Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: DOG (08/09/18)
By Hannah Gaudette
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
The door knob glares at me, daring me to grab it, twist it, and face the world. I imagine the world - enormous, full of strangers, unsafe. But I must go out. I have allowed my grocery to list accumulate additional items long enough.
I croak one word. “Cover.”
A warm body moves in front of me and presses against my legs. Trinity looks up at her master with a sympathetic glance. I don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve her. She sticks by me. She is patient with me. She knows my every fear but they don’t stop her from being my bridge to the outside world.
I open the door, and she leads me to the car.
Thank God the store is not even five minutes from our home. I hold Trinity’s harness and glance furtively around the parking lot. But I seem to have picked a good time of day. There are few people here. Inside, I have a virtually clear path to each item on my list. Except the cake. I have to get the cake for my niece’s party. I promised. But I’ll have my back turned to half a dozen people when I browse the selection.
A cool nose nudges my hand. My heart calms at once and I manage to smile at Trinity. I give her the command to “block,” and she moves behind me, creating a wall. I choose the birthday cake, and turn to Trinity. “Trinity, release.”
We move on.
Since I was approved for a service dog and later matched with this chocolate lab, it has been only a few short months. My sister tells me I’m a more complete person. She says I’ve placed my trust in Trinity and begun to allow her to lead me out of a shell. I don’t want to stay in this shell. I failed college because of it. I failed to make friends because of it. It was my sister who pushed me into finding a service dog. And yet . . . And yet now I cannot imagine being without Trinity.
She leads me through the check-out process, and, having again given her the command to block, I don’t feel quite so trapped by the presence of strangers. The smiling cashier says I have a beautiful dog. Trinity must sense my anxiety - she licks my hand. I return the young lady’s smile.
We move out of the store, through the parking lot. Despite the setting, I can feel the breeze, the sun. It’s a cool September day, made cooler, more refreshing by the rainstorm that swept August and summertime away from us. I think . . . I think I’m looking forward to that birthday party tomorrow. I can’t believe little Abbie is already nine years old.
Trinity settles down in the car, and I watch her sleep. So rested. So peaceful.
We head for home.
FICTION, but inspired by many true stories.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Described in this story is a psychiatric support dog. As do all service dogs, Trinity would have worn a do-not-pet warning on her vest. These are vital warnings. No matter what task the dog is trained to perform, a dog who is given outside attention is a distracted dog. They cannot assist their handler when a stranger is distracting them. Please take heed of these service dog vests for the sake of the people who depend on them.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.