Poppie, Cocoa and ShuShu

by Deborah Nowosielecki
(Elmwood Park, New Jersey 07407, USA)

Poppie was a lonely old man. His friends told him "Poppie it's time to stop grieving for Emma".

But Poppie was lost without her. They were married for over 50 years and had no children. Poppie was sad and missed Emma very much. Poppie's friends said "You need to have a companion to look after and take care of."

Poppie did not want anyone else in his home. His friends said "Poppie why don't you adopt a dog? The animal shelter has so many that need a good home and a dog would be good for you."

One afternoon as Poppie sat in his kitchen chair, he decided that it was time to make a change. He went down to the animal shelter to look for a dog. The lady at the animal shelter showed Poppie many dogs that were ready for adoption but he just couldn't make up his mind until he saw a small brown, curly haired dog. It was sitting quietly in the corner by itself. Poppie thought to himself "Now that's the kind of dog I need, quiet and calm."

So Poppie went over to the dog but as he bent down to pick the dog up a black curly haired dog came over and jumped between Poppie and the other dog. Poppie yelled "Shu! Shu!, get away from me!" But the white haired dog just would not stop. It seemed to be protecting the other dog. Poppie thought "Umph, I guess they must be very close friends! So I will have to take them both!" So Poppie adopted both dogs and brought them home.

Poppie named the curly brown haired dog Cocoa and the curly white haired dog Shu Shu. Poppie bought them a dish for food and one for water. He also bought them a large basket to sleep in. Every day Poppie would take Cocoa and Shu Shu for a walk in the park. Poppie was happy once again, he had companions to take care of and in turn they made him very happy and content.

One day while walking in the park, Poppie threw a stick and each puppy took a turn fetching it. When Poppie threw the stick again, it landed in the wooded area next to the walking path. This time Shu Shu ran after the stick but instead of fetching it, he kept running further into the woods. Poppie and Cocoa followed him deep into the woods until they came to a small house. Poppie did not see Shu Shu anywhere! "Well he must have gone into this house". So Poppie knocked on the door. A lady came to the door and behind her was Shu Shu. Poppie introduced himself and apologized for his dog coming into her home. The lady introduced herself as Mrs. Applebloom and asked Poppie to come in for some tea.

Poppie accepted her invitation and they sat down at the kitchen table. Mrs. Applebloom was also a widow and very lonely. Poppie and Mrs. Applebloom became good friends. She was very kind to the dogs and enjoyed talking to Poppie. Everyday after this first meeting, Poppie would meet Mrs. Applebloom in the park and together they walked Cocoa and Shu Shu. Poppie was no longer a lonely old man. Poppie had two companions and a new friend to talk to and Poppie somehow felt that Emma was happy for him too.

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Sep 01, 2010
A Different POV?
by: Anonymous

The story is nice and sweet, but seems to skim over what could be a lot of emotion. I wonder if the story could be told from the dog's point of view?

Aug 30, 2010
A dog-gone hppy ending.
by: don nelson

Hi Deborah,
This is such a nice gentle story. Well done. I wish we could hear Mrs. Applebloom talk to Poppie.Isn’t it great how our pets sometimes bring people together. Yours is such a simple but universal theme.
FYI: Short stories are among the hardest things to write well. Each word must propel the story forward. Concise writing is also a critical element.
Happy writing,

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