Suzanne’s family moved often, and she was tired of not having any friends. But one day, her mother, Oona, saw her leaving her school with a bag of food and turning toward the garbage dump. She decided to follow her, only to discover something astonishing. “Mom, can I get a puppy?” Suzanne asked Oona during dinner, and both her parents looked up from their plates in surprise.
“A puppy? Honey, I don’t think that’s possible right now,” she responded, looking at her husband with a crooked grin. “Suzanne, we don’t know where I’ll be assigned to next. It’s just not convenient to move with a puppy in tow,” her father, Adam, responded. He was in the army and got relocated often. They were in Virginia, but it was only a matter of time before they moved elsewhere.“But at least a puppy would be my friend. We’re never in one place long enough for me to make friends,” their daughter griped, resting her head on her hand while eating her dinner with the other.
Suzanne fell on her butt from the shock of her mother’s call, and suddenly, Oona saw the reason why her daughter had been leaning down. “I know it’s rough, sweetie. But maybe when things settle later,” Oona suggested, touching her daughter’s arm lightly in comfort. Adam remained silent as he ate, and Suzanne knew the subject was over. She was not getting a puppy.
Weeks passed after that conversation, and Oona felt bad because Suzanne got gloomier and gloomier each day. Maybe another kind of pet like a turtle or a fish would cheer her up, as they didn’t require as much care as a puppy. She was thinking about it while doing a grocery run and decided to pick up her daughter from school to talk to her about it.
As Oona approached the school, she saw Suzanne walking out, so she honked at her. But her daughter didn’t see her. Oona frowned and saw her walking away from the general direction of their home, which was odd. Suzanne didn’t have anywhere to go.
Then Oona noticed she was carrying a bag with what looked like a food container. That was odd too. As far as she knew, kids couldn’t take leftovers from the cafeteria, and she had not seen Suzanne take a container from her house.
Suzanne was oblivious to her mother’s presence, so Oona decided to make a U-turn and follow her. At first, she thought about stopping Suzanne altogether. But the mother got curious. She wanted to know precisely where Suzanne was going.
She slowed down her car and followed from afar, observing her daughter as she turned towards a street that led to the local garbage dump. “What could she be doing there?” Oona asked herself, frowning. But horror dawned on her face thinking it could be the spot where bad kids hung out. “Oh, no.”
She accelerated a little and eventually parked her car in front of the dumpsite. Suzanne had gone inside, and Oona sprinted toward the garbage dump to find her daughter and protect her from the harmful influence of certain kinds of kids. However, she was surprised upon spotting Suzanne again. She was bent down towards something Oona couldn’t see.
“Suzanne!” Oona called. Her fear for her daughter was evident in her voice. Suzanne fell on her butt from the shock of her mother’s call, and suddenly, Oona saw why her daughter had been leaning down. Several puppies were around the food container, eating what Suzanne had brought them.
“Mom! What are you doing here?” her daughter asked, her eyes wide. But she didn’t feel guilty at all, just surprised. “Oh, dear. I came to pick you up from school, and I honked, but you kept walking away. I got curious, so I followed you. I’m so sorry, but I started panicking thinking you were hanging out with bad kids, and I… came to your rescue,” Oona said, bending her own knees next to Suzanne and watching the puppies.
Luckily, her daughter laughed. “Mom, that’s so funny,” she started. “The other day I walked in this direction and one puppy came near me, but I spooked him, and I followed him. Then, I saw all these puppies. So I asked the cafeteria ladies for any leftovers, and they were nice enough to give me a container.”
“Oh darling. You’re the sweetest kid in the world.” “I’m not a kid anymore.” “I know.” “So… can we help them, Mom? I don’t want to leave them in this dump. I don’t think they have a mom,” Suzanne asked, pursing her mouth in thought. “Ok, I think I have an empty box in my truck. Let’s gather the puppies and take them to a shelter,” Oona suggested, making Suzanne smile brightly.
They placed the puppies safely in a box and drove to the nearest shelter they could find. The attendants were friendly, and Oona offered to pay for all their vaccinations and vet care. “What will happen to them?” Suzanne asked the shelter employee. “We’ll care for them and put them up for adoption. But don’t worry, puppies are usually adopted quickly.” The young teenager smiled, but Oona saw the bittersweet feeling painted clearly on her daughter’s face.
The mother was biting her bottom lip, thinking her husband would not be too pleased about it, but she couldn’t take the sadness in Suzanne’s eyes anymore. “Can we take one home?” “Of course! Although you would have to apply just like everyone else. But I can add a note that you brought them. There’s a waiting time while the puppies get microchipped and checked. But it should be an easy process,” the employee answered and went to get them the paperwork.
“Really?” Suzanne asked in total wonder. Oona could only nod as her teen daughter wrapped her arms around her tightly, expressing how much this meant to her. As expected, Adam was not too excited about it. But once the puppy – Sansa – came to their home, he was drawn to her. That little creature improved their lives, and the young teen was no longer lonely. What can we learn from this story?
It’s essential to listen to your kids and try to meet their needs. Suzanne told her parents she was lonely, but Oona and Adam didn’t take it seriously due to the realities of their nomad life. It wasn’t until Suzanne found puppies to keep her company that they realized how important it was to listen to their daughter’s needs.
A pet can change your life; sometimes, even people who don’t want them will end up falling in love. Their family was happier after adopting a puppy, even the reluctant father, who didn’t want to adopt a dog initially. Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.