Brownie and Spotty were neighbor dogs who met every day to play together. Like pairs of
dogs you can find in most any neighborhood, these two loved each other and played together
so often that they had worn a path through the grass of the field between their respective1
One evening, Brownie's family noticed that Brownie hadn't returned home. They went looking
for him with no success. Brownie didn't show up the next day, and, despite their efforts to
find him, by the next week he was still missing.
Curiously, Spotty showed up at Brownie's house alone. Barking, whining and generally
pestering2 Brownie's human family. Busy with their own lives, they just ignored the nervous
little neighbor dog.
Finally, one morning Spotty refused to take “no” for an answer. Ted, Brownie's owner, was
steadily harassed3 by the furious, adamant4 little dog. Spotty followed Ted about, barking
insistently, then darting toward a nearby empty lot and back, as if to say, “Follow me!
back and bark encouragingly. The little dog led the man under a tree, past clumps5 of
trees, to a desolate spot a half mile from the house. There Ted found his beloved Brownie
alive, one of his hind legs crushed in a steel leghold trap. Horrified, Ted now wished he'd
taken Spotty's earlier appeals seriously. Then Ted noticed something quite remarkable.
Spotty had done more than simply led Brownie's human owner to his trapped friend. In a
circle around the injured dog, Ted found an array of dog food and table scraps1 which were
later identified as the remains of every meal Spotty had been fed that week!
alive by sacrificing his own comfort. Spotty had evidently stayed with Brownie to protect
him from predators2, snuggling with him at night to keep him warm and nuzzling3 him to keep
his spirits up.
Brownie's leg was treated by a veterinarian and he recovered. For many years thereafter,
the two families watched the faithful friends frolicking4 and chasing each other down that
wellworn path between their houses.
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