It was a warm March afternoon. I lay curled up on the couch completely engrossed in the works of Oscar Wilde. Suddenly a red rubber ball landed on my lap. I looked up to see the nine year old mischief maker grinning at me. The sun rays played on his dark haired body. The streaks of yellow seemed as though someone had sprinkled gold all over him. He wetted his nose and stared at me intensely. His piercing dark coffee colored eyes could make anyone feel uncomfortable. Marshal, the brilliant German Shepherd was trying to hypnotize me.
Marshal came in to our family when he was a mere two month old puppy. Since then, he has been my companion and best friend. Growing up he was the most mischievous dog one could ever imagine. Years of training by my mom has made him more docile and mature. Contrary to the temperament of his breed, he is very friendly towards everyone. Marshal is as popular in our community as a celebrity. Children and adult alike enjoy playing with him. Although he is very loving, no stranger can step in to our house without his approval. Owing to his looks, the kids have nicknamed him ‘The Wolf’.
My wedding was to be held in June of that year and shortly after that I was leaving for Scotland with my husband. So, I quit my job to spend more time with my family and help plan the wedding. For years, I had been away from home either due to college or work. So, Marshal was very excited about having me home. We spent months perfecting the wedding arrangements. It was a sheer joy to have time on my hands to plan every last detail myself. By February most of the preparations were taken care of. All that was left to do was to relax and enjoy the comforts of home.
On one lazy afternoon, my mom and I were watching the ‘Dog Whisperer’ – a Caesar Milan show on Discovery channel. Needless to say, we both loved watching any shows on dogs. Out of the blue, mom said, “How wonderful it would be to get a Labrador Retriever the next time we get a dog!” I sat up straight as a jolt of excitement passed through me and my devilish mind started ticking. Already I could imagine having a little puppy in the house and the joy it would bring. So, I commenced on my ingenious plan to persuade mom.
It did not take me long to coax he, though she only agreed to have a look at the puppies. In my heart I knew that half the battle was won! That same evening we headed to the pet store. It was lined with countless aquariums housing a variety of fish. My eyes searched for the dogs but I could see none. The store manager informed us that they kept them in the other room. They had only one Labrador puppy available then. I waited patiently while they fetched the puppy. However, my patience soon ran out and I started wandering around the store. The fish seem to follow my every move; it was as if they could sense my eagerness.
In a few minutes a man emerged from the other room with the most adorable little wonder of nature nestled in his hands. The little guy shook his cream...