
"Mom! Jay's touching me!" Gregory pouts. I don't like it when the boys get upset, it makes me nervous, so I quickly give both a kiss on their cheeks and that gets them giggling.
We ride for a long time, then pull into a big place where there are lots of other cars already parked. I can hear the planes overhead.
"Sparky! Come here! Get into your box like a good boy."
The box is small and has only one window but I don't mind being in it because the last time I went into the box and got put in the plane we went to the cold place. Jay, Gregory and I played in the white stuff they called snow. It was cold and wet and I had to have an extra bath, but it was so much fun!
Ducking my head I move into the box and turn around just in time to give Hannah a quick kiss before she closes the door.
I can smell R.J. coming closer and feel the box being picked up. Pressing my face against the wire window I can see many cars and trucks in the lot and watch as a bus comes closer and closer.
Bump! My head hits the metal door when I sneeze. There is a bad smell burning my nose just as the bus stops.
Lying down to keep my balance, I hear R.J. before his face appears in my window.
"You be a very good boy, and we will see you in a couple of hours. And NO BARKING!"
As R.J. turned and walked away I feel myself being lifted then moving backward.
The window is covered by one of the soft boxes but I can stick my snout through the wire in the window and smell many strangers.
It's not a long ride but very twisty and bumpy. I am still lying down but get bumped from one side of the box to the other. One soft box keeps thumping against the door of my box.
Coming to a sudden stop I can hear and smell strange people grunting and thumping very close by, and startled when someone jerked my box up, spun it around and slid it across the floor.
"Hey be careful! There's a little dog in that box!" Yells one strange person to the other.
"Oh, gosh, I'm sorry!" The second person pokes his finger through the wire window. "I thought the box was empty, I didn't mean to scare you fella!"
I give his finger a quick sniff then a kiss to show I'm not mad.
"Good dog!" The human patted the top of my box, then was gone.
Bump! Bang! Suddenly many soft boxes begin to slide across the floor and thump against my box. Then they begin to pile on top of my box and each other, until they are piled so high I can't see at all.
Cat! I smell a cat!
One last box comes sliding across the floor toward me. I can hear a very angry and frightened cat in it.
Thud! "Mowerrrr!" The cat's box hits mine hard enough to throw me against the side. The cat spits and hisses.
I hear the door close and it gets very dark.
Poking my snout through the wire window again I make a little snuffling noise, just to let the cat know I am here.
"Raaaweerrrr!" "Hiss! Spit!" Even in the dark the cat's aim was perfect! Her claws swiped my nose so hard I couldn't help but howl and bark!
Remembering R.J.'s warning not to bark I growl a warning and lie down.
Feeling as much as hearing the rumble of big engines, I wish I was not trapped in this box and could see what was happening. I can tell we are moving faster and faster, the engines are getting louder and louder.
The floor is tilting! I try to hang on but can't get a grip on the metal box.
Thud! The cat's box slides into mine! She is hissing and spitting again, but this time I curl up in the back of my box far away from her quick claws.
When the floor gets level again, the cat's box moves just a tiny bit away from mine and we travel quietly for a while. I think the cat may have finally settled down and try to poke my nose through the wire once more.
Creak! Thump! The door to my box swings open! I'm free!
I know I should stay in the box until I'm told I can get out, but I just want to sniff around for a little while so I slowly crawl out.
Even with my dog vision it's very hard to see in the dark room, but using my other senses I slowly begin to explore.
Screech! Wham! The floor tilts again! Suddenly I slide backwards and lose my footing.
"Yelp! Yelp! Yowwlll!" I'm falling! Clawing at the boxes slows me but I still hit the floor hard. Jumping quickly to my feet I try to climb out but the sides are too steep. I can hear the cat still growling in her cage and wish I had stayed in mine.
Thump! Thump! Thump! I lean against the side of my hole as the engine noise changes. I sure hope that means we will be getting out soon.
Stopping! We are stopping! "Bark! Bark! I'm here! Help!" I know R.J. told me not to bark, but I just can't help it.
Schreech! Rumble! I squeeze my eyes shut as the door opens and the bright light hits me in the face.
Between barks I hear the cat meowing.
"Holy Cow! It sounds like an animal shelter in here!" I see the shadow of a strange person coming closer to me.
