My name is Mindy. I'm nine years old and I hate summer! 

Oh, I didn't always hate summer. It started two weeks ago when Mary moved. Mary was my best friend and we had lots of fun together. I miss Mary a lot, but that's not why I hate summer. I still had Dingo, he's my dog. With Dingo around I couldn't hate summer, he made everything so much fun. 

Then yesterday everything changed. It started out like an other Saturday. Dingo and I went to town with Daddy. Dingo rode in the back of the truck, it's his favorite place to ride. We don't know for sure what happened but when we got home Dingo was gone! 

Daddy thought he might have been thrown from the truck. People were working on the road and it was real bumpy. We drove all the way back into town looking, but we couldn't find Dingo. 

“He may come home tonight,” Daddy told me, when tucked me in last night. “If he doesn’t , Mother will call the police,” Daddy gave me a big kiss and hug, “goodnight princess.” 

“Night, Daddy,” I said, and went to sleep hoping Dingo would be waiting for me in the morning. 

When I went to the kitchen this morning I knew Dingo hadn’t come home. Mom was on the phone. “he’s a medium size dog,” she was saying, “black with white spots and no tail,” she smiled a little bit. “That’s right, no tail, just a stub.” 

“When he trys to wag is tail, his whole body wags,” I remembered. 

“His ears?” Mom looked at me for an answer. 

“Well, they don’t stand up very well,” I said, wiping my eyes with the back of my hand, “and the left one bends over real far,” I told her. She repeated the description in to the phone. “And if he’s happy his ears flip backward.” I added. 

“And when he’s happy his ears flip back,” she repeated. “Thank you, officer, good-bye.” 

“Well,” I asked “have they seen him?” 

"No, not yet, dear.” She smiled again. Momma smiles a lot when I’m unhappy, I think she’s trying to cheer me up. “They’ll call if they hear anything, you run and play.” I started out the back door and Momma added, “try not to worry, honey, we’ll find Dingo.” 

That’s what I’m doing now, sitting on the back porch, trying not to worry. I played some, but it wasn’t very much fun without Dingo. I ran into the house as soon as I heard the phone. but Daddy was already hanging up when I burst into the kitchen, “they found Dingo?” I asked, all excited. 

“Not exactly,” he said. “A dog that looks like him is hiding under a car at the old Peterson farm.” Daddy said, “he has the new owners scared out of their wits.. according to the police.” 

“That can’t be Dingo,” I whispered, “he wouldn’t hurt anything.” 

"I told the officer we would check," Daddy said, pretending he didn’t’ hear me. “We’ll drive over and take a look, just in case.” 

“I know it doesn’t sound like Dingo,” Mom said when were in the truck, “but it could be. The road runs by the Peterson farm and Dingo might recognize it.” “That’s right,” I said, feeling better already. The Peterson farm is where Mary had lived, and Dingo and I played there all the time. 

When we pulled into the driveway I was sure Dingo would run out to meet me, but he didn’t. I looked around and saw a man and a lady talking to a policeman. I saw a car, but I couldn’t see Dingo. “He’s not here,” I said, and the tears started again, “he’s not here.” 

”The officer said he was hiding,” Daddy reminded me. “Try calling.” 

When the truck stopped moving, I opened the door and shut my eyes, I was afraid to look. “Dingo, here Dingo,” I called. When nothing happened I tried again, louder, “DINGO,” I yelled. I opened my eyes just in time to see Dingo leap into the truck. He stepped all over us, trying to lick everybody at once.. He was so excited he pushed me right out of the truck. “Jump, Dingo, jump,” I called and held out my arms, Dingo liked to jump into my arms it’s his best trick. I caught him and hugged and hugged him, while Mom and Dad went to talk to the officer. 

“I’m glad your dog found you,” a voice said. 

I turned around so fast I almost dropped Dingo. The voice belong to a girl about my size. She had bright red hair and a zillion freckles, “who are you?” I asked. 

“My names Danielle,” she said, “but my friends call me Danni. My folks and I are moving in here.” 

“That’s great,” I said putting Dingo down. “My name is Mindy Cooper. I live right over that hill,” I said, pointing. 

Danni walked over and scratched Dingo behind his left ear, just like Mary used to. It’s his favorite spot. “Great.” She said. 

It’s even better than great to me. Dingo is home, and a new friend is moving in practically next door. I feel warm and happy inside, and you know what? I don’t hate summer at all! 


© Tricia Swearingen-Mesojednik
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