29: Kibbles to the Rescue

29: Kibbles to the Rescue

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What?

Kibbles to the Rescue

The bond with a true dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be.

~Konrad Lorenz

“Dad, please, please, please, can we have a dog?” My sisters and I begged. We already had an old tomcat, named Thomas. But he was a dignified, independent spirit and not too keen on letting children cuddle with him. A roly-poly puppy is what we desperately desired!

“We promise to take care of him, to walk him, to feed him, and to brush him.” My sisters Julie and Jolyn, little brother Michael and I pleaded with our father. My mother, the practical one, would have said no. For good reason—she knew the burden of taking care of the animal would eventually fall to her, and she already had four children and a daycare to run.

Not too long after this discussion, a white puppy swirled with black and brown markings entered our world. “It’s a Collie mix,” my father informed us. “It will be a smart dog. Collies are known for being clever.”

We loved Kibbles and played with him, but we also had our school lives, friends, and sports activities. The burden of taking care of Kibbles mainly fell to my mother, as expected.

My parents were fond of camping, so several weekends each summer we would pack up our station wagon with our massive tent, sleeping bags, coolers full of food, and all clamor in, including Kibbles. Then we headed to one of the many Minnesota state parks. We would throw around the softball, swim in the local creeks, build campfires, and complain that we would rather spend time with our friends than roast marshmallows with our parents.

On one of our camping trips, my oldest sister Julie wanted some time to herself and went to read a book in the tent several campsites away from where we all lazily sat around the campfire. We didn’t know she had taken the gas lamp into the tent so that she could read.

I must have dozed off around the campfire, because I awoke confused at the commotion all around me. I could hear Kibbles’ warning bark in the distance. He had pushed his way into the camping tent and was barking frantically over Julie’s limp body. She must have gotten cold, or forgotten my father’s warning about the gas lamps and the need for air, because she had zipped shut most of the windows in the tent. She had passed out from carbon monoxide poisoning.

My father dragged Julie outside. We were miles away from the closest hospital. But thankfully the fresh air did the trick, and my sister regained consciousness. After what seemed like ages, but was probably just several minutes, she could speak and, though groggy, seemed herself.

To this day I shudder at what would have happened if it weren’t for Kibbles. As we all sat around the campfire that evening, my thirteen-year-old sister would have slowly asphyxiated as she read in the tent. It would have shattered our family. Today, she is the proud mother of five children.

~Melissa R. Meyers

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