Sandy walked in to her house to hear the sounds of barking and her daughter laughing. Sandra set her purse down and moved cautiously towards the back yard. Her daughter, Hannah was playing with what looked like a flea bitten, slightly emaciated pitbull that she had never seen before.
“Hannah. What do you think you’re doing?”
“Oh hi mom! We have a new dog.”
“Excuse me? We do not have a dog.”
“Yes we do. Her name is Stella.”
She motioned for her daughter to come to her. Never taking her eyes off the dog. “Where did you get her sweetheart?”
She shrugged. “Some guy. He clearly didn’t want her. So I took her off his hands.”
“And does he know this?”
The girl thought for a moment. “He probably does now. I left a note.”
Sandy tried to keep calm. “Young lady, what have I told you about strange dogs and stealing!?”
The child reached out for the dog that had come up to nuzzle her. “That I shouldn’t steal and that I shouldn’t play with dogs I don’t know.”
“You have to return her.”
“NO!” Hannah screamed and threw herself over the dog. “You can’t. You can’t take her away from me. She’s mine now. The man didn’t want her and if you give her back her life is going to be horrible forever and ever.” Hannah started crying. “You told me that I need to accept hand me downs and Stella’s a hand me down. You can’t make me give her back! You can’t.”
Sandy considered her daughter and this mutt that she was seemingly inseparable from. They both looked terrified to be taken away from each other. The battle was already lost. “Alright.” She sighed
“But you are grounded for a month, for stealing. And you have to take care of this dog, every day. She’s your responsibility.”
Her daughter jumped for joy and the dog danced around in a circle.
“But the moment you don’t take care of that dog, she’s going to the pound. Do you hear me?”
Her daughter nodded.
“Good. Now start by giving her a bath. She’s not allowed in this house until every single flea is off of her.
Sandy turned and walked into the house. Her husband was standing in the kitchen leaning against the fridge. “You are such a push over.” He laughed.
Sandy jumped “Jim. I didn’t know you had come home.”
“Yeah, saw the whole thing. Well, I guess we have a new dog.” He shook his head. “I know where she got the dog from. How she got it I don’t know, though I don’t particularly want to know. Either way, the poor dog is better off here.”
“Your daughter is a thief.”
“As long as she doesn’t run off with Animal Liberation Front, I believe we have succeeded as parents.” He kissed his wife and went outside to help his daughter bathe their new dog.