"Hey Roy, this carrier is open! There is supposed to be a dog in it; be careful he may be hurt or scared and try to bite." The other person is farther away but I catch his scent and know he is a stranger also.
"Lets take this cat out first, she's having a real temper tantrum." I hear the cat's box being slid past me, the cat hissing the whole way.
"O.K. Now for the dog. Here puppy! Here puppy!" I hear someone snapping their fingers just like R.J. does.
"Bark! Bark!" I scratch the sides of the boxes and try to jump out.
"Hey! He's over here! Help me with this big crate." I smell the person getting closer.
Bump! Clang! The soft boxes are finally moving!
"Careful Roy, he may bite!" One of the people held my box in front of me. I jumped over the box, gave him a big kiss on the side of his face, then turned and went back into my box.
"Hey! There he is!" I caught Hannah's scent before I saw her, my tail wagging a hundred miles and hour.
Hannah opened the door to my box and gave me a big hug, "They told us the luggage had shifted but we couldn't come down to check on you. I'm so happy you're not hurt! Hey guys he's over here!"
Jay and Gregory came running up and there were hugs and kisses all around. Jay ruffled my ears and sniffled, "We were afraid you were hurt."
Gregory leaned in close and whispered, "I don't know what we would do if you got hurt, we love you Sparky."
R.J. puts me back in the box and lifts it by the handle.
"Sparky's alright, we're alright. Let's get this vacation started!"
Sparky on the Island
By Rose Padrick
"Hurry kids!" Hannah throws the bag into the back of the truck and slams the door, "Dad's ready to leave, and we have a long way to go. Lets get started!"
Jumping between Jay and Gregory I hold very still while R.J. clicks my safety harness. I love riding in the truck with my family, and I sense today is even more special than usual.
"Does the boat really have a bathroom, Mom?" Gregory strokes my fur softly while waiting for an answer.
Hannah laughs just a little, "It's called a head, and yes there is one on the boat."
"What a strange name! I can't wait to see what it looks like!" Jay wiggles in his seat.
"Mom how are you going to cook the Thanksgiving turkey in a boat?" Worry in Gregory's voice turning to a giggle as I nuzzle his neck.
"Mom we are having a Thanksgiving dinner, aren't we?" Jay adds.
Hannah turned to face us, "Of course we are having a dinner! When we come back in we will join Dominic, Joshua, Cameron and their parents at a nice restaurant. I've already explained all this to you, don't you remember?"
"We should get to the dock in about an hour or so, I want you kids to remember your manners and do what is asked of you as quickly as you can. Boats as big as Dominic's are sometimes hard to handle and you have to be fast to get them to do what you want them to." There is sternness in R.J.'s voice. "This is a great opportunity to learn about the ocean and all the creatures that live in it, but if the weather turns bad there can be danger. Dominic knows all about the waters in these parts and how to handle his boat so we need to follow his directions quickly and without question."
Gregory hugs me tight, "I can't wait! Do you think we will see a whale? Or an octopus?"
Reaching over my head, Jay pulls a pillow from the back of the seat and wedges it between us, "Octupusses stay down deep, silly, you can't see them from the boat."
The pillow is soft and cool against my face as I lay my head on the other side.
"Wake up guys we're here!" Startled awake I turn first to Gregory then to Jay hoping someone will unclick my safety harness, but they both jump out of the truck to greet Dominic and Joshua. "Wait for me!" Cameron ran from behind the bushes.
"This is going to be a great day!" Jay laughed, pulling the bags from the truck, and handing them to Gregory.
"It sure is!" Gregory agreed.
R.J. added, "I explained that you are the captain of the ship and we will be the crew."
"As long as the weather holds out we should be just fine, but if it starts turning bad we need to high tail it back into port, these southern storms come up quickly and can be dangerous." Dominic reached into the truck and ruffled my ears, "How ya doing Sparky? Ready for a boat ride?"
Giving him a quick kiss as an answer I shake hard to move the safety harness that itches and hangs heavy on my back.
Unclicking the harness Dominic picks me up and carries me to the boat.
What an interesting place! It smells of the ocean and fish and many things I have never sniffed before. Happily exploring all around, over and under the ropes, big rings and canvas I didn't know the boat was moving until I heard the splash and felt it jerk as it hit the water.
Dominic was in the little house holding the wheel as R.J. moved the truck back up the little hill. I caught Gregory and Jay's scent before I saw them standing on the dock. Running to the side of the boat I bark an invitation to join me.
