The Trouble with Dogs
Josiah, Age 14, Englewood, CO

Once, there lived two neighbors, Sam and Jim, right next door to each other. Neither knew much about the other, so they just kept to their own business - at least before the Petsmart down the street had a sale on puppies. Sam lived alone, and he decided that he should get a puppy. What type? He would love to have a cute Maltese puppy. I know! he thought, I’ll get a Maltese puppy.

So he called Petsmart.

“Hello, this is Petsmart,” said the woman on the phone. “How may I help you?”

“I heard you were having a sale on puppies.” Sam answered. “Do you have any Maltese puppies?”

“Yes, we do,” she replied, “but we only have two left. If you come quickly you can get one for half price.”

“Thank you very much,” Sam replied, “I think I’ll come by and get one.”

Sam then hung up the phone, got on his shoes, grabbed his keys from their hook on the door, got into his Honda Civic, and drove to Petsmart quickly.

It just so happened that Jim, Sam’s neighbor also wanted a Maltese puppy to keep him company. So he called Petsmart and learned that someone too searched for a Maltese, so he thought that he had better hurry. Jim then got in his car and drove off speedily.

After parking his car, Sam walked up to the front desk and asked if they still had Maltese puppies.

“Aha!” the lady behind the counter said. “So you were the one who called earlier.”

“Yes, that’s right,” Sam replied.

She showed him the two Maltese puppies, both of which looked identical. Sam decided to get the slightly smaller puppy. He bought a green collar, and a matching leash, some dog food and toys, and then took his puppy home.

Later on, Jim walked in and bought the remaining puppy. He then bought a red collar for it, with a matching leash, and brought him home. Both owners were quite happy with their puppies, but for a short time.

When he woke up the next day, Jim let his dog wander around in his backyard, but foolishly did not check for holes in the fence where the dog could possibly escape. Jim came out and noticed his dog had disappeared. He felt anxious, but he glanced into his neighbor’s backyard, and what did he see? Sam was playing in his backyard with a puppy just like Jim’s! Furious, Jim decided to go over to Sam’s house and have a talk with him. As he walked down the sidewalk shaking his head with anger, he noticed something white in the grass of his front yard. It was his puppy! Thank God! he thought. But not having much brains, he completely forgot about what he had seen in his neighbor’s yard.

Later, Sam’s dog went missing. Unfortunately he could not find him anywhere! Getting into his car, he drove around the neighborhood in search of his dog. Five long hours later he finally found his dog. With great joy he took him home, but he found a red collar around his neck? He thought he had bought him a green collar…but maybe he was just getting old, he thought. After all, he did have quite a few gray hairs, he mused to himself.

On that same night, Jim settled down to sleep. He tucked his dog away in his doggy bed, but noticed something. His dog had a green collar, not a red one. Jim too blamed old age and thought nothing of it.

Neither of these men was very smart, so both of their dogs escaped again. Jim found his in his front yard and tied him to a long leash, so that his dog could have more room to play, but would not get away. Sam went walking up the street to find his dog and what did he see? There was his puppy cruelly bound in someone else’s front yard! He went back to his house, grabbed a baseball bat and stormed over to Jim’s house.

Jim sat on his couch watching the Super Bowl, stuffing his face with chips. He forgot to bring his dog in, so he looked out the window to check on his puppy. He disappeared again! Flipping off the TV, he ran outside. Right at that moment, Sam walked quickly up the street with determination to make his neighbor pay. He stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, and so did Jim. Right between them sat two Maltese puppies, both playing. Sam dropped the bat to the ground.

“So, it seems we both bought identical dogs and never knew it?” Sam asked.

Jim nodded. “Want to come in and watch the Super Bowl? It’s just starting.”

“Sure,” Sam replied, “I would love that.” And they were never lonely again.

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