Thursday, September 2, 2010

Puppy Love

Puppy Love By Wolfgang Kaiser.

    It’s so peaceful in the night during the winter here. Snow slowly but surely drops, along with the moods of those who are without family, food, or shelter. In television shows, we see homeless people in torn up clothes, surrounding a fire kept alive in a fire, and believe it or not, that is usually the case.
     Every once in a while, if you drive down the right street just after midnight, you will see an old, homeless man settling down on a street covered in snow. Why might this man be of importance to the story? This man, this scruffy man that is better off dead, is using all of the warmth in his body to keep his dog alive.
     Although this man probably hasn’t had a job for the last half of his life, he can teach you two valuable lessons on life. The first one he could teach anyone that talks to him on the street.
     “Never take anything for granted,” He would tell you. Usually after that, to add a dramatic effect, he would take a sip of whiskey. “Not your food, not the roof over your head, not the clothes covering your body, or your family. Love your family like every day was your last day on earth.” Like every other homeless guy, people tended to ignore him.
     The second lesson, the more important one (at least to him), would be taught to the one person he was going to meet early, early in the morning.

The other girl of importance to our story was sitting at the end of a table in her parent’s house, enjoying a nice warm dinner that night. It was an interesting dinner, actually. This girl was a vegetarian, so while her parents were enjoying a nice warm steak, she settled for just the salad and the mashed potatoes.
     This girl, who goes by Jade, can teach a bunch of lessons, which she finds valuable, but really aren’t. “Mashed potatoes,” She would start, and then take a bite. “Are easily the best comfort food out there. Not Cinnamon Rolls, not chocolate or ice cream, but mashed potatoes. Can’t sleep? Mash some ‘tatoes. However, they are best during the winter, really.” People believed that Jade liked to hear herself talk, and that was exactly right.
     Jade was an interesting human being. She wanted to be a veterinarian when she grew up, since she had been working at a pet hospital for the past two years. However, she had just been working at the front desk, setting appointments and what not. She would drive there right after school, almost every day.
     Jade, although her parents specifically said no, was going to a concert tonight. Not just any concert, a Mellow Greetings concert. They were an electronic and indie band, which were easily the two best genres of music in the world. Jade got her and her indie friends to see this band. Her parents refused to let her go because the show was at midnight, she had school in the morning, and it was snowing too hard to drive there.
     Instead of sneaking out her window or waiting for her parents to sleep, Jade put away her dishes, ran up to her room, dressed up nice and warm, put fifty dollars in her pocket, and walked right out the door at 11:30, not answering her parents’ calls.
     Jade stepped outside nearly slipping on her front doorstep, and she began to walk as fast as she possibly could on the slippery sidewalk. As she walked toward the city, she took out her MP3 player out not only to drown out the sound of her parents’ screams as they were chasing after her, but to blast the music full volume to prepare for the upcoming concert.

Walks are so refreshing and stress-relieving, especially when it’s cold. You can think and fix all of your problems on a walk. You can leave the present world behind and fill your head with memories. Sometimes the memories help, only on occasion do they not.
     Tonight was a big night for Jade; she just didn’t know it yet. She was going to be out all night. Jade could have easily driven her car, but not only did she fear driving in snow (and driving in general), but she enjoyed the walk. Besides, it was only a fifteen minute walk to the city, anyways.
     When Jade had almost reached her destination, she passed a grocery store just two blocks before the club where Mellow Greetings was playing. It was snowing hard, and she could barely see, but there was the man. The old, homeless man. Out of the corner of her eye, Jade saw him.
     The man asked, “Do you have any spare change on you?” But Jade used her extremely loud music as an excuse to ignore the old man. In fact, because of her ignorance, she didn’t even see the old, dirty dog next to him that was freezing and starving! The miserable old man took a sip of his whiskey to keep him warm. “Kids these days…” He said. She turned a corner right after seeing the old man.
     Jade made it to the club where Mellow Greetings was playing, well known as B-12. It was sort of a ridiculous name, B-12. Vitamin B-12, in case you aren’t aware, is the energy vitamin used in energy drinks and what not. The name attracted mostly teenagers that were adrenaline junkies, although there is a bar attached. Just a year ago, they had to switch the bar’s drinks to mainly juices, smoothies, and sodas.
