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Renee reluctantly began to walk away, but she stopped, "Pa, let me stay just a few more minutes. Maybe they'll leave and I can go and see her again?" she pleaded.
Pa answered, "okay - but just a few more minute, ya hear?" Pa walked back home. Renee waited about ½ hour when men got into their trucks and drove away. Quietly, she walked over to Sady's pen. It seemed that pen had been ripped apart and there was no sight of Sady. "Oh no," she thought, "Sady - where are ya girl?" she called.
In corner of pen, Renee spotted a large, wooden crate. Carefully, she pulled mesh aside and slowly crawled through to get inside kennel. Looking from side to side, she made her way to crate. She could hear faint, muffled sounds but wasn't sure what to make of it. Oh so cautiously, she proceeded to peer inside crate. What she would see would change her life forever. Pulling open broken, but ajar top, she discovered a mound of tiny, four-legged fur balls. All of them looked like beautiful Sady. "Ah," she whispered, "that was your secret." But where was Sady?
Just then, man owner ran out back door and hollered at Renee, "Wudya doin' here?!" Startled, Renee ran, tripping through wire fence to escape harsh man. She ran so fast that she never looked back. Suddenly, Renee slipped on a slick, icy rock and plunged into freezing ravine. One thing Renee never learned how to do was to swim.
As she struggled to keep her head above icy currents, she tried to scream, but water was so cold that only muffled whispers came from her little voice. No one could hear little girl's pleas as her head bobbed up and down beneath torrent waters. But just as she was about to give up, someone did hear Renee's calls for help.
There, hiding between blanketed holly berry bushes was Sady. She could see little girl in icy waters. Sady heard Renee's unheard cries for help. Without a minute to waste, Sady struggled to maneuver her way to frozen depths below. As soon as Sady got to riverbank, little Renee went under water for last time. Sady panicked and jumped in after small child. Disappearing into murky, cold waters, Sady astonishingly re-emerged with Renee's lifeless body in tow. Carefully, she swam to riverside, pulling Renee from water.
Once atop wet, snowy earth, Sady dug a large trench and pushed little girl inside. Laying atop of her, Sady tried to warm little girl's frozen body. About that time, Pa came running over to dog, "Get away, dawg!" he yelled at Sady, not knowing what had just happened.
But Sady just stayed there, coveting little girl's limp body. Licking her face, Renee suddenly coughed up a mouthful of river water. Pa raced to Renee's side, pushing big dog out of way, "Renee, pun'kin!" he hollered, "you okay?!" he added.
With that, Sady looked on with her big brown eyes. Renee opened her eyes and grabbed her Pa's neck, "Pa," she cried, "what happened?"
Pa looked at Sady and then back at Renee, "is this dawg you were talkin' about?"
Just then, Sady gently pawed Pa's arm and nudged her way over to Renee. Lying down beside Renee, Sady softly licked Renee's blued fingers and lovingly kissed her face too.
Right after Renee was able to regain her balance, man from Sady's kennel came up behind her and Pa with a shotgun in tow. "Get outta da way!" man hollered at Pa, "that dawg is worthless!"
Pa stood affront of Renee and Sady, and sternly peered back at man, "Lemme' tell you something, Mr. I don't know who's dawg this is, but this dawg is NOT worthless and if it weren't for this dawg, my daughter would've surely drowned in that there river - so YOU get from here."
Shocked, man retorted, "but, but..." he stuttered, "she's left a mess of pups up at house and I ain't gonna put up with all that whimperin' and whinin'."
Renee looked up at Pa, and her eyes pleaded with him. Pa looked down at Sady, who was shivering from wet and cold, "I'll tell ya what," Pa said to man, "I'd say I owe this dawg a lot for saving my little Renee," he paused and contemplated a thought, "I'll take this dawg and her pups."
"But she's my dawg," said man.
"You mean, she was your dawg," he took Sady firmly by collar and pulled Renee next to his side, "now, we're gonna go up to yer house and we're gonna get those pups. And then we're gonna go to my house where Renee can raise `em up `till they're old enough to go to good, and loving homes."
"You can't do that!" said Sady's owner.
"Yes I can, and we will."
Pushing his way past man, Pa, Renee and Sady slowly walked to man's house, and just as easily as she had crawled in before, Renee went to crate and handed pups, one by one to Pa through wire mesh. Placing tiny dogs inside his inner coat poach, he, Renee and Sady all went home together.
When they got home, Pa had Renee to go and change out of her sopping-wet clothing and put on a warm, soothing fire in wood stove. Lying beside warmth, Renee put her arms around Sady as she nursed her pups.
Though Pa didn't have a gift to give Renee this Christmas, Sady was able to give both of them best Christmas Gift ever. And to this day, Renee still seeks to help those animals in need thanks to love of a gentle giant.
The moral of this story is, that Christmas is not about packages, ribbons or any material things - Christmas is about gift of loving, caring, compassion, understanding and most of all being able to give of ones self despite what life may bring. Christmas is, after all, season of brotherly love. Why not set example today. Merry Christmas.
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© 2004 The Christmas Gift by C. Bailey-Lloyd aka. LadyCamelot and special input from my daughter, Just Marie
[All work by author is copyright protected. If you would like to use this article, please contact author for permission.]
C. Bailey-Lloyd/LadyCamelot is the Public Relations' Director & Staff Writer for HolisticJunction.com