Service Dog

From a collection of 100-word stories & wonders

A boy recovering from his own brush with death knows puppy love is the best medicine for his new friend in intensive care. Photo by Steve Finegan.

Charlie looked forward to his daily visits to Olivia’s room. Last Friday, he’d wheeled down to the gift shop to buy a stuffed black’n tan dachshund toy to place beside her head while she slept. Her mother’d told him their little wiener dog, Zeppo, a wiggly ear licker, had been Olivia’s constant companion before… Anyway, Charlie’d never actually spoken with Olivia. She’d yet to wake up. That hadn’t stopped him from sitting beside her, as he was now—monitor beeping, ventilator tube hanging from her mouth like a clear fat licorice rope—puppeteering Zeppo II so he nuzzled her ear.

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