     The layout and architecture of B-12 was significant, because not only did it appeal to the teenagers with its new age look, but it was an award-winning building. Every panel on the floor lit up a different color, every color of the rainbow. The ceiling was tall with silver painting so the lights from the floor below reflected easily. Jade didn’t quite take the time to enjoy this. B-12 was also very well-lit; the lights were only turned off when a band was on the stage, of course.
     Oh, the stage. Every band had a different set up that they designed themselves. Some bands gathered the money to set up their stage. A band called Promiscuous got stripper poles, another called Fight Night paid two drunken bastards off the street to fight onstage (playfully of course.) Whatever was relevant to the band’s image, they needed to have onstage, and that was just how B-12 worked.
     Jade paid the ten dollar entrance fee and walked straight to the bar, requesting her favorite drink, B-12’s famous strawberry-banana smoothie. She sat there alone and sipped, while a techno band was playing onstage that no one had heard of. They had a somewhat groovy sound that was experimental. Jade thought if the band had lyrics, they wouldn’t be nearly as good. The band, named Water Tower, consisted of two members, with just a keyboard, a drum machine, and a laptop.
     Continuing to move to the beat and rhythm of the song, Jade stared at the audience dancing on top of the rainbow-lit floor. She heard behind her, “I’ll have what this girl is having!” It was a yell since the band was so loud, however, it was really loud in her ear.
     Jade took a 180 degree turn, and it was the person she didn’t want to see. The boy with the girl’s name, Jade’s most recent ex-boyfriend.
     Tracy Garden.
     Tracy Garden was the biggest douche of them all. He was going to remain a bachelor for the rest of his life. He knew nothing except for how to play women and how to get them to put out. “Girls,” He would say, sipping from a beer. “Are as easy as coloring books. Once you firmly color the outside with your so-called 'sensitive' being, it is easier to fill them in after that, if you catch my drift.”
     “How have you been, Jade?” Tracy asked. Jade continued to sip her drink, not answering the question. Jade hated him. They ended horribly, Jade found out she had been cheated on, three times! The last one, Jade doesn’t like to think about. She snuck into Tracy’s house to give him his three month anniversary gift, only to find her best friend sucking him off. This was just two weeks ago! In films you would only see the guy from his back and the girl’s head moving up and down, in fact, that was actually what Jade would have preferred to see. She saw everything, and she hadn’t even seen Tracy himself without his clothes on. She ran away as fast as she possibly could from his house.
     Tracy leaned over towards her. He was big and intimidating, like a gigantic English soccer fan. He even had the stupid short blonde hair that stuck up in the front. “I don’t like the ways things ended with us, baby. We need to get back together.” He whispered in her ear. She stared forward and continued sipping, but she gripped the glass so hard it could have broken.
     “I have my car with me… We could go back to my place.” He continued to whisper. She was shaking with anger. She began to turn red.
     “Come on, honey, let’s go. I’ll give you what you’ve wanted for a while.” He chuckles.
     Now, this next little occurrence consisted of just two hits. The first hit was loud, and it was Jade taking her half-drunk strawberry banana smoothie and smashing it over his forehead, and the next hit was him hitting the rainbow-lit floor, completely unconscious. 
     Lucky for her, Jade was sitting in the corner of the bar, where no one was really paying attention to. Jade stared at Tracy’s body there on the floor, and he had glass shards sticking out of his forehead. Blood dripped from the wounds, but he was going to survive. It took every ounce of Jade’s being NOT to kick that glass in further and completely kill him.
     Jade grabbed her bag and her MP3 Player and stepped over the strawberry-banana covered soccer boy, and began to walk out as fast as she could. “Ladies and gentlemen,” She heard behind her. “I’d like to welcome on to the stage, Mellow Greetings!” As people began cheering, Jade could hear a scream as she turned the corner to head back home. “Somebody call an ambulance!”
     Jade started running, crossed a street, and was behind the grocery store. Not looking where she was going, Jade began running, turned a corner, and tripped right over the old man’s leg. She smacked on the ground face first, and her face dragged along the ground in the snow. The old man screamed in the pain, just being woken up.
     “What the hell, old man?!” Jade screamed. Her headphones popped out of her ears, which also hurt. She got up, hovering over the old man, and from under a blanket next to him, she heard a growl.
     “Now hold on just a minute-” The old man was interrupted.
     “…You have a dog.” Jade realized. She felt so guilty. How could she have been so ignorant? There was a dog, freezing, and didn’t have a home! “Oh my god… I am so sorry. Here, I’ll go get the dog some food. Do you want coffee? I’ll get you coffee.”
