Hopeful

By J.D. Stephans


A young boy is at the pet store with his mother. He can’t decide which dog will make his little brother, who has cancer, most happy.


“Which one will make little Joey happy hunny?”

“I don’t know.”

“I’m sure anything you pick Joey will love.”


Jakes brow furrowed as he concentrated on the task before him. He didn’t want any dog. He wanted THE dog. The one that would return Joey's smile back to him, so maybe he could get better. After all, mom said that laughter was medicine for the soul, and that smiling was healing. He had to bring back Joeys smile and laughter by any means possible.


“How bout this one?” Jake asked.

“I think he would love that one hun.” His mom picked up the small animal he had chosen and headed toward the register.

“Yes, well take this one!” Jakes mom said.

“Don’t you want a home for it? And a water dish?”

“Good idea. Jake, go pick out a good home for Joeys new friend.”

“Come along little man I’ll show you the wares.” A kind salesperson said.


He had shaggy hair and a stain on his red vest, and his name tag read ‘Chet.’ They walked along the aisles with Chet assisting Jake with the perfect home and dishes for their new friend. He rejoined his mom at the register after several minutes with Chet in tow.


“Did you find everything hun?” Jakes mom asked.

“I did!”

“Okay! Let’s go show Joey!” She said with a smile.


Later when they arrived at their house, Jake jumped out of the car and ran toward the door.

“Joey!! Joey!! We got you a dog! We got you a dog!!”

“Jake wait!” His mom ran after him with their new pet in tow.

“You got me a dog?” Joey asked.

“Ya!” Jake said with a big grin.

“Oh uh, Jake!”

“Lemme see mom!”

“Joey it’s not what you think it’s-“

“-Here!” Jake said as he grabbed the package from their mom and handed it to his brother.

“Oh! It’s a-“

“Puppy!” Jake said.

“It’s a wonderful puppy.” Joey said with tears welling.

“We got it to make you smile so you’ll get better.” Jake said as he hugged his little brother.


Joey looked up at his mom and down at his brother and the green shelled, small animal he held out as an offering. He held him back. “The puppy is wonderful, thank you.” He closed his eyes and embraced his brother once more. To the side he caught his mother tearing up.


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