My Childhood Friend Story
This is a story about my best childhood friend. His nickname was Duke! Duke was the best. He only had three legs (I have no idea how he lost his left front leg), but it did not slow him down at all. Duke is a dog. A mixed breed; part bull dog, shepard, and maybe a bit of husky. His coat was short and light brown all over him. But the best thing about Duke was that he was not my dog.
You see, when I was a child, Duke came to the door one summer's day. He adopted us! He took care of us. But my childhood home was Duke's summer palace. During the Spring, Fall, and Winter seasons, Duke would disappear. We had no idea where Duke would go during (what we dubbed, “the off season”). But, just a few days before the official start of summer (on June 21st), there was Duke. And he expected you to open the door to let him in. And we did.
My parents treated the Duke as if he was a family member. Buying dog food, opening and closing the door for him. It was fun and funny! Some of my friends had dogs. And Duke to them as if they were family too. It was as if all the dogs had been friends since puppy-hood.
I remember one day when a stray dog came into the neighborhood. Several of my friends dogs kept is out of our area. But then Duke showed up. To my surprise, Duke attacked the stray dog immediately. Then, all the other dogs join in with Duke and chased the stray dog out of the neighborhood. The last any of us saw of the stray, it had its tail between its legs, running away as fast as it could. Duke and the other dogs came back to us kids all proud that they had defended their turf.
For the next five years, Duke would (like clock-work) show up at the beginning of summer, then leave at the start of fall. On the six year, I waited for Duke to show up at the beginning of summer as he always did. But this time, no Duke. I never saw Duke after that. But still, that dog will always hold a special place in my heart.
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