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Puppy Love (standard:other, 1494 words)
Author: Dan TanaAdded: Apr 21 2010Views/Reads: 1513/930Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A boy plays with a puppy who he cares for very much, then they are separated by a senseless crime.

A puppy and a boy sit next to each other in a green, grassy meadow on a
cool spring afternoon.  The puppy tilts her head at a slight angle and 
gazes up at the boy with a vaguely baffled, intense, appraising look in 
her large, round eyes.  The boy looks back at the funny expression on 
her fluffy face and sees a vision of almost unbearable cuteness. He 
smiles at her as the sensation of pure delight spreads out from the 
center of his heart to completely envelope his body and mind. 

The puppy puts her front paws up on his leg and rests her chin on top of
them.  He tickles her toes with his fingertips and she wags her tail 
excitedly.  The boy puts his hand on the silken fluff of the puppy's 
head and softly runs his fingers down her back.  He picks her up and 
cradles her in his arms, gently and carefully squeezing her as tightly 
as he can without hurting her.  He buries his face in her fur and for 
several long, blissful moments he nuzzles her with his cheek. 

The boy puts the puppy down and continues to pet her.  The sight of a
brightly colored butterfly distracts him momentarily and he stops 
petting the puppy.  She immediately starts pawing at his leg to get his 
attention.  She dips her head and begins to rub it against his knee, at 
a spot right behind her left ear, in a manner that makes him think of a 

He pets this place behind her ear with his right forefinger.  From the
way that she responds he can tell that she really likes to be petted 
there.  He finds the fur at this spot exceptionally soft and pleasant 
to touch.  He stops petting her again and she makes a low, plaintive 
growl.  She paws at him a few more times, and resumes rubbing her head 
against his knee. 

Seeing how enthusiastically and determinedly this puppy uses his body to
pet herself greatly amuses the boy.  He laughs quietly to himself and 
is overcome with a feeling of overwhelming love for this silly, 
affectionate, ticklish little creature.  The experience of this odd yet 
familiar, unmistakable and indescribable sensation makes him wonder 
what it really means to think that he loves this puppy. 

He thinks of several things about the puppy that he likes very much, and
knows that he really enjoys playing with her, but has no idea how he 
came to care about her so much more than all of the other dogs that he 
has ever met.  He is not sure why her well- being means so much to him, 
or why her simple displays of happiness fill his heart with such 
incredible joy.  He is suddenly struck by the peculiar realization that 
while he has no doubt that he really does love her he also does not 
really know what love truly is. 

He recalls how he ran back into their house when it was on fire because
she was trapped inside, motivated by nothing but the desire to rescue 
her, putting her welfare before any other concerns, even his own 
safety, and decides that if that does not qualify as an act of true 
love then the whole notion of love is probably nothing but a lie 
anyway. The phantom of remembered pain shivers up his back as the boy 
looks at the burn scaring on his right arm.  He shifts his gaze back to 
the puppy, picks her up, and begins to pet her again. 

The boy blinks his eyes and is startled by the realization that he has
been silently surrounded by five other people. 

"See, I told you that this creep was petting a puppy like that!" one of
them says to the others. 

A numb terror grips the boy as the menacing figures glare down at him. 
He knows that certain people in this particular time and place enforce 
a law that is based upon the pretense that it is an act of literal 
abuse for anyone of his age to pet any puppy who is less than eighteen 
months old in the manner that he pets this puppy.  And he knows how 
these people treat anyone who gets caught breaking this law. 

"Let's show this jerk what we do with garbage like him!" the speaker

Deep in the heart of this speaker, and many, many others, lurks a secret
longing to tickle the puppy just as that boy does.  These hearts are 
tormented by a savage and primal ache to know the simple and exquisite 
joy of her playful, honest, supremely sweet puppy affections, and crave 

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