Mr. Parker gave us Sadie. She was brown-red with white flecks. Her tail and tongue flapped when she ran. She followed me to school and slept with me every night.
One afternoon, Billy, the biggest kid around, threw a punch at me. Sadie lunged, pressing her teeth on his neck as a deep growl escaped her throat. Billy squirmed loose and took off. I ran home to Mom, bawling, gasping for words of explanation. Sadie was protecting me.
Mom was sitting on my bed, not Sadie, in the morning. “I’m sorry. Dad took her to the pound. She won’t be back.”