Scrappy - My parents bought scrappy for me when I was in the fifth grade. He was a small puppy, and I never knew what breed. My guess now would be a terrier mixed breed of some type. He had curly black and grey hair, and was incredibly small. He was my Christmas present, and he was all I'd wanted. This dog was very cute and friendly, but he hated being kept outdoors. This was a problem, because he wasn't house-broken. He hated that back yard so much, in fact, that he would escape fairly often. We were mystified as to how he was doing it until one day I caught him in the act. He would go up to the porch stairs, jump from them onto the railing that was part of the fence. To one side of this inch-wide railing was a twelve foot drop onto a cement floor, but he'd tightrope walk along it until he could jump to the other side of the fence. It was pretty amazing, but it was only the first of many daring dog escape attempts I would witness with Knight later on.

Around the time he reached one year old, Scrappy became sick one sunday morning as I was getting ready for church. He was vomitting on the floor. I hurried home as soon as I could to keep him company, he was shaky and wobbling. We took him to the veterinarian the next day, where we found out he was very sick with a disease we hadn't gotten him his shots for. We got a bunch of antibiotics and my father and I stayed up that night with Scrappy, giving him his medicine every two hours. He was so small, shaking... I kept petting him and praying he'd be ok. My father, seeing how upset I was, started up some computer games with me. This got me distracted, and an hour later he went to go check on Scrappy. Scrappy had died.

The little bugger... we found dog poop hidden behind bookcases and shelves for months afterwards.

Knight - About a year after Scrappy died, my parents decided it was time for a new dog. This time, instead of buying one, we went to the animal shelter. My mother took me... It was a little terrifying. All of those dogs, barking, jumping at the door, begging for human contact. It really hit me hard, realizing how lonely they must be, and that any not claimed would eventually be put down. I think this was an event that influenced my later views on our criminal system. One of the dogs was a beagle that just seemed desperate to play with me. This dog was so full of energy... I took him home, I named him Knight. I was a geek child living in my own lonely worlds of fantasy, explaining the name. Knight was a fun dog, he was already two years old so we spent a lot of time getting to know each other. Knight was a master escape artist. It was always my job to find out how he'd gotten out. I found holes dug under the fence, fence boards pried lose, and he exploited the same fence trick Scrappy had. He was just plain devious. I remember my father had left a ladder on the side of the house in the backyard, from fixing the TV antenna. Well, I figured Knight was really smart, so I tried getting him to climb the ladder by putting dog biscuits on the first rung, then the second, and so on as he got the previous ones. He got up to being able to bite the biscuit off of the fourth rung by jumping/pulling himself up by the third rung. He wasn't really climbing, though, his hind legs never got on a rung, so I gave up and had to go inside around then. About three hours later one of the neighborhood kids knocked on our front door. "Uhhh, did you know there's a dog on your roof?"

In seventh grade, I got sick. I got very sick. My parents never took me seriously when I said I was sick, they always figured I was trying to get out of school. I was coughing a lot. My teachers started asking me to sit outside of the classroom during class so as to not interrupt their classes. After a month of this, I told my parents and they immediately took me to the doctor. I had Pneumonia. Knight was my only company for the next two months as I stayed in bed all day. Knight grew older with me, and died while I was away at University.

The next dog that owns me will probably be my future son's dog, in four or five years.

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