"Sparky! Quiet!" R.J. threw the big rope into the boat and helps Hannah step down, holding the big basket of food until she is safely in the boat. Gregory and Jay quickly scramble in.
The big engine coughs and sputters, finally making a loud truck noise and we are moving!
How strange it is to be standing on a moving floor! I love the wind blowing my fur and flopping my ears. My snout works overtime sorting and recognizing all the new and old scents floating in the breeze as we pass other boats.
Everyone looks strange in the big orange vests, I can't stop sniffing and nudging the one Dominic straps around my chest. I have never had to wear something like this before.
"Sparky! Stop! Leave it alone!" Hannah sounds aggravated "You have to wear the vest, you will get used to it. Stop scratching."
Giving one last shake I head off to find something new in another area of the boat.
Joshua and Cameron join Jay and Gregory in the front seats of the boat and I snuggle in between, the wind blowing their hair and my fur. There are no other boats to be seen.
I smelled the birds and trees before we saw the island, and in no time we are stopped at the island and everyone is getting off the boat.
R.J. ties the boat rope to a tree and Hannah begins to spread the blankets on the grass. Joshua, Cameron, Gregory and Jay run for the woods.
"Lets look for pirate treasure!" Jay is racing to the tree line.
"I bet I can find a good place!" Gregory is already passing him.
"Maybe there's a pirate still on the island!" Joshua slows and looks around.
"That's silly they went away a long time ago." Cameron slows to a walk and I am able to catch up to them.
"You guys take a quick look around and come right back." Warns Dominic, "And let Sparky go ahead of you on the trail so he can watch for anything you need to stay away from."
I catch scents of rabbits, snakes, and crabs running first one way then another, the boys in hot pursuit.
"Sparky! Boys!" Come quickly, we have to leave right away!" The worry in Dominic's voice pushed us to run to the boat right away.
The wind is beginning to blow and I smell rain as Dominic turns the wheel in the boats little house and the motor makes funny noises but does not start.
"Uh-oh, what's the matter?" R.J. sounded worried.
"The engine is not catching, I just fixed the carburetor, I don't know what else could be wrong!" Dominic sounded worried also.
The wind blows harder; I can tell the rain is not far behind. Holding my nose high I catch a faint scent that is very out of place on an island.
Nosing around in the bushes I find a fresh trail of a familiar animal. There is a puppy on the island!
I hear the boat engine start up and Hannah calling me. Running to Hannah I am pelted by the rain and wind is blowing the sand so hard it hurts my eyes.
The boys are huddled in the little boat house, Dominic reaching over them to hold the wheel.
"Jump Sparky!" Hannah is standing on the front of the deck clapping for me to jump to her. Just as I gather my back legs under me I hear a whine.
"Sparky Come!" R.J. is angry but if I jump into the boat the puppy will be here on the island all alone.
I turn and run back into the bushes, "Sparky!" ringing in my ears.
"We can come back for him! We have to get out of the storm before this engine stalls out again!" Dominic was very upset.
Peeking through the bushes I watch the boat pull away.
Listening for the puppy's whimpers I search the ground for his scent. Nosing through bushes and under fallen trees I find a family of rabbits huddled against the wind and rain, but no puppy.
Sniffing into a small hole in the side of a hill I hear a sharp yelp as the thunder crashed. Soon I was nose to nose with a scrawny, wet, little gray pup.
He cowers in fear but by gently licking and nosing him I am able to get close. I curl up on the wet grass and he soon joins me, nuzzling in for warmth.
There is a terrible roar, the wind blows the rain and sand into the little hole. I have never seen such a hard rain and loud storm noise. Very frightened we huddle together and when the wind dies down we fall asleep.
"Sparky! Come! Where are you?" I jump to run to him but the puppy's little yelp stops me. The pup laid very still while I tried to find just the perfect spot on the puppy's neck to pick him up like mother dogs do.
The trees and bushes are lying all over, like someone came through and pulled them up. Its hard to follow the voices, but I finally catch their scent and find my family.
"Sparky! What have you got there?" Hannah reached down and gently took the pup as I pushed through the bushes.
The boys gathered around talking all at once "A puppy! How did he get here?" "Can we keep him?" "That's why Sparky wouldn't get in the boat!" "He wasn't just being a bad dog, he was being a hero!" "Can we keep him?"
