My Children's Stories

Patches Of Love


 “Patch, I’ll take you skateboarding, if you stay quiet, said Josh as he ran his hand over the head of his six-year old tri-colored Beagle and scratched behind his ears.

   Patch stood at attention and wagged his white-tipped tail back and forth like a flag above his back. Patch and Josh were pals but there was one thing about Patch that was very annoying and downright embarrassing. Patch didn’t bark like other dogs. He howled and bayed or half-howled but he didn't bark.

   Josh caressed Patch’s long smooth ears and looked into his soft, brown eyes, “You are a great dog. I just wish you sounded like other dogs.”

   Josh had just moved to a new town a month ago and was trying to make new friends. More than ever he wanted Patch to just be normal. He thought of leaving Patch home today, but those sad brown eyes won out.

   Patch ran ahead of Josh, ears flopping and happily greeted Josh’s new friends in the parking lot.

   “Hey Josh. We made some launch ramps and some boxes to jump,” said Tim.

   “Check it out. They're pretty sweet ” said Joe.

   “Wow,” said Josh. They’re amazing.”

   The town of Riverview didn’t have a skatepark but it didn’t stop kids from turning the abandoned parking lot into an unofficial skatepark.

   While Tim, Joe, and Josh worked on their moves, Patch picked up a scent in the parking lot. With nose to the ground and hot on the trail, the chase was on. One minute it was quiet except for the whoose of skateboard wheels, the next minute the park was full of howls and baying of a very intent beagle named Patch.

   “Awoooooo! Awoooooo! Awoooooo!” echoed Patch from the other side of the parking lot.

   Tim and Joe stopped skateboarding. Josh froze in his tracks.

   “What a weird sounding dog,” said Tim, pointing at Patch laughing.

   “That’s a psycho dog. Why don’t you get a real dog that barks like a dog and not some kind of a freak,” laughed Joe

   Josh felt like crawling in a hole and never coming out.

   “Shut up, you dumb dog. You’re ruining everything,” cried Josh, choking back the tears. “I gotta go,” he said.

   Later at home with Patch, Josh vowed never to take his dog anywhere ever again.

   For days Josh ignored Patch. He wished he could change the sound of his dog’s voice or get a different dog. Even one of those half-pint, yapping, toy poodles would be better than an howling, hound dog.

   A week later, Josh mustered up some courage, grabbed his bright, green and yellow skateboard and headed to the parking lot again. Hopefully his new friends had forgotten all about his howling dog.

   Maybe I’ll tell Tim and Joe that Patch isn’t my dog, Josh thought to himself.

   “Patch, you're staying home where you belong. You'll just embarrass me in front of my friends again.” Patch looked at Josh with sad eyes. Josh slammed the gate behind him. Patch's ears drooped even lower than normal as he watched Josh walk down the street without him.

   On the way there, a group of boys jumped out in front of Josh. Josh had heard about Billy Joe and his friends. They were bad news.

   “Nice skateboard, said Billy Joe. He ripped the skateboard out of Josh’s arm and tossed it to a friend.

   “Give it back to me!” screamed Josh.

    The two boys pushed Josh to the ground. Billy Joe put a foot on his back.

   “Oh, the little baby girl wants his skateboard back. Poor baby. I think he’s gonna cry.”

   Josh wiggled free and jumped to his feet. Billy Joe's fist caught him on the side of the face.

   “Leave me alone and give me my board,” yelled Josh.

   Then there was Patch out of nowhere, he leapt into the circle of boys, teeth barred like a crazed wolf. Patch grabbed Billy Joe’s leg with a vicious growl low and clear enough for everyone to hear.

   “Get this crazy dog off of me,” cried a frightened Billy Joe.

   The other two boys backed away from Patch as quickly as they could. Billy Joe managed to shake the dog lose from his leg and ran. Patch had Billy Joe’s scent. The chase was all that mattered to Patch. Howling and baying loudly, Patch pursued his prey relentlessly.

   “Go get him, Patch,” yelled Josh as he got up from the ground wiping the blood and dirt from his face.

   Patch’s howling and baying could be heard for blocks away. That’s the finest sounding hound dog in the whole world, Josh thought.

    Having chased the intruder away, Patch came charging back to Josh’s arms.

   “Thanks Patch, you saved by life,” Josh whispered.

