I wrote a short story a while ago. “Chipper” was my little mental foray into the future, a dream about where I might end up should my stories someday strike the right chord with my readers.

I’d bought a magical home on the northern California coast with my wife. We frequented animal shelters, waiting for the day when the right dog would fall into our laps. Sure enough, a few months after moving, I received a call telling me to drop everything and rush to the shelter.

“We’re getting this dog.” Those were my wife’s words as I turned the corner by one particular row of enclosures. There, smashed up against the bars, licking her hands, was a Australian shepherd puppy.

“You bet your ass we are,” I said.

The rest of the story is for your enjoyment, but I caution you, this is a tale of triumph and tragedy. Chipper turned out to be the kind of companion everyone cherishes; loyal, loving, obedient, and very playful. Perhaps someday I’ll post it for you on one of my websites.

Definitely not the best fantasy fiction by any means, or the greatest adventure book, but a beautiful, heart-wrenching story about unconditional love, loss, and rebirth.