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By Margaret BrennanPublished 3 months ago 5 min read



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Tommy paused to catch the sob working its way to the back of his throat. “He couldn’t move. He just lay there, breathin’ funny and whinin’. He couldn’t move. He just lay there. He ..” Tommy stopped, looked down at his beloved dog and biting his bottom lip, couldn’t continue.

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Gasping for a deep breath, Tommy asked in as much of a controlled voice as he could find, “Is he gonna be okay? He’s gotta be okay.”

Dr. Morgan, ignored Tommy’s question but said, “Tommy, you didn’t tell me how badly you were hurt.”

Never allowing his eyes to leave sight of Max, all Tommy managed to say was, “Huh?”

“Tom,” Dr. Morgan said soothingly, “while Dr. Sutherland tends to Max, come here and let me examine you. Tell me where you were hit.”

Tommy kept looking at Max, but said almost abstractedly, “My side and my leg. But I’m okay. Max is the one who’s hurt real bad. I wrapped him up tight in my jacket and carried him home.”

Tommy called across the room, “Dr. Sutherland? Is he gonna make it? Is he? Please say ya can fix him.”

Dr. Frank Sutherland looked every bit like a young boy just out to enjoy life. As many times as he combed his sandy hair, it always managed to fall in soft sweeps just above his eyes. His bright blue eyes appeared like relaxing pools of water. Although his wife always encouraged him to dress in suits, “to look more professional”, she’d say, he preferred the more comfortable dress slacks and a collared knit shirt. Not quite as tall as Dr. Morgan, he seemed taller because of his leaner stature.

Tonight, his eyes were solemn. He knew Max’s condition was serious. He also knew Max had a better chance of recovering if given proper care. He wondered if Tommy was really well enough to do the job.

“Your dog is very brave,” Dr. Sutherland said as he carefully smoothed the hair on Max’s head to gain the trust of the injured animal. “There aren’t many dogs like him who would risk their own lives to get their masters out of the way of danger.”

He looked up at Tommy, “I’m going to be honest with you, Tom. From what I see, and this is just a quick observation so far, Max definitely has a broken leg and appears to have a few broken ribs, in addition to the many cuts and scrapes I can see. You go with Dr. Morgan, and I’ll examine Max further.”

To some people, it was obvious that Tommy felt more upset about his pet than himself. To Doctors Sutherland and Morgan, they knew Tommy’s symptoms indicated physical shock. They knew that as he calmed down and the shock began to wear off, the pain would engulf his young body. Dr. Morgan also knew that if he didn’t treat Tommy immediately, his condition might worsen and force Tommy to be hospitalized.

Briefly glancing at Dr. Morgan then at Tommy, Dr. Sutherland began, “First of all, Tom. Take whatever deep breath you can and try to relax. We’re here to help. Secondly, take Dr. Morgan into your room, let him examine and clean your wounds. We’ll need to know your condition before we make any major decisions about the care of Max. You won’t be any good to him if you’re too hurt to move.”

As Dr. Morgan encouraged Tommy to walk towards his bedroom, Dr. Sutherland made himself busy examining Max from head to tail.

Just as Tommy and Dr. Morgan reached his doorway, Dr. Sutherland called out, “Oh, and Tommy? I know men are supposed to be strong and tough, but don’t be too proud or stubborn to admit when and where you’re hurt. You may not know this, but you could hide some very serious problems by not admitting when you’re in pain. Take advise from Max. He’s in pain and letting us know by whining.”

Dr. Morgan called out, “Jimmy? I’m going to need two towels, as well as a deep bowl of warm water.”

After Dr. Morgan finished his examination, they left the bedroom Tommy with many bandages wrapped around his wounds, some of which still slightly bled.

As they approached Dr. Sutherland, the veterinarian looked up for second and said, “While you were with Dr. Morgan, I wrote a list of things Max will need you to do.” Handing Tommy the paper from his medical pad, he continued, “You won’t be able to take him out for about two months. I’m going to put a temporary splint on his leg and gently bind his ribs. I don’t have any of the necessary equipment with me here to do a better job. He’ll need a lot of nursing tonight. Do you think you can handle it?”

Tommy, despite his pain, did his best to stand tall, “All ya gotta do is just tell me what ta do and I’ll do it. No matter what! I’ll do it. Just show me how. That’s all.” He was determined to care for Max even if it meant sitting up all night in pain.

“Tomorrow,” Dr. Sutherland continued, "I’ll stop by with the proper things I’ll need to make Max more comfortable. And, by the way, you did really well. If you had carried Max without tightly wrapping him in your jacket, with his coat being so wet and slick, might have caused him to slipped just enough to have his broken ribs puncture his heart. You’re a smart young man. You saved your dog’s life.”

Tommy lowered his eyes feeling awkwardly shy. “I don’t know nothin’ about that. I wrapped him tight to show him I cared and so I wouldn’t bounce him around and drop him.”

“In any event, your quick thinking saved Max’s life.”

Mary Ellen now sat beside Max, gently stroking his head. With tears in her eyes and a lump in her throat, she whispered, “There, there, Max. You’ll be all right. We’ll take good care of you.”

Then leaning over, Mary Ellen kissed Max on the tip of his nose and in a voice only the brave but injured dog heard said, “Thank you for saving my friend.

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Thank you for reading Now Will Ya Leave Me Alone? I’m working on another segment. Please stay tuned to see what else might happen to Tommy and Mary Ellen.

Short Story

About the Creator

Margaret Brennan

I am a 76 year old grandmother who loves to write, fish, and grab my camera to capture the beautiful scenery I see around me.

My husband and I found our paradise in Punta Gorda Florida where the weather always keeps us guessing.

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Comments (2)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran3 months ago

    I really really wish for Max to heal fast. It's just so sad

  • Babs Iverson3 months ago

    Loved it!!!💕❤️❤️

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