   “I’m sorry Patch. I will never leave you behind again. You’re a mighty fine dog. I’m proud that you are mine.

   I can hardly wait to see the look on Tim and Joe’s face when I tell them how you rescued me from the town bullies,” said Josh as they walked home together.


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Doubles Dose

Molly and Robert

   Stepping off the school bus and fearing the worst, 11-year old Robert raced to the weather-beaten barn where his dad was standing in the doorway waiting for him.

   “Molly is real sick and the antibiotics Doc Williams gave her are not working,” stated Robert's dad. Molly had refused food and water for the last three days and was extremely weak.

   Molly, a ten year old Arabian horse was Robert’s best friend in the whole world. Molly was a birthday gift from his mother the year before they found she had cancer. When Robert's mom was in the hospital, Molly was the only one he could talk to. Robert and Molly became inseparable after his mother died. That was three years ago. He treasured that shiny black velvet mare more than anything in the whole world.

   Robert ran past his dad, only half listening, to where Molly was lying on the straw-covered barn floor. Dropping to his knees next to Molly, Robert whispered in her ear, “Molly, I am here now. It’s going to be okay, girl.” Robert felt like his heart was going to explode into a million pieces. His tears began to flow, and he wiped his eyes gently caressing her.

   "I'm not leaving you," he said cuddling close to her.

   “We can only hope that the medicine will work. There's nothing else we can really do for her,” said Robert’s dad.

   They both knew that the chances of Molly pulling through were very slim. Three other horses in the county had already died in the last month with the same symptoms from this strange infection.

   “Son, it’s time to get cleaned up for dinner. You can come back after dinner and check on her.”

   “No!” screamed Robert, “I’m not leaving her.”

   Robert’s dad looked at him, then slowly turned and walked out of the barn towards the house.

   After his dad left, Robert began to cry even harder, “Molly, you can’t die. I need you, girl. Please, just get better so we can go riding again.”

   Robert's dad returned to the barn with a plate of food and a cold glass of milk. “You have to eat to keep up your strength, son or you won't be doing your best by Molly.”

   Robert took the plate of food and slowly began to eat. “Dad can I stay out here tonight?” “I can’t leave her alone.”

   His dad nodded. "I'll bring out some blankets and a pillow for you.”

   An hour later, Robert was settled in for the night. His dad reached down and gently kissed Robert on the forehead. “Son, it’s in God’s hands now. It might not hurt to say a little pray for Molly.”

   Robert lay very close to Molly in the darkness. He felt helpless. Molly seemed to grow weaker with every passing minute.

   His prayer came from deep inside him, “God, if you can hear me, you know how much I love Molly. She is the only one in the whole world that understands me. We need each other. She makes me laugh. When I get into trouble, she is the only one that doesn’t get mad at me. Please make her better.” Praying seemed to give Robert a little more courage to face whatever might happen to Molly.

   Sometime in the middle of the night, Robert finally drifted off to sleep, dreaming that he was riding Molly through the luscious, golden wheat fields that stretched for miles and miles.

   Just before dawn, Robert suddenly woke up. Opening his eyes, he was amazed to find Molly standing next to him and giving him a gentle nudge.

   “Molly, you’re better!” exclaimed Robert excitedly. With tears of joy flowing down his checks, he wrapped his arms around her neck holding on to her tightly. He gave her some water and a little food.

   "Dad!" he screamed at the top of his lungs. His dad rushed into the barn then stopped short.

   "I never thought we'd see her standing again," Robert's dad stated with amazement.

   “You know, Dad, I said a prayer last night for Molly. God must have heard me,” said Robert.

   “I said a prayer for Molly too,” said Robert’s dad with a smile.

   Grinning from ear to ear, Robert ecstatically proclaimed, “I guess what Molly really needed was a double dose of prayer.”

   The two laughed and hugged, and Molly gave a little nod as if to say: 'Double dose prayers really do work!'


The Adventures of Sylvesteria


   Hello, little friend, my name is Sylvesteria, and I am a cat. I live in the most beautiful place you can imagine beyond your wildest dreams or even mine. Even the big and small dogs get along here and everybody loves the cats.

   Listen to my story and I think you will see for yourself how absolutely amazing it is what God has planned for all of us who love Him. 

   I've never been a boy or girl, but I did once live in the same very big world that you do. I'm here to tell you about my adventures and to encourage you to always pray and trust in God to take care of you and your family.

