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Parting with a Friend

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I am a vet. I was called out to see to a sick dog. I came to the old house where an old man lived with his old dog.

The old man, Mr Dean, was glad when I came. He told me his wife had died more than a year ago. Now the dog, Bob, was his only friend. His wife had loved the dog.  

The dog was fourteen years old. It had been a good dog, but now he was sick. He hadn’t eaten anything, but his belly was big. I checked him, and it was cancer.

The old man thought I could make the dog well again, but I couldn’t. I could see that the old man and the dog loved each other. It was very hard for me to say that Bob would never be well again. Mr Dean understood that it was better if I put Bob to sleep. If I didn’t do it, he would be in a lot of pain.

Mr Dean petted the dog, and the dog showed how much he loved Mr Dean. Then Mr Dean asked me to put the dog to sleep. I gave the dog an injection, and saw how he relaxed and finally died.

“I couldn’t let him suffer,” Mr Dean said. “How much do I owe you?” “You don’t owe me anything,” I said. “I was just passing by.”

When I left I thought of the old man and his dead dog.