Mark was not always the kindest person. He wasn’t a bad person, he just never really went out of his way to do good either. Nobody ever complained, though he often let them down, so he never really saw the need to go beyond basic politeness and work ethic.
But for some reason, when he saw a teenager bullying a puppy, that day he had to step in. He wasn’t sure why. He preferred to avoid conflict and had seen greater acts of injustice he’d just ignored or pretended not to see.
But hearing the puppy’s pained cries made him feel deeply sad and he approached the teenager. He wasn’t about to fight anyone over a puppy, so he “bought” it for the ten dollars he had with him.
The teenager ran off with the money, leaving the whimpering puppy behind. Mark leaned over it and saw it was unwell. It was probably a stray. It was missing most of its hair and its skin was swollen and calloused. He felt sorry for it.
He put his hand to its side and even though it was in pain, it turned to lick him. He scooped it into his arms and took it to the vet.
They said it had mange, was underweight and had a few broken bones. Mark explained the situation and agreed to pay for its treatment. He returned home and looked up the number of the nearest animal rescue center. But he couldn’t bring himself to call them. Instead, he decided he would keep the puppy. Mark wants his own dog rescue story.
She’s Not A Sad Dog Anymore
He named her Coco and as the swelling went down and she gained some weight she revealed herself to be a spaniel mix of some kind. Despite how neglected and abused she had been, despite how much she had suffered, she was always happy, eager to meet people and affectionate.
He returned to the vet day after day and watched the puppy heal and grow strong. Soon she was healthy enough for him to take home. Coco adjusted very quickly to her new life of eating at his feet in the kitchen and sleeping on the sofa at night. She loved her walks in the park and meeting everyone, especially children.
One day, as Mark was walking through the park with Coco faithfully by his side, a mother holding her son’s hand walked up to him. For some reason she had been standing away from the other parents and children and Mark soon saw why. Her child had some sort of a birth defect, the kind that adults willingly overlooked, but other children were afraid of.
Though it seemed that her son’s odd face and slow, clumsy movements must have upset some adults in the past too, as the mother looked a little hesitant to approach Mark. She apologized profusely for bothering him, but explained her son loved dogs very much and especially pretty dogs like Coco and that he wanted to just pet her hair.
Humans might look at the boy and see a defect, but Coco just saw another happy child she had to become friends with. She licked his hands and let him pet her fur and was patient when he pulled it and picked her up under her belly. She loved every minute of the attention.
After a moment cuddling her, the boy became solemn and put Coco down. He frowned and stated he would never be as pretty as Coco was. Mark was touched. He put a hand on the boy’s shoulder and explained how he had found Coco, how she was abused and ill and everyone thought she was ugly.
But how a little love made her beautiful. And that because his mother loved him and Coco loved him, the boy was beautiful as well.
The mother was crying a little as she left. She handed Mark a card, asking him to please drop by, telling him he was needed. The card was for a school for the differently abled.
Mark thought about it a while. Chances were he would never meet that woman again. It wouldn’t matter if he didn’t go there. But when he looked at Coco, seeing all she had become, it inspired him. He was going to give it a shot.
The school was open and inviting to him and Coco. The children were so happy to meet the dog and hear her story. Some of them cried when he explained how poorly she was and how much help she needed to get better.
Mark also left a message on how important to help rescue dogs and puppies. At the end of the talks, the kids would always hug Coco and tell her how much they wanted to be like her.