Splash knew he was an ugly puppy, no doubt about it. In fact, he was so ugly he was taken to an animal shelter as soon as he was weaned from his mother. His five brothers and sisters were all given away to people who eagerly wanted them.
Splash missed his mother. She was a Collie, and had long, beautiful, silky hair. All of her puppies looked like her, except for poor Splash. His father was unknown and his mother wasn't telling, but Splash reckoned he must have been an ugly dog.
Splash had dull, gray, short hair with white splotches on his feet and a big spot on his back that looked as if someone had splashed white paint on him. He was funny looking, with long legs and a body much too small for his frame.
He slept in a cage at the shelter next to an older dog named Maggie. Maggie was a gorgeous Golden Retriever. She told him her former owner had died, and she had no where else to go. When he would cry himself to sleep at night, Maggie would murmur sweetly to him. “Don't worry, little one, everything will be all right. You're a puppy! Someone will adopt you soon, and you will have a good home.”
“I'm too ugly. I heard that man say it yesterday, when he came in with his little girl.”
“You're not ugly, Splash. You're just young yet. You still have a lot of growing to do.”
“I'll never grow up in here. They'll put me to sleep like they did poor Rusty.” Rusty was a mongrel with no personality whatsoever, and no one wanted him either.
Weeks went by, and people came in and took other dogs home. They would all take one look at Splash and move on to the next cage. When Maggie got adopted by a sweet elderly woman for protection and companionship, Splash's heart was broken.
When Splash had all but given up hope, a miracle happened. A few days after Maggie left, a seven year old boy and his dad came in. The little boy looked at Splash and broke out into a big smile. “That's the one I want, Dad!”
Splash was beside himself with joy, until he heard what the dad had to say. “That one? Why, Charlie, that dog is ugly! Look at these pretty ones. There's a beautiful German Shepherd puppy! What about this Dalmatian over here?
“I want this one.”
“I think he's beautiful, and besides, he needs me. His eyes are begging me to take him home. He just needs me, Dad.”
“Okay, son, if that's the one you want. We'll take him.”
Splash was so happy to hear those words he literally jumped into Charlie's arms as soon as they let him out of his cage. He stayed there until Charlie gently put him down at his new home that came with a huge backyard for him to run and play in.
As he grew older, Splash began to notice some wonderful changes in himself and the way others looked at him. He could feel himself becoming tall and sleek. His body filled out, his dull gray hair turned stunningly silver, and the white splotches his feet turned into four perfect socks. Most amazingly of all, the splash of white on his back turned into a beautiful star.
Splash loved his family with all his heart, and when Charlie's dad began calling him Star Splash, he beamed with pride. He had arrived!
He became the envy of all the other male dogs in the neighborhood, and more than one female dog winked at him when he was taken out for his walks.
Star Splash knew he was a handsome dog. One day, while strutting around the block on his leash, a thought came to him. Maybe old Dad wasn't so ugly after all!
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