A Friend in Need
Brownie and Spotty were neighbor dogs who met every day to play together. Like pairs of dogs you can find in almost any neighborhood, these two loved each other and played together so often that they had worn a path through the grass of the field between their respective houses.
One evening, Brownie's family noticed that he hadn't returned home. They went looking for him but couldn't find him anywhere. This continued the next day and the next week. Meanwhile Spotty kept showing up at Brownie's house alone, barking, whining and even annoying Brownie's human family. Yet Brownie's family members were busy with their own lives and just ignored this nervous little dog.
Finally, one morning Spotty refused to take "no" for an answer. He disturbed Ted, Brownie's owner. Spotty followed Ted about, barking insistently, then darting toward a nearby empty lot and back, as if to say, "Follow me! It's urgent!"
Eventually, these strange behaviors caught Ted's attention. He left the house and followed the frantic Spotty across the empty lot, while Spotty paused to race back and bark encouragingly as if to make sure Ted was after him. The little dog led the man under a tree, past clumps of trees, to a desolate spot a half mile from the house. There Ted couldn't believe his eyes. His beloved Brownie was caught up in a steel trap. Horrified, Ted went up to Brownie who was luckily still alive. Getting Brownie out of the trap, Ted now wished he'd taken Spotty's earlier behavior seriously. Just as Ted was about to leave, he noticed something quite unusual.
In a circle around the injured dog, there was an array of dog food and table scraps which were later identified as the remains of every meal Spotty had been fed that week! - Spotty had done more than simply lead Ted to Brownie! Sure enough, Spotty had been visiting Brownie regularly, with the simple aim to keep his friend alive by sacrificing his own comfort. Spotty had evidently stayed with Brownie to protect him, snuggling with him at night to keep him warm and nuzzling him to keep his spirits up ....
Brownie's leg was treated and he soon recovered. For many years thereafter, the two families watched the faithful friends playing and chasing each other down that well worn path between their houses.