Dominic pulled a towel from the boat and began drying my head, "I'm sure glad we were able to find the same island, there are so many in this area we could have been looking for a week, but now we won't even have to miss Thanksgiving dinner!"
Hannah handed the pup to Cameron and picked me up, "You guys are all the same, worrying more about dinner when we have much more to be thankful for. We could have lost our hero if he had not found a little cave to crawl into during the tornado. I don't even want to think about what could have happened to a poor little puppy if Sparky had not found him.
Now… what are we going to do with the puppy?
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Sparky in Washington
By Rose Padrick
 "Come on guys! We're here!"
R.J.'s voice tells me how excited he is. We have been riding in the car for a very long time, stopping to walk at strange places and having meals at tables in parks and woods. We even spent the night in a strange room and the boys went swimming in the pool…I wasn't allowed to swim, but I could watch and chase the balls when one of the boys missed catching it.
"Let's go guys! I want to see everything!" Hannah is already unhooking Gregory's car seat. "There are so many monuments and places to visit we can't waste a moment! I want us all to learn everything we can about our forefathers, and walking in their footsteps right here in our nation's capitol is the best way to do it."
R.J. pulls the big box down off the car roof and carries it to the door of another sleeping room. "As soon as we get unloaded we can take Sparky to the kennel and meet our tour guide."
Hooking my leash Jay strokes my head, "I'm sorry we can't take you with us to all the places mom wants us to see they don't allow dogs. You're going to have a good time at the kennel though, Dad says it the best one in Washington."
I never have a good time when I have to stay in a kennel, but I always know my family will be back soon to pick me up so it's OK. I give Jay a few quick kisses just to show him I don't mind and we run into the room.
When all the suitcases are unloaded and everyone is ready we get back in the car and soon arrive at the kennel.
"His name is Sparky, he's wearing his I.D. tag on his collar. He is not on any medications and he gets along with all dogs and cats" R.J. hands my leash to the lady.
Cats! No one said anything about cats! I have been having such a good time without Ming tagging along I never thought another cat would be involved! Darn!
"We'll be back soon Sparky, you be a good dog." Hannah is a wonderful owner but I really hope she doesn't see any more cats she wants to bring home while we're here. I was almost glad to see them leave before a cat walked out and Hannah fell in love with it. Ming is more than enough cat for me.
"Let's go meet the other guests Sparky" I follow the lady into another room filled with large cages containing all different sorts of dogs. I guess the cats are in another room, good!
I sniff and touch noses with a few of the dogs. The lady opens the door of a wire cage that leads outside. I sniff the fresh air.
The lady gives a short whistle, "Sarge! Come here boy! Come meet your room mate for the day."
A big German shepherd runs through the doggie door scraping his back on the frame.
Rubbing the shepherds back the lady laughs, "Sarge you have to learn you are to big to come through that door! Use the other one before you really get hurt.
We touch noses and size each other up; Sarge is very big but still just a pup. Wagging his tail and turning in quick little circles he tells me he wants to play.
I grab a big soft toy from the floor and we run outside, Sarge scrapes his back again.
After several games of tug-of-war I am ready for a nap. There are a couple of nice soft places to lie and I am soon fast asleep.
"Sparky! Come here boy! Your family is here to pick you up."  The lady opens the cage door and attaches my leash. I must have been really tired I slept a long time. I'm kind of sorry I didn't spend more time playing with my new friend.
Turning to say good by Sarge and I touch noses, I hope I get to see him again before I go home.
"Guess what Sparky! Dad says you can come with us tomorrow! Won't that be great?"  Jay is so excited he almost wiggles. "We saw so many really cool places today; I can't even remember them all!"
"I think my favorite was the Mall" Hannah laughs, "The Smithsonian museums and all the historical artifacts are wonderful."
"It sure cost a lot less when we spend the day in this kind of Mall than when we spend the day I the mall at home!" R.J. was laughing harder than Hannah.
After dinner in the sleeping room and a nice long walk in the grassy place Gregory and Jay put on their swimming pants, "You can't come with us this time Sparky, but we'll be back soon." When they all go out the door I watch out the window for a while, then curl up on the bed for another nap.
"Sparky come here and let me hook your leash if you want to go with us to watch the parade today!" R.J. stood by the door as everyone went past.
