The black mutt with white patches scooted from the cardboard container. That’s how 10 year old Johnny Griffin met his best pal ever ... excepting his dad, of course.
“Can we take him home Dad?” he asked.
Johnny’s dad, a film actor, consented after confirming there was no name tag. On the way home they agreed that SCOOTER would be a perfect name for their new family member.
Johnny loved that his father was the kindest person he knew. He was the complete opposite of his type-casting in dozens of tough-guy movies. He would often greet friends with a warm hug, or even a kiss on the cheek.
One day Johnny and six of his pals sat on the porch eating ice cream cones.
Scooter lay close by but moved away as the boys got into a “my-dad-could-whoop-your-dad” argument. It was gathering steam just when a burly man strode up the sidewalk, climbed the porch steps and knocked on the door. The boys stopped talking.
Johnny’s dad burst out, hugging his old friend, kissing him on the cheek, and inviting him into the house.
‘Your dad’s no tough guy, he’s a sissy,” said one of the boys.
In an instant Johnny popped him in the mouth. A free-for-all ensued as they all rolled off the porch, throwing punches.
Johnny’s mom stopped the fighting, sent the boys home, and ordered Johnny into the backyard to await his father.
Sweating bullets for an eternity, his dad finally came out of the house wearing his tough-guy-in-the-movies-face. Scooter kept his distance.
‘Why were you boys fighting?’ questioned his father.
‘It’s all your fault’, snapped Johnny … causing Scooter to quickly scoot 10 feet backwards. “You kissed that guy after I was telling my friends how tough you were.”
Johnny’s dad stared at him, then said, “Look at your dog and tell him you love him.”
Perplexed and shaking Johnny weakly mumbled, “Scooter, I love ya.”
The dog didn’t move. “Tell him again,” said his father.
Scooter still sat there.
“Now kneel down, call your dog over, hug him, and tell’em you love him.”
Johnny knelt down: “Come’ere Scooter.”
Scooter bounded to Johnny, wagging his tail and licking his face!
“Son,” said Johnny’s dad, grasping him by the shoulders, “LOVE ISN’T SOMETHING YOU SAY … IT’S SOMETHING YOU DO.”
As Johnny pressed his lips, holding back tears, as his dad