Eddie and Jerry were sitting in the house on a beautiful summer day. The breeze was making the curtains billow out from the open windows. It was early summer, Easter break for the school kids to be precise, and the days had just starting getting warm enough to have the windows open but not warm enough to have the air conditioning on. Jerry was reading the paper and Eddie was lying at his feet. It was a lazy day.
Sarah and Jimmy, the next door neighbor children were playing outside. They still had to wear jackets because of the spring breeze against their little arms, but they were having fun in the sun. Sarah was about 8 years old and had just gotten a new bike. Jimmy was just 5. Sarah’s mom and dad had been helping her learn to ride but she had not quite grasped the concept yet.
Jerry and Eddie could hear the kids squabbling but thought nothing of it. Kids do that. Jerry loved the neighbors and the children. He would often give the kids treats and buy them trinkets from the store. They loved Jerry back. Their favorite thing to do was to color him pictures to hang on his refrigerator. When Eddie was a puppy, new to his home with Jerry, the kids used to come over every day and play with him. He loved those kids just like they were his own. He would watch over them from his yard whenever they were outside. Sometimes they would see him and wave and say, “Hi Eddie”. Eddie would wave is tail back. He knew better than to leave the yard without Jerry’s permission.
All of a sudden there was a piercing scream. Jerry and Eddie both jumped up at the same time. Eddie, of course, could move faster. He ran out his dog door and directly to where the scream came from. He found Sarah lying on the ground. Her nose was bleeding and she had cut her lip and chipped her tooth. She had tried, unsuccessfully, to ride the bike by herself. Jerry asked Jimmy to run get his mom. He picked Sarah up and took her to the picnic table not far away. He layed her on top of it. Sarah’s mom came running with an ice pack and a towel. She surveyed the situation. Just as she feared; Sarah had broken a tooth. The corner of her right front tooth had been broken. She would have to see the dentist. Now, saying the word dentist in front of Sarah was not an easy thing to do. She was scared of dentists. She had gone to one when she was about 5 years old and the old dentist had been really crabby with her. He evidently was having a bad day and took it out on Sarah. Besides the crabby fact, he was very old and his hands were very shaky. Sarah could not forget that. Every time she thought of a dentist, she thought of old Dr. Nelson.
Sarah’s mom said to Sarah, “Honey, you have to go see the dentist. I'm sorry, I know you don’t like the idea but that tooth must be fixed or you are going to have a lot of pain.”
Sarah started crying. “But Mom, I don’t like the dentist”!
“I know Honey, but you must go”. Eddie looked at Sarah and saw her sadness. He walked to the table and put his front paws on the seat and started licking Sarah’s hand. Eddie knew what he wanted to do but the adult humans didn’t understand dog language. But Sarah did.
“Mommy, can Eddie go too?”
Sarah’s mom looked at Jerry as if to say ‘Help”. Well, as I said before, Jerry loved those kids.
He looked at Sarah and said, “Sarah we will come with you to the dentist but we can’t go inside with you. Dentists don’t allow dogs in their office, but we will wait in the car for you and be there when you come out. How will that be?”
Sarah looked at her mom and her mom's eyes said that was the best we could hope for. So off they went in Jerry’s car. Jimmy and Jerry in the front and Sarah, her Mom and Eddie in the back, with Eddie in the middle.
By the time they got to the Dr. Longs office, Sarah had made up her mind that she was going to be brave about this whole hurting thing. Jerry and her mom had told her the dentist was a different dentist and this one was younger and wouldn’t hurt her anymore than he had to. Jerry also said that he would have Eddie watching for her to come back to the car and he would give her a big hug for being brave. Sarah looked at Eddie and he wagged his tail as if to say, “I will be waiting”. Eddie had such soft eyes and showed all the love he had in his heart for Sarah at just the right minute.
As they entered the dentist office Sarah again began to get nervous. She started to choke back some tears that were just waiting to burst from her eyes. Her throat was hurting from trying to hold them back. She looked to the car. There was Eddie watching. He wagged his tail as if to say, “Go ahead, Go ahead.” She took the dentist hand and walked very slowly to the dentist chair. As she got into the seat the dentist closed the door. Sarah looked at her mommy and began to cry. “Mommy, I cant see Eddie.”
The dentist asked who Eddie was and Sarah’s mom explained the situation. Dr. Long was a kind younger man with several children of his own. He felt so sorry for Sarah. “I promise I won’t hurt you anymore than I need to. I don’t like hurting children but honey, that tooth needs to get fixed.”
“But I want Eddie” cried Sarah.
Dr Long looked at Sarah’s mom and said, “If that’s what’s going to get the tooth fixed, let’s bring in Eddie.”
“But Dr,” said Sarah’s mom.
Dr. Long said that Sarah was the last appointment of the day and no one would be hurt by it. “Get Eddie, its ok.” Sarah was delighted.
Sarah’s mom explained the situation to Jerry. He let her take Eddie to Sarah. As Eddie walked into the office, Sarah stopped crying and opened her mouth. It seemed as if Eddie knew just what to do. He sat next to the dental chair and raised one paw to Sarah’s hand. As Dr. Long worked on the tooth, Sarah held tight to Eddie. Soon the whole procedure was finished. The tooth was like knew and Sarah was a happy little girl because of what Dr. Long had let them do.
As they left the dentist and walked out the door Dr. Long asked Sarah if she wanted her prize for being a good girl. She said, “You gave me my prize when you let Eddie come in.” She smiled a broad smile that showed off her new tooth. Every one was happy, Especially Sarah.
By Marie Paulson (TOPINSMAMA@aol.com)