     Before the man even has a chance to speak, Jade runs into the grocery store. The automatic doors letting her in weren’t even fast enough for her. She runs by every isle until the seventh isle, and finds food for larger dogs (she was judging by the size of the blanket). She runs back up to the self check-out line, and rings up the dog food. She sticks her cash inside, and runs to the coffee place inside of the store. As she was waiting for the coffee to brew, she saw blankets for sale, so she bought two. One more for the dog, and one for the man himself.
     As soon as the man working the coffee stand held out the drink, Jade zoomed by and grabbed it. She ran back outside, once again nearly crashing into the automatic doors. She drops everything before him, except for the coffee, which she hands to him gently. While he takes a sip, she unfolds one blanket. She takes the old raggedy blanket off of the dog to put the other one on. This dog was disgusting. It was an old Jack Russell Terrier, REALLY old. This dog looked as if it hadn’t been bathed in ages, and was skinnier than any dog should be.
     She put the blanket on top of him, and opened the bag of food. She made a cup of food out of her hand, and fed it straight to him. Although the dog was gross, he looked cute with his little head popping out of the blanket. Once the dog had finished what was in her hands, he was content, which was not a good sign at all.
     Jade unfolded the other blanket and offered it to the old man, and he took it happily. He put it on his legs and said, “Bless you.” He seemed so happy. She sat down in the snow facing him, and the ground was wet.
     “Child, it’s nearly 12:30. Why are you still out?” The man asked.
     “I went to see a band playing at B-12.”
     “Ah, Mellow Greetings. They have a good sound.”
     Jade just stared at him. Apparently homeless people have a decent taste in music. Who knew?
     “Tell me about the dog.” She demanded.
     “Shouldn’t you be getting home? I’m sure your parents are worried sick.” He responded.
     “Hey, I bought you a coffee, some blankets, and a big ass bag of food. I think the least I could get in return is a story before I go to bed.” She said back.
     “Prepare to be bored to sleep, then…” He said.
     Jade got up and sat against the wall, making herself comfortable for what she assumed would be a long, uneventful story.

     “Ten years ago, there was a girl that went by the name of Heidi. She had just turned six, right before her school started. She had dark blonde hair that only went down to her neck, and she liked her hair that way, although all the other girls had their hair long. Regardless of her hair style, Heidi was cute, too cute.
     “Heidi was beaten at home by her stepdad. Any time he was unhappy or drunk, he took it out on her. Heidi was always told by her stepdad named Howard that if she told her Mom what he was doing, she would be sent away, never to see her precious Mommy again. This made her extremely quiet at school, and she never really made many friends there.” The old man began.
     The dog was extremely interested in Jade, and he hoped out of his blanket to sit in her lap. Although Jade was disgusted, she grabbed the blanket and covered her and the dog.
     “Every day, Heidi walked to school. On occasion, she would stop by a park and play at the playground or play with bugs walking around the sidewalk. She didn’t care what other people thought.
     “After the second day of school, Heidi did just that. She was playing on the sidewalk, stopping in front of people there just to pick up bugs. The way they squirmed made her giggle. It was such a precious giggle. She stopped once more before she was about to head back home, right next to a big muddy lake. She was able to catch a grasshopper! She felt so proud of herself.
     “A girl twice as big as her walked off of the playground, and stepped right next to Heidi. The big girl’s shadow covered Heidi almost completely. She looked up and waved, saying, 'Hi! I’m Heidi!'
     “That girl, that snot-nosed brat, pushed Heidi right into the mud puddle, face first. She landed flat; she immediately came out of the water gasping for air because she had never been underwater before.”
     “Oh my god,” Jade said. “That’s horrible!”
     “But that’s when the dog came in. He was just a wee puppy. He came out of the tall grass and began to bark vigorously at the brat, while she was laughing. Although he was small as a puppy, his bark was loud, and it made the bully jump. She began to walk away. Heidi continued to sit in the water, covering her face as she cried her little green eyes out.                     

      “The puppy, covered in dirt and bugs, stepped right into the lake and began swimming towards her. It was such a sight for the adults surrounding the lake. He stepped onto Heidi’s lap, and licked her cheek. Although his breath was bad, Heidi acknowledged that the puppy was just trying to be nice.