I sat quietly while he hooked the leash and we joined everyone in the car. "I think Sparky is going to like the parade, don't you Mom?" Gregory had his arm around me.
"I think he'll like it just fine, we just have to be careful not to get in the middle of a crowd so he doesn't get stepped on." Hannah turned and ruffled my ears.
It took awhile to find a place to stop; there were lots and lots of cars.
"Hurry up guys the parade is supposed to start in just a few minutes!" Hannah took Jay's hand.
R.J. picked Gregory up and put him on his shoulders, "There big boy, now you can see everything!"  Gregory squealed and laughed, hanging onto R.J.'s hair. "Ow! Don't pull so hard!" R.J. was laughing also.
R.J. turned and followed Hannah and Jay into the crowd.
No one had picked up my leash! I have been trained to sit and stay when my leash was lying on the ground but someone usually told me they were going to lay it down, now what do I do?
Sticking with my training I stay there, watching the strange people pass by.
"What a nice dog." The man and lady stopped to pet me. "Why is he just sitting there?" He must belong to someone; they'll come back for him soon." Then they walked in the same direction my family had.
Honk! Honk! The big truck was almost on top of me! I stayed sitting as long as I could but it kept coming! My family is sure to be angry if I don't do as I was trained but this truck is going to run over me!
The truck finally stops, a man jumps out and runs to me. I am still very frightened and shaking but I stay where I am.
The man is dressed the same way as the men who came to put out the fire when the tree in our back yard was burning a long time ago.
Picking me up the man reads my tag, "We'll Sparky is certainly a good name for a dog that stared down a fire truck! I'll bet you're lost and your family is looking for you."
We walk back to the big truck, "Hey Roy! We have a lost little guy here, how about we put him on top of the truck with us for the parade and see if his family spots him?"
"I think that's a great idea! We don't have a Dalmatian, he can fill in." The second man pulls me onto the very top of the big truck..
The big truck grumbles and begins to move. I can't sink my claws into anything like Ming does but I use my nails to hang on and crouch down low trying not to fall off.
"Don't worry fella, I won't let you fall." Roy puts an arm around me.
There are more trucks behind us, horses in front of us and many many people on each side of us waving and clapping.
Feeling safer with Roy's arm around me I relax a little and begin looking for my family. There are so many people I'm really worried I will never find them-or they won't find me. I like these guys but miss my family.
We went straight for a while and then turned a couple of times. I could tell we were getting further and further away from where I last saw my family. What to do now?!
"Sparky!" The voice was very faint but it was Gregory!
I startle Roy when I jumped to my feet. Lifting my nose in the air I tried to catch Gregory's scent but there are so many people and truck smells I can't find his.
"Sparky!" The voice is getting fainter! We have to stop! We have to turn around!
I whine and bark at Roy, scratching at his coat.
"Hey guys! There's something going on with the dog! I think he might have seen his owner." Roy turns to the man driving the truck. "Can you stop and see if someone comes for him?"
"Are you crazy? Stop the most important parade in the world for a little dog?" The other man sounded mad.
"Sparky! Mom. He's on the fire truck!" I recognize Jay's voice but can't find him.
Standing and barking as loud as I can, I feel Roy's hand on my collar. "Hey calm down, we'll find your owners! Do you see them yet?" He yells at the other man, "Can you at least slow the truck down? If the owners are close we should be able to see them."
I feel the truck slow down, "We can't stop the parade but I guess slowing a little won't hurt anything." The first man still sounded angry.
R.J.! He's pushing through the crowd! They found me! Gregory is still on his shoulders!
"Hey! I see them! On the right, a big guy with a kid on his shoulders! Hey guy come close to the truck and I can hand your dog down to you!"
As they get closer I can see tears on Gregory's face, it makes me very sad to see anyone in my family cry.
My tail is wagging so fast my whole body is wiggling, "Hold still Sparky! I can't get a good grip!" Roy is laughing.
"Here you go boy, it looks like you have a great family!" Roy picks me up and hands me to R.J.
I am kissing the tears away from Gregory's face before R.J. even gets a good grip.
"Take good care of him; he's a special little guy. It's not every dog that gets to ride in the presidential parade in Washington on the Fourth of July!" Roy was still laughing as the big truck pulled away
Gregory was hugging me tight. "Sparky is special anyway!"
So is my family, but I sure hope they leave me in the kennel if they want to watch any more parades!