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Updated: September 17, 2012 17:02 IST

Friend forever

CELINE ROSE MARIOTTI
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Tina was sad. She had lost her parents. And Princess her best friend understood her grief.

Tina sat on the steps of her Aunt Millie’s home in Canton, Vermont. Her dog, Princess sat beside her, chewing a doggie biscuit she had just fed her. Princess was a Labrador retriever.

“Princess, where do you suppose someone goes when they die? I know Aunt Millie told me that Mom and Dad are in Heaven. But where is it? Oh, Princess, I wish you could talk. You’re my best friend.”

Princess seemed to understand and licked Tina’s face. She sat on her hind legs wanting to play with her. Princess barked and ran to the sidewalk.

Tina, a small, pretty girl who was only eight years old ran down and hugged her dog. They ran about and played catch with the Frisbee. Aunt Millie called her in for lunch.

“Aunt Millie, can we take a ride later?”

Afternoon

“Yes, of course. We’ll go for a ride in the country, stop for ice cream afterwards and go see a movie,” her Aunt said.

“Sounds good. Aunt Millie, do you think Princess knows that Mom and Dad are in Heaven and no longer here with us?”

“Dogs are smart. She doesn’t see them or hear their voices, or smell their scent. She knows she is living in different surroundings. And I think Princess must know they’re not here. She was used to your Dad reading the newspaper to her and your Mom taking her for walks. She senses your sadness and knows you need her.”

Princess wagged her tail in understanding. She put her paws up and stood on her hind legs. Tina hugged her. Princess left the room for a few minutes and came back dangling something from her mouth. She put it down on the kitchen table.

Tina cried. “Look Aunt Millie. She brought the picture of Mom, Dad, me and Princess taken last Christmas.”

“She understands and she is letting you know she loves you and she misses your Mom and Dad too.”

“What a good dog! I love you Princess!”

Tina put her arms around Princess’s neck and hugged her.

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