By Jo Ann J. Lovelace

Today was Jami and my fiftieth anniversary. I got her this little cute German shepherd puppy. When I brought this cuddling little animal in with a red bow tied around its neck, I was reminiscing our high school days. I remember like it was yesterday, the day that I charged up the hallway at school like a football player running for a touchdown. I darted from side to side trying not to run into any of the crowd going to classes. I caught up with Jami in front of the library.
"How are things going?" I asked. "I need you to do me a favor."
"What is it Patrick?" Jami said. "Every time I do a favor for you it usually means trouble."
"Really it's not any trouble at all," I said. "I just need someone to feed my dog this weekend."
"Why can't you feed the mutt yourself?" Jami muttered. "He probably bites anyway."
"Honest Laramie is no problem at all," I said convincingly. "I'm playing ball with the team this weekend. As you know it's an out of town game. Mom and Dad are going to the game so I don't have anyone to feed Laramie. He's not a large dog he's just a little guy."
"I know what kind of dog he is," Jami snapped. After all I've seen your dog on several occasions. Are you sure he doesn't bite?"
"Cross my heart," I said. "He so good you wont even know he's around."
"All right," Jami glared. "If he bites me I'm going to sue you."
I was up bright and early Saturday morning. I fastened the leash to Laramie's collar then remembered I needed to take his dog food. I held the leash in one hand and rummaged through the cabinet with the other hand trying to find the crunches and bits or something like that.
I led Laramie over to Jami's house. She only lived two blocks away. The walk would be good for old Laramie. He was getting fat.
I pushed the doorbell button with my thumb. I held on to Laramie's leash with a tight grip. I probably looked ridiculous holding the dog food bag with my teeth while Laramie wrapped his leash around my legs.
Jami came to the door leering at me. I don't know why she acted so suspicious. The last time she did me a favor all that happen was my guppy ate her babies. Jami didn't like fish but she agreed to feed them for me. She complained for months how gross it was seeing a fish gobble up her own children.
"Here's Laramie and his food," I said cramming the leash into Jami's hand. "He wont be any trouble at all. I'll pick him up Sunday evening."
The guys and I did fantastic at the game. David hit a homer and I didn't do that bad myself. I struck out three guys on the opposite team. Man we really creamed them forty-zilch.
Sunday evening I strolled over to get Laramie. I rang the bell and Jami practically threw Laramie at me.
"Not any trouble at all," Jami yelled. "That dog not only chewed up my father's house shoes he bit Spunky on the tail."
"Who's Spunky?" I asked, acting as if I didn't know. "I'm sure Laramie had a good reason."
"You know Spunky's my Persian cat," Jami glared. Spunky was asleep in her bed. What reason could he have for biting her tail?"
"Maybe he thought her tail was a snake," I said. "He was probably trying to protect you."
"Trying to protect me," Jami screeched. "Take your dog home and don't ask me to do anymore favors for you."
"Come on Laramie," I said, pulling on his leash. "Did you have to bite Spunky's tail? She might not been quite as angry if all you did was chew up her father's house shoes."
Jami was waiting in front of the school Monday morning. I wondered if she was going to hit me with her books or just belt me one. She didn't do either.
"I need you to do me a little favor Patrick," Jami said in a super polite voice. "It really wont be any trouble."
"Yeah sure," I answered. After all she did feed my dog for me.
"Mom and Dad got me a puppy for my birthday," she said. "We're going to see Aunt Carol after school tomorrow evening. They're picking me up at school. Could you run over to the house and feed my puppy? He's in the backyard."
"No problem," I grinned. "I'll feed him soon as I get home from school."
"Thanks," Jami said. "I really appreciate it Patrick."
I should have suspected something but I didn't. Jami was being too nice especially after being so angry because Laramie had bit her cat's tail.
After school I dropped my books off at the house. I sauntered over to Jami's to feed her pup. I went to the backyard and I discovered right away there wasn't a pup in the dog pen.
A huge German shepherd jumped upon the gate. He was snarling and showing his shiny white fangs. He growled and tried digging under the fence. He barked and raced around the pen. He tried his best to find a way to get out to chew my leg off.
I grabbed the dog food from the back porch then threw bag and all into the pen with Dracula. He'll probably eat the bag too, I thought but he didn't. He just tore it to shreds.
"Talk about payback," I laughed. "Jami," I said, as I handed her the puppy. "This is just a reminder of our teenage years, and you were and always will be more than awesome."

Copyright © 1998  Jo Ann Lovelace. All Rights Reserved.