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Tippy (In Response to Fred's story called

Story ID:2594
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Writers Conference:$500 2007 Family Memories Writing Project
Location:A Town in Texas Texas USA
Year:1985
Person:Tippy
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Fred, I read your story and felt the pain
you feel for the loss of your dogs.

I want you to read this true true story. A good
friend allowed me to write about it.

Your dogs see you and are waiting to run for you
again.

Mike

Tippy

When young Robby was born, his grandparents had a
German Sheppard named Jack. Jack was old and didn't care
for too many people to be around, but when Robby was there,
he would lick his face and allow him to ride his back
around the yard. When Robby was three, Jack died. At
every visit to his grandparents, he mourned the loss of
his friend.

Tippy was a plain, brown, mix-breed mutt, who had
all of young Robby's love. A friend had given Tippy to
the family around the time of Jack's death. Tippy and
Robby became inseparable. Tippy played ball with Robby,
lay in the grass with him, chased him around the yard
or on his bike, and even play tug-of-war with a rope.
The loss of Jack was soon a memory.

Their back yard was fenced in. If Tippy was locked
in the yard and heard Robby on the other side, Tippy
would climb the fence to be with him. Wherever Robby was,
Tippy was sure to be close by. If Robby's mom wanted to
know where Robby was, she'd call Tippy, who would bark,
and let her know where they were. It was a typical
boy/dog relationship - full of love and friendship.

When Robby was four, Tippie made a mistake. He ran
into the street, was struck by a car and killed. Robby
was devastated. The friendship was over, but not the love.

Around the time of Tippie's death, Robby's dad
bought a sorrel-colored quarter horse named Luke. A new
relationship began. Luke was a three year old gelding.
Green broke, wild and stubborn when Robby's dad rode him.
However, with Robby the horse was the opposite. He was
two horses in one.

On Play Day, a sort of local or state fair, Luke
would be tied to the trailer, and Robby would swing
from his tail or play with his toys around his hooves.
Luke wouldn't move, completely content to have young
Robby at his side.

When Robby was big enough to ride, his parents
would put him on Luke's back, and Luke would hang
his head and plod along, as if he had children on
his back his whole life. If Robby's dad rode him,
Luke would scotch and prance around. Luke just seemed
to know children were special and needed protection.

For several years, Robby and his dad competed
in Play Day events and won many ribbons and trophies.

Luke and Robby turned five the same year.
Young Robby started half days at school. One October
morning, Luke got into the tack room and ate all the
oats in a barrel. He became colic. The vet tried to
save him, but failed. Luke was gone.

Robby's mom agonized over how she was going to
tell Robby the news of Luke's death. She kept telling
herself she was not going to cry. She was going to
sit Robby down, try to explain what happened, and why
sometimes things like this happen.

Robby came home from school. She took him to
his bedroom, and sat beside him on the bed. "Robby,
I have something I have to tell you."

Young Robby looked up at his mom. "Mama, I know
Luke died today."

She stared down at him. "How could you know,
Robby? It just happened."

"Mama, we played in the playground at school
today. While I was playing, Tippy stuck his head out
of the clouds and told me that Luke had died and was
with him and Jack. He said not to cry, because they
were taking care of him."

Mom's resolve not to cry was forgotten. She
pulled him into her arms, as her tears dripped down
on him. She stared to the ceiling in wonder and whispered,
"Thank you, Tippy."

Michael T. Smith