My flash fiction story:
Lani, as a shy 12 year old girl whose mother had just passed, came into the shelter looking for a friend. She found one in Coco, the sweet yet feisty puppy that she saw rolling around in the back of the cage, apart from her siblings. Instantly Lani knew that this pup was a lone wolf as well, and she connected with the little dog.
“I want that one,” Lani proclaimed triumphantly, pointing in the direction of the small black and white dog. Coco practically jumped into her arms. Yep, this one's a keeper! Lani reflected.
When she was told that they would be moving 3 years later, Lani was beyond upset. She cried for hours in her room until Coco came in and just laid beside her like a giant stuffed bear to hug. Lani gripped the dog tightly, and Coco licked her hands. At least my only friend is coming with me, she thought.
Then, at 18, Lani experienced her first heartbreak. Lani was to the point where she had stopped going outside and eating. It was only when Coco tugged at Lani’s pants, grabbed the leash, and shoved her out the door did Lani leave the house. And it was then that Lani stopped feeling so bad.
Lani went to college another year later, and Coco came with her to the campus. Her beloved companion helped keep her awake during studying time by nipping at her heels. Because of that, Lani never passed out or failed a class.
The two moved into their first real house together in the fall. It was a fixer upper for sure, but there was a distinct charm that it radiated unlike any other on the block. Lani would move the boxes and work on fixing up the old home well into the wee hours, but wherever she went, Coco would follow, determined to stay up with her best friend.
Finally, Lani got married at age 23, over ten years after she had first gotten Coco. Since then, they both had grown up. Lani now had a serious job, a child on the way, and a wedding ring. She had moved up and on. Coco had, too. But she had served her purpose. She had given the upset, sad, lonely girl something else to look forward to and to live for. And now she wasn’t needed.
Coco was completely ready to move on by spring. She had lived her life, and it was time to pass. However, she was alright with it, inside of her furry heart. For even death couldn’t break the bond of a dog and her girl.
Tears were shed like Coco’s thick fur upon her passing. Lani was besides herself, distressed that her best friend and protector for all these years was gone. She didn’t know how she would live anymore; she owed Coco a lot.A year later, Lani went to the pet shop. She saw a black and white puppy in the window, and she smiled.