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Adventures of Ron Huckleberry...#8 Ron's dog Spot must die
Ron’s dad feels he has a tremendous responsibility to expose Ron to everything he possibly can. He also explains why people do things and why things happen as they do in life. Most of all he and Ron’s granddaddy, who is a Methodist minister, always stresses the importance of honesty and respect of others.
Besides Mom and Dad, Ron has a sister named Sandra…and there is another member of the family named Spot. Spot is a beautiful large hunting dog, the house guard, and the very best friend Ron has. Dad and Spot frequently go hunting, when Dad has a day off.
Mom and Dad both work and Ron and Sandra are very lucky to have a wonderful housekeeper named Emily. One day Emily phones Dad and explains that Spot is acting very strange and she suspects he may have the Mad Dog disease, because he is foaming around the mouth.
Its early Friday afternoon and Dad rushes home. He too is concerned and immediately phones the doctor who quickly comes to the house to check Spot. The doctor too suspects that Spot has the disease, but he tells Dad that he will take a blood sample and personally take it to the lab and try to get a fast lab-test, but that it will not be finished before late Saturday afternoon.
When Ron comes home from school he finds Spot chained in the wood shed and with a wire cup over his mouth. Ron rushes to Emily to find out why Spot is being mistreated. Emily explains that she noticed Spot acting strangely and phoned Ron’s Dad. We both fear that he is extremely sick. The doctor came and he too feels that Spot has an incureable disease, but we won’t know for sure until the lab gives us a report tomorrow.
The disease is so serious it makes dogs go crazy and they will even bite the ones it loves the most. If a prson get bit the person will also get the disease and die.
“Miss Emily”, Ron almost screams, “Is Spot going to die?”
With tears in her eyes she carefully explains that she thinks Spot has the disease and if he does he will suffer tremendously and finally die. “Ron”, Emily sternly explains, “As much as we all love Spot, none of us can get close to him, because he just might bite us. Will you promise (with no fingers crossed) that you will not get any where close to Spot?”
Ron stands there with tears in his eyes too. Emily sits on the floor and holds Ron tightly and tries to comfort him. When Ron stands up, Emily holds his hand and says, “Ron, do you promise?”
“Yes, Miss Emily, I promise, but may I go to the shed window and talk to Spot?”
“Yes, Ron, you’re a big boy and know you will keep your promise”, Emily says, as she rubs his head.
Spot is a big dog and loves to play hard with Ron. He is a hunting dog and has so often hunted with Ron's dad.
Spot loved to go alone into the mountin woods. This was simple, since Ron's house was near the foot of the mountin. This is likely where Spot got this awful infection. He likely
ate some infected meat or something.
Ron is waiting by the garage when Dad and Mom get home. Mom and Dad can see that Ron has been crying and they both hold him and try to comfort him as they explain more about Spot’s condition. Dad suggests that Mom join Emily while he and Ron talk on the porch.
On the porch they both sit on the large swing as Dad explains that if Spot has the disease, which he feels certain Spot does have, we can’t allow him to suffer. “How will you keep him from suffering?” Ron askes.
Dad puts his arm around Ron and explains that he has to be killed. He then explains, “Ron, as much as I love Spot, I have a responsibility to insure that he does not suffer. I’ll have to take him into the forest and shot him..”
Ron and Dad sit quietly for a long time and finally Ron asks, “Dad, may I come with you and Spot?”
“Yes, you can be with Spot as we take him to the forest and you can be with Spot as we bring him home, but you must sit in the car when I shot him. Spot knows you love him…and if you want to bury him in the lot behind the house you can. Would you like to do that?”
With streams of tears and sobs, Ron throws his arms around Dad. “Dad”, why did Spot get sick?”
“Son, we will never know and we must not question God’s plans.” They sit for a long time as Dad answers other questions that Ron asks.
Needless to say Ron stays awake until very late. Saturday drags for the entire family as they wait for the doctor to phone. As expected the lab results confirm the awful disease.
Emily suggests that she stay with Ron all night in case he needs someone to talk with. Sunday morning the family sits quietly at the breakfast table. Dad explains that he and Ron and Spot are going to the forest a eleven.
Dad has covered the car back seat with blankets, because Spot has been sick a few times already. Dad does not want to lock Spot in the trunk. Ron appreciates this. Spot still has the screen cup over his mouth. Before leaving Spot is secured so he can not jump around.
Ron sits in the front, but talks to Spot until they arrive at the forest. Ron wants so much to hug his friend, but knows he must not. Spot recognizes the forest and seems to act as if he is going hunting again with Dad. Dad does not remove the screen cup, but allows Spot to run off into the woods as he always does when hunting. Dad removes the shotgun from the trunk and slowly walks into the woods. Ron hears the shot and buries his head in his hands as he bitterly cries.
Dad returns to the car and places the shotgun in the trunk, takes the blankets from the back seat and returns to the woods. He soon returns carrying Spot wrapped in the blankets. He tenderly places Spot in the trunk and then he and Ron sit solomly as they drive home.
As Dad promised, Spot is given a beautiful funeral. Emily, with quick forsight, has aquired a lovely head stone somewhere. To this day, the head stone, which reads, “Spot, you are a good friend and we all love you” …still stands at Spot’s grave site.
© GENE HUDGENS
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