   My mother was a beautiful black and white long-haired cat. The day I was born along with my five sisters was indeed a happy day for my mom. Our owners looked us over and counted us, but they left us with our mom where we belonged.

   One of the them pointed to me, “Looks just like the mother.” I was pleased as can be to hear that.

   Mom took very good care of us, fed us well, cleaned us and began to teach us all about “cat things.” Some of things my mom taught me I’ve never forgotten: never give up hope; pray every day; in this world there are kind and good people; and God does  listen and answer our prayers!

   There were days and weeks and more weeks chasing and hiding and pouncing, learning to hunt of course and perfecting the cat nap.

   Eventually, the day came when mom gathered us together and told us that soon we would have to leave her and go out on our own. We were excited about the new adventure, but also sad to be leaving mom.

   “Every animal and person sooner or later must leave home,” she said. “That is the way with growing up.” She told us she loved us. All six of us were soon adopted into new families. It was a very adventurous time for all of us.

   I liked my new home. There were two young children who liked me too. The  kids and I played together everyday. I grew and grew. The children’s mom was nice and she made sure I got fed. But she seemed really sad and frightened most of the time.

  I loved when the family let me go outside. That was a blast but I soon found out a cat has to be real careful outside, as there were big dogs that chased me a time or too.

   also discovered some awfully big cats in my neighborhood that didn’t care much for me at all, but thankfully I could outrun them or stare them down.

   My life took a turn for the worse when a mean man moved into our home. He didn’t like me. He told the woman that he was allergic to cats and I would have to stay outside. When the man wasn’t home, the kids would let me in.

   The man was really mean to the woman and the kids too. From outside I could hear him yelling at them and making them cry. I didn’t like the man and I wanted to go and pounce on him, but considering my size, I thought otherwise.

   Eventually, I ended up living out in the garage. Sometimes they would forget to feed me for days at a time. It was a good thing I was good hunter.

   It seemed no one paid much attention to me any more, but I still loved them. One day the woman felt sorry for me and let me in the house. I was in all day and it was just like old times again.

   Then the man came home and he was really angry. He started throwing things around and yelling at the woman and the kids. I ran and hid underneath the bed. 

   The man asked the woman if I was in the house because he started to sneeze like crazy. The man began looking for me until he found me. He grabbed me  so hard, I could hardly breathe. Then he opened the door and threw me out into the street. I landed on the pavement, stunned and unable to move. When I could stand up again, I limped away to a safe hiding place.

  After a few days of lying around licking my wounds, I felt very hungry. I decided it wasn’t safe to go back home any more.

   I began to walk the streets looking for food. That's when I met “Garbage Can Annie.”

   Garbage Can Annie was the head of the street gang of cats and knew how to survive on the streets. My mom told me about her and said if you ever meet up with her just do as you’re told. Garbage Can Annie saw I was in tough shape, so she left me alone.

“How long have you been living out on the streets?” Garbage Can Annie asked.

   “I’m not sure, but it’s been awhile. I can’t go back home anymore,” I said.

   I then proceeded to tell Annie all about the terrible things that had happened to me.

   “Well kid, don’t worry about a thing. I’ll show you the ropes out here. Just don’t cross me and I’ll make sure you are taken care of. It’s not a bad life out here. I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now. But you know, if I could find a good home, I’d give up this kind of life in a minute,” said Annie sadly.

   We would sleep during the day in abandoned buildings or garages and then at night we would go looking for food. The winter months were the toughest, as it was hard to keep warm.

   One night Garbage Can Annie said she was going out by herself and she didn’t want me tagging along. That suited me fine, as it was cold out. When morning came, I got up and stretched and looked around for Annie, but she wasn’t there. She had always returned before daylight, so I began to search for her.

   I looked everywhere but Annie was not to be found. I was very sad and worried. Exhausted, I went back to the abandoned garage where Alley Cat Sam was waiting for me.

   “I’m sorry, Sylvesteria, but Annie didn’t make it. I found her this morning. She’s been run over by a car. She sure is going to be missed around here. If you want, you can join my gang across the tracks. It’s not good to be on the streets by yourself,” Sam said.

   I was so stunned by the news I didn’t even answer and didn’t even notice when he left.

For the next month or so, I did manage to get food from the garbage cans, just like Annie had taught me. I missed her so much.

