there was only one thing i wanted most in my life, and it was a dog.
one christmas my parents surprised me and my sisters by taking us outside and standing us in front of our closed garage.
i thought there would be a dog inside.
i could already see the wiggly-excited golden retriever that would run out to me as soon as the double wide door creaked up, the dog that would become my best friend.
i hoped there would be a dog inside.
instead, there was a miniature electric john deere jeep,
that at eight years old, i was already too big for.
it was an awesome toy to have, and my sisters and i played with it for years,
but it was not what i wanted.
i wanted a dog.
all my friends had dogs. molly had like two or three. a german shepherd and a poodle. a mutt later on.
one weekend, i had a sleepover at molly’s, and it was the best sleepover ever. we ran around barefoot in the front yard, drank gatorade, slept in her big sister’s room, and then, in the morning, my mom didn’t come to pick me up right away. i got to spend the entire rest of the day with molly.
we went to toys r us, and molly said that she was going to use her allowance to buy a toy, and that i could pick one out, too.
what a special day!
what a great friend!
we went through the whole entire store, and even though i saw the border collie stuffed animal pretty much as soon as we entered toy heaven, i still needed to up-and-down every single isle to find the very best toy.
it was the pillow-sized border collie that initially imprinted on me, and it was the pillow-sized border collie that i walked out with.
molly’s mom drove me home after that.
we got burger king on the way home, too.
molly wanted me to name her lassie, because of the movie, but i named her mocha, after the doe-eyed blondie-brownie-colored australian shepherd my family often pet sat, because i loved that dog, and because i had never seen lassie.
i still didn’t have a dog,
but i had mocha.
and that made my eight-year-old-life slightly more bearable.
i took mocha with me all over the place.
we played a lot in the backyard.
i loved pushing mocha down the slide.
we sat in the car together,
mocha on my lap like a real dog,
as i stared out the window and thought about life.
mocha was my real dog for a while.
i brought mocha on family trips
and one time, when i was carrying mocha,
a real life person needed a double take
because they thought
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