The next week Jay took Little Gimpy Paw back
to the same animal hospital for a second opinion from a vet
who was on salary. She said, "He should be fine except
for a limp." This vet snuggled with the pup, and he sneezed
on her. Jay smiled and thought, no good deed goes unpunished.
Jay had just got in his truck to drive home
when one of the hospital's technicians was standing at his
window. She was a big country girl and said, "I'd love
to have Little Gimpy Paw. If you give him to me I'll raise
him very carefully and he'll be my best friend. I could never
afford to buy a golden like him."
"Uh . . ." And Jay realized he had to make a quick
decision. "Who are you?"
"Nicki Tyler. I love dogs." And Jay
could see the longing, the desire in her eyes." Little
Gimpy Paw was in Jay's lap and he held the pup up for Nicki
to rub his head.
"Forty dollars, and he's yours. Nicki,
I can't give him to you for free because people don't value
what they don't pay for."
Nicki looked glum for a second. "I'll
try and get the money. Can I call you next week?"
"Please do," Jay said. Nicki Tyler
bought Little Gimpy Paw and, after a year, corresponded with
Jay and Robin, including pictures. Gimpy Paw was the star
of his obedience and field trial classes. He'd even appeared
on several local television programs.
"Little Gimpy Paw did just fine with you,"
"No." Nicki Tyler vehemently shook
her head back and forth. "Now, his name is Achilles,
and while he'll never be a show dog, Achilles is as fine a
champion as any golden that ever pranced around a show ring."