   Every night before I went to sleep, I would say a little prayer: “God I sure do miss Annie, I’m so lonely. God could you find me a good home”? I would then drift off to sleep, dreaming that I was adopted into a wonderful family who loved and cared for me. I never wanted to wake up, but morning would come and I had to face another frightening, cold day on the street.

   Food was getting harder and harder to find. I never liked crossing Main Street, because it was the busiest street in town. But in order to get food that is what I had to do. One night I headed downtown and came to Main Street where I looked and listened for any approaching cars and then I began to cross the street.

   Then, out of nowhere, a car came heading straight for me. Bang! “I’m hit,” I screamed, as I fell to the ground. I couldn’t move. I thought for sure that this was the end for me. I lay helpless in the middle of the street, unable to move even a whisker.

   A police officer found me and checked to see if I was still alive. I looked up at his kind eyes, then slipped into unconsciousness. When I came to again, the policemen called on his radio and before long another man came along wearing a jacket with the initials EMT on it. I learned later that EMT stood for Emergency Medical Technician. He began to examine me.

   They took me out to the animal doctor’s house where I was placed in a nice warm cage and given some medicine for the pain. I hurt so much. I couldn’t move my back legs at all and my head hurt too. I heard the doctor and the nurse talking. I didn’t have any broken bones, but I did have a head injury.

   I was very weak. The kind nurse and doctor feed me every few hours. After about eight days, I began to get a little stronger and I thought to myself, “I’m going to make it!” I began to move around and was able to walk a little.

  Then one day, I overheard the nurse saying, “If someone doesn’t claim her, we will have to destroy her. I knew the nurse was talking about me.”

   I began to pray: “Dear God, please let them know I don’t have a home. Could you find me a good home?”

    After I had been at the animal doctor’s house for 10 days, a man came and wanted to take me home. He picked me up in his arms and held me so gently. I could see he was a kind man. He took me home, made a nice soft bed for me to sleep in, and gave me some delicious food to eat.

   He held me for hours. He talked to me and said that he would take very good care of me.  When the woman of the house came home, she picked me up and hugged me and said, “You belong here now, this is your home.”

    I could hardly believe what I was hearing. I thought I was dreaming. Still very weak from my accident, I just curled up and slept, hoping and praying this wasn’t a dream.

   The next day, the man told me his name was Bob and the woman said her name was Mary.

   They introduced me to the rest of the animals. Tuffy, short-legged dog called a dachshund. “Who shrunk his legs,?” I kept wondering to myself. He likes to run around the house and bark a lot.

   Then I was introduced to Peter J. He is a young cat full of energy. Peter J seems more interested in chasing butterflies and birds outside. He boasted to me proudly, “Hey, did you know I caught a bird this summer, all by myself.” I just smiled at him, remembering the days when I could hunt with the best of them.

   I was finally introduced to Baby Cat. She is black and has no tail because she is a Manx. Baby is very beautiful, but a little fat. It’s kind of funny to see a fat cat, because where I come from, the street cats are all skinny.  Baby eyed me up and down and informed me: “I was here first and I rule the roost around here.”

  “No problem, I said. And meant it. I’m just glad to have a good home.

   A few years later I talked Bob and Mary into adopting two other stray kittens that needed a home. Their names are Chubbers and Tess. What troublemakers they turned out to be!

   Sometimes it was hard to wait for God's answers, but I spent my last years on earth surrounded by warmth and love. After not belonging for so long, living with Bob and Mary was God's answer to my prayers for a wonderful home with special people to love. I saw Bob and Mary sad to see me go when God called me home to heaven.

   When I was out in the streets there were moments when I almost gave up hope, especially when I got run-over. But God knows how to turn the really bad things that happen to us into blessings far beyond our wildest dreams. Just look what God did for me! I hope you will keep praying and trusting in Jesus to make everything beautiful in His time.

   I must sign off here in Animal Heaven. God the Father has planned another banquet. Banquets here can always be counted on to serve the best tuna fish, shrimp and lobster you could ever imagine.

   Bob and Mary's place, well, it was great. It was a home filled with love and happiness. But this place, believe it or not is even better.

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Latest comments

21.06 | 13:10

So true.

28.02 | 07:56

Yes -- be quiet and listen.

14.02 | 12:50

Well said

13.02 | 19:05

Not so easy.

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