Sierra–Chapter 2, Part-1

“Sierra, is that you?”  Mrs. Browne wrestled her body to a standing position, leaning heavily on her walker as she peered around the corner.  “Oh Barnaby, you’re wet.”   She pushed him away as he sprinted up and nuzzled her apron.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Browne.  I was trying to hang onto him and get a towel, but he pulled free.”

“Never mind, Sierra, I have something to ask you.”

Sierra grabbed the leash with one hand and quickly wrapped the towel around Barnaby gently rubbing his fur as she released the leash from his collar…  “There boy, there you go.  What’s on your mind, Mrs. B?”

“Are you really leaving tomorrow?”

“You know I must.  Your daughter will be here by noon.  Will you be okay if I leave early in the morning?”

“Of course, but I have a favor to ask.  Take Barnaby with you.”

“What?”

“Will you take Barnaby with you?  He loves you.   The family that planned to take him just called.  They’ve been transferred out-of-state and they don’t feel like they can take him with them.  And I can’t take him to Park Place Villa.  They don’t allow dogs the size of Barnaby.”

“What about your daughter?”

Mrs. Browne laughed.  “A dog at her house, you’re kidding of course?  White carpet, glass tables and Barnaby, I hardly think so.”  Tired already from just standing, she settled herself back into her chair waiting for Sierra to reply.  Sierra knew that Mrs. Browne  hated giving up Barnaby, but Mrs. Browne knew she was too weak to stay in her house alone. 

“Let me think.”  Sierra grabbed a broom and swept up the sand from the worn wooden floor while she stalled.  A dog, she loved Barnaby.  Could she travel with him?  Could she afford him?  What would happen if she didn’t take him?  Suddenly the last question was the only one that mattered. “What will happen if I don’t take him?”

“The shelter I guess,” Mrs. Browne couldn’t hide her tears.  It was difficult enough to admit she needed help, but to give Barnaby to a shelter was more than she could handle.  “What if no one adopts him? Will they put him to sleep?”

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