A man and his dog By

My sister and I begged my dad for years to get a puppy. I could never understand why his answer was always NO! He had grown up with dogs his whole life. Like most fathers though, he eventually cracked under the pressure of his daughters. We got Cassie when she was 12 weeks old. She was a tiny little ball of fluff with loads of energy. Eventually the novelty of having a puppy wore off and Cassie became my dad’s best friend. She sat beside him while he had a beer after work. At 5 o’clock every night he feed her. Together they fell asleep on the couch after dinner. A few years ago on Christmas Eve Cassie went missing. Dad was crippled on the couch with a few broken ribs from falling off a ladder. As soon as he found out Cassie was missing he jumped up out of his chair in his boxer shorts and hobbled to the backyard. It was a cold night but it didn't bother him “Cassie…Cassie…Cass” he tried his best to project his voice, coughing between each phrase. “You’re going to get pneumonia” my mum yelled. In the morning we found her. Our neighours found her wandering around outside.

A few months ago I was travelling overseas. Whilst skyping with my parents I asked to see Cassie. A tear rolled down dads check. I knew then that she was no longer with us. My sister and I printed some photos of her; they sit amongst the family portraits just above the couch where they use to sleep. I understand now why it took so long for dad to agree to a puppy.

in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


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