Once upon a time a little girl had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Left out during recess, picked last in gym, uninvited to a pool party. No rhyme, no reason, in the way of mean 4th graders the world over. She came home with red cheeks and watery eyes and a conviction that the world was against her and she would never be returning to school, thank you very much.
Her mother caught her in her arms when she arrived off the bus, sobbing out her worries. Her mother knew, as all mothers do, that there was no quick fix for this kind of hurt. But today was a different kind of day. Today a puppy had wandered down the road and literally walked into their lives. So today the little girl with a world of hurt feelings hanging over her head, was startled into happiness at the sight of the black lab mutt waiting for her inside the door.
He was a stray looking for love and overjoyed at having found it. He signed right up to be that little girl’s constant companion, and from that day forward, he met her off the bus and their adventures would begin. Who cared about pool parties and lonely lunches when you had the best kind of pal waiting to play when you got home?
She named him Adam because she’d just been reading the Precious Moments Bible she’d received at Easter, and she was of the opinion that animals should have people names. She read her books at school and on the bus, and when she came home, she greeted her dog with a new adventure for them to go on. She read The Girl Who Ran Away and she took Adam into the backfields and hid out behind a hill, pretending they’d hopped a train and were on their own forever. She read Alanna and they set off through the woods, on a mission to become knights of Tortall. Together they traveled the Nile (the creek) with Cleopatra, traipsed around Middle Earth (the pond), crawled under logs and climbed up mountains (small hills). Whatever the little girl read, she reenacted later with her faithful companion right by her side, playing whichever role she assigned him. Sometimes she even made him pretend to be the bad guy, and he’d chase her in circles until they both collapsed in a heap of happiness.
Adam grew up and grew old with the little girl. He saw her through elementary and high school, and even through college. And from that very first day, that dog was a cure for the meanest of mean girls, and he was the sidekick that every kid with an imagination dreams of having with them. With a book in her hand and the dog by her side, the little girl found it impossible to be sad. And that lost and lonely puppy got to live a very happily ever after.