     “Although Heidi was covered in mud, she picked up the puppy and took him to the playground. They became best friends that day. Heidi took him down the slide, which he absolutely loved. After a few times down the slide, the dog began to race her up the stairs and go down the slide himself.
     “That day, it got dark, and Heidi had to go home. She looked at the puppy and said, ‘It was very nice meeting you, I will be back here tomorrow!’ The puppy insisted on following her, but Heidi made it stay. He whimpered and sat on the sidewalk for the next few hours, just hoping she would come back.” The old man took a big gulp of his coffee.
     “That is one of the cutest things I have ever heard.” Jade said.
     “But there’s more.” The old man insisted. Jade cupped more food and made the dog eat. She wanted to brush his teeth so badly; he probably hadn’t done it in ages.
     “Every day after that for the next two weeks was just like that. Heidi would take money from her Mom’s wallet to go to the grocery store to buy him food. She always bought him treats and beef jerky, because she could never choose which dog food bag she needed to get. Before school, she would leave him something in his tall grass dwelling. One day she even brought him a nice blanket to sit in, which is that very blanket you just took off of him!
     “Heidi played in the muddy lake with him on some days, and on others she would take him to the playground. She could never take him anywhere else because she did not have a leash and collar. She spent an hour to two hours every day playing with this puppy, and then went home to have dinner with her parents.
     “Now, after these two weeks were up, she saw him last on Friday, after school. Heidi was happy it was the weekend. She held on to the dog and took him on the swings and went back and forth. The dog was as happy as Heidi was, and they were happier than anyone else in the world. Heidi and the dog sat at the edge of the playground to watch the sun go down behind the mountains, and it was the best sunset that either of them had ever seen. Heidi grabbed her bag when the dark overtook the city, fed the dog, and said, ‘I promise I will try to sneak out tonight, to come see you!’ She kissed his forehead and walked away. Knowing he wasn’t supposed to follow her, the puppy sat there once again whimpering.” The old man continued.
     “Were you whimpering?” Jade said, babying the old, dirty dog. He licked her cheek. “Ew.” She responded.
     “Around ten o’ clock, Heidi was sitting in her room, still stuffed from a fairly big meal. She stared out the window, wanting to go see the dog. She looked down (since she was on the second floor), and saw her Mom getting into the car for her late night shift at the hospital. She put her right hand on the window, saying aloud, ‘Bye, Mommy.’ Her Mom smiled and waved back at Heidi, making Heidi happy once again.
     “Heidi heard from downstairs, ‘Oh, Heidi, where are you?’ She knew it was her stepdad. She insisted on staying upstairs because she was afraid of him, and she usually locked her door. But tonight, he sounded playful. He said, ‘Heidi, I have to show you something really funny!’ So Heidi, not knowing any better, walked right downstairs. She walked through the kitchen, not noticing the five beer bottles on the counter top, and went right into the living room. He was there, with the TV off, smiling at her. She smiled back. ‘What’s so funny?’ She asked.
     “‘Come here, I’ll show you.’ He answered. She ran over and jumped on top of the couch. She asked again, ‘What’s so funny??’ He grabbed her sides and started poking her. ‘The tickle monster is!’ He began to tickle her uncontrollably, and she couldn’t get away. She was laughing so hard and thinking that she could finally trust this man that hurt her constantly.
     “It began to get scary. She had on her pajama pants because she was about to go to bed. Heidi’s stepdad was tickling her, and she still didn’t see a problem with it. But then, and knowing this still hurts my head today, the stepdad began to tug at her pants…” The old man couldn’t finish.
     As the climax of the story began, ambulances flew by, presumably heading towards B-12. Jade covered her face when the police flew by too.
     “Please, continue.” Jade was eager to hear the rest, although she knew that what was to happen next was not good.
     “He tugged at her pants and tore them off of her. She immediately stopped laughing. Heidi’s stepdad had never done this before, and Heidi never felt more wrong. As soon as Heidi’s pants were completely off, she kicked him, right in the drunken pedophile’s nose. He covered his nose, blood coming down and staining his white shirt, and Heidi ran as fast as she could, screaming bloody murder, into her room. She locked the door and grabbed her things as fast as she could. She put on a jacket, some new pants, and a present that she had, just for the dog.
