Johnny was a 7th-grade student who schooled near his home in beautiful Colorado who lived with his older sister who was in junior high, his dad and step- mum who was a registered nurse (RN). His dad worked as a retails salesperson and just like his son always seemed to have everything handled as you could tell with his smile which he always wore regardless the situation. There was also the family golden retriever named Haley who for some reason seemed to be Jonny’s dog more than anyone else in the family. Even Johnny himself failed to pin a particular reason for Haley’s fondness to him since he was not unusually friendly to her, even his dad showed more love to the dog than Johnny, yet the dog always preferred Johnny’s company above everyone else.
Johnny always looked at Haley and couldn’t help but be a little jealous of her. She cared for little in this world because she did not have a family to make her worry much. To Jonny, a family was beautiful, but it just became complicated for him. Johnny’s mum left when he was in fourth grade, and he has never seen her since. She calls sometimes, but that does little to satisfy Johnny who had grown accustomed to being her favorite in the household. Johnny just remembers her mother coming home one Saturday evening tears in her eyes, hurriedly packed a few items in a backpack and kissed them goodbye. She came up to Johnny, knelt down, hugged him and told him “I will be gone for a while baby, remember mummy loves you” then she went forth to her sister’s room. Afterwards, Johnny heard Jean, her sister sobbing uncontrollably followed by screeching sounds of his mother’s car. Johnny was confused and did not know what to do, he just went out and took a long walk in the nearby pathway that ran through the forest. He didn’t know where the path led, but he just walked on by without knowing why. It’s the path his mother jogged on every morning. That day he walked until he forgot he was walking alone and it was getting dark and what stopped him in his tracks was Haley jumping in his way as if saying “enough.” Strangely, Johnny had not realized that his Haley had followed him but felt a little safer with her around.
Ever since that fateful Saturday, Johnny had made it a habit taking a walk in the evening after school along the very path that her mother used to do her morning jog. One Friday evening after school, Johnny decided to go on his walk alone without Haley for some strange reason. He did not get home first so Haley would not follow him on his therapeutic walk. He went straight for the walk with his schoolbag on his bag. He just walked on thinking of how his sister cried out her concerns the day their mother left, “lucky her” he said out loud. He continued walking for a while then thought to himself… ‘Dad and Jean live like Haley, no worries, almost as if nothing happened.’ Johnny was lost in thought while walking head down kicking anything small in his way. For a moment, he lifted his head and alas! A coyote is staring right into his eyes about 30 feet away. His body felt weak and strong at the same time while his lips murmured “retreat backward slowly” just as was taught. He knew he was afraid that he just took a step back…”one…two…thr…” the coyote flaunted its canines and Johnny couldn’t take it anymore.
He turned and ran as fast as he could. The coyote yelped and naturally chased after him. Johnny could hear the growling making him even more afraid and quicken his retreat. For a moment Johnny thought he was getting away then he tripped but did not fall all the way to the ground. He supported himself with his hands, and just as he was about to stand upright, he felt a weight on his back making him fall. The coyote was on his back fiercely tearing away his school bag. Johnny thought it was over for him now then the coyote paused for a moment, and when Johnny looked ahead, there was Haley charging at full speed making some terrifying sounds Johnny has never heard. The coyote did not wait for any further cues but jumped off Johnny’s bag and charged in the opposite direction. Haley chased the coyote for a while before returning to Johnny who was still lying prone on the ground. Haley came up to where he could see her so he could know it is alright now. Johnny got up and wondered what devil made leave this life-saving dog behind.