     “She ran downstairs while he was still covering his nose, and she sprinted all the way to the park. It was a five minute run for her. She could have run to the hospital where her Mom worked, but she felt she would be happier with the dog. She ran to the park and screamed ‘Puppy! Where are you?’ while she was crying. She sat down on the sidewalk by the tall grass, and the puppy wasn’t showing. She continued to scream for him, and she cupped her face in her hands once again to cry. While her eyes were covered, Heidi heard sniffs. She opened her eyes to see the puppy standing there, wondering what was wrong.
     “She hugged him as hard as she could, and said, ‘I got you something, puppy.’ She reached into her pocket and grabbed a collar, just for him. She put it around his neck, that red collar he has on now, and it was a little big for him. It jingled as he walked. She looked at the nametag on the collar, as the light from the street light reflected off of it. ‘Russell, you are now mine and we can be best friends forever.’
     “Heidi had a bad idea. She wanted to sleep there for the night, but it was much too cold for her to handle. She told Russell that she was going to sneak home to grab blankets and pillows for them to sleep. This meant going back to the house. She got up and began to go, and she went to a stoplight. There was only one car coming. When the light turned red so the car couldn’t pass, she began to walk. The car… It didn’t stop. Russell witnessed it all from the sidewalk, barking at her to realize what was happening. Heidi looked to her left to see a familiar car, and stopped. She didn’t move, and the car…” The old man began to cry. “The car hit her.”
     Jade sat there with her mouth open, crying. They both cried together, although Jade had never met Heidi. The story, although not very elaborate or detailed, touched Jade’s heart like Tracy Garden did at one point.
     “The… worst part is, the car stopped a few feet afterwards, and Russell ran onto the street with his new collar to examine Heidi’s body. He sat there whimpering, and the car door opened. While Russell licked Heidi’s face, hoping she would wake, a set of feet approached behind him. Russell looked up, to see a man he had never seen before, but who Heidi would refer to as ‘stepdad’. He, trying to cover himself, left her there along with the dog.”
     “Did they ever catch the stepdad?” Jade asked.
     “I have no idea. That’s all I know of the story.”
     “Well how did you come across Russell here?” She asked.
     “I found him the next day, in the tall grass. There was police tape everywhere; flowers were set down at the stoplight. I don’t know how the mother took it. He was sitting there in the blanket. I picked up and took him with me, and I lost my home around that time. We’ve been homeless together for ten years.” The old man explained.
     Since the old man had begun telling the story, a half hour had past. It was one in the morning.
     “Listen, that was the best story I have ever heard. However, I need to get some sleep; I have school in the morning. I come by here every day around seven, I could come visit you tomorrow morning before school, and give you some more coffee. Please stay here, I have so many questions to ask you about your story.” Jade insisted.
     “Of course, child. I’ll stay right here. See you in six hours.” The old man smiled, and Jade got up to leave.
     She ran all the way home, and all her lights were off. Her parents had just gone to bed, probably because they knew that Jade was fine, and that she could take care of herself. Jade went straight up to her room and stripped down to her underwear to go to bed. Jade fell asleep almost instantaneously, which was surprising; she had so much on her mind.

     Jade woke up around 6:15, and jumped in the shower. She went as fast as she could, made herself a decent breakfast, and headed out the door with a coffee mug before her parents could even wake up. She started her little beetle car, and sped down her street towards the city.
     She parked in front of the grocery store, and ran around to the side, hoping to see the old man.
     He left…
     Completely unhappy, Jade sat there for a bit. She didn’t know what to do. She wanted to see the homeless man more than anyone else on the planet. She decided, then and there, that she wasn’t attending school today. She was going to sit and wait, until her shift at the pet hospital had begun.
     For the next three hours, Jade had a total of three dollars thrown at her, because people walking by assumed she was homeless. She didn’t mind it. In fact, on the fourth hour, she went inside and bought herself her favorite candy, Good & Plenty. She sat there and chomped on them, which was not that good of a lunch. On the fifth hour, she gave up. He wasn’t coming back, and she just had to accept it. She wouldn’t figure out what happened to the stepdad, or how the Mom took her daughter’s death.
     She got in the car to drive to the pet hospital, and as she arrived, there were no cars in the lot. This shift was going to be a slow one. She walked inside, and there was no one in the waiting room. She checked herself in, and sat at her desk. There were no phone calls; there were no appointments to schedule. This was going to be a long shift.
     About ten minutes in, right after Jade had put her feet up on the desk, one of the vets came out, and called her name. She got up and walked down the hall, the carpet covered in dog hair, the walls unclean. She approached the doctor.
     “Is everything okay?”
     “Kinda. There is an old homeless man inside, with a Jack Russell Terrier. The dog refused to get up this morning, and whimpered whenever his owner decided to pick him up. I have to go in there and put him down, but first, can you go in there and comfort the owner for me?” The vet said. He was tall and distinguished, he looked like the average buff doctor you would see on a drama show on TV.
     “Yeah, of course I can do that. I know him, I met him last night.” Jade responded.
     “Thank you so much.” The vet said as he began to walk down the hall to get the proper supplies. Jade opened the door, and the vet turned around. “Oh, and Jade? You should probably refer to him by his name.”
     “I never got his name.”
     “It’s Howard.” He turned around and went straight down the hall. Jade stood there shocked. How did she not see it before? How could he have known all of the details of the story without being there? She walked inside.
     The second important lesson the old man could teach, was that drinking was never good. The worst and deadliest combination was drinking… and driving.
     Jade sat down in the doctor’s chair, and the homeless man was so happy to see her. “Oh thank God, you are-”
     “Shut the fuck up.” She said. She turned around and grabbed the phone, dialing 911.
     “Who are you calling?” The old man asked.
     “I’m calling the police, HOWARD.” She responded.
     “No please, you have to understand, I know what I did was wrong. I still pay for it today! If I have to go to jail, please make it after Russell goes away.” He tried to reason with her. She was hesitant, but she hung up the phone.
     “Okay. But after Russell is gone, you are going away for a long time.” Jade says.
     “That’s fine, I deserve it anyways.” There was an awkward silence after that.
     “What do you do in situations like this, Jade?” Howard asked.
     “How do you know my name?” She asked.
     “Your doctor told me. How do I cope with Russell?”
     “Sit there and tell him all the great parts about his life. You need to make him feel comfortable. You need to make it seem like everything is okay. In situations like this, dogs panic. They know something is wrong, they can analyze moods very well.” Jade said.
     “Can I have a minute alone with Russell?” Howard asked.
     “The window is bolted, there is no escaping.”
     “I know. I just want to talk to my dog.” Without saying another word, Jade left the room. She sat at her desk, and the vet approached her. They didn’t say anything for a couple of minutes. Jade was sure the vet wasn’t happy with his job, having to put all of these animals down every day. That is a heavy weight to carry on someone’s shoulders.
     “Before you put Russell down, let me talk to him one more time.” Jade got up, and walked down the hall. The vet sat at the desk, waiting for her mark.
     Jade opened the door, and the sun had just shined through the window. It was only going to be a few minutes before the clouds came back over the city.
     “He’s heard all of your good memories together, right?”
     “Now is the best time to do it. The sun is up.”
     “Okay. Bring him in.”
     Jade walked out to the hall, calling the vet by his name, and the vet came running with the shot. Jade sat next to Russell and Howard, smiling, holding back her tears. She grabs one of Russell’s paws, while Howard grabbed the other. They both smiled at Russell, until one eye closed, and slowly but surely, the other one does as well.
     The vet says, “I will leave the two of you in here for some alone time, we will discuss what happens with Russell in a bit. This is a part of our lives; important people to us come and go. I am so sorry, Howard. I will be praying for you tonight.” He stepped out of the room.
     There is another silence, only interrupted by Howard’s sniffles. His one and only friend, the only person he could talk to was gone. Jade wanted to cry too, but she held it back. Now she had to be strong for Howard. Jade could not stand this job. This was the final straw.
     “When he gives that speech, he comes back in fifteen minutes. You have got until that time to run, to hide, to do whatever you need to do to get a head start. I will call the police when the vet comes in.” Jade says.
     “Thank you so much, Jade. Russell has forgiven me, and it makes me glad to know that you do too.”
     “I don’t forgive you, but I never want to see you again.” Jade said. Howard got up to leave, but before he did it, he gave Jade a big hug. From there, he ran out. Jade sat there for ten minutes, contemplating what she had just done.
     Did she make the right choice?
     Should she have called the police?
     Ten minutes after she told Howard to leave, she called the police. She informed them that a homeless man by the name of Howard just came by to put his dog down, a dog originally owned by Heidi, whom he attempted to molest and eventually hit and killed with a car. He went north, towards the city.
     The vet came into the office, and looked at Jade who was staring at the window towards the city.
     “Where did he go, Jade?”
     “I quit.” She stood up, walked right past him, and never stepped foot in that pet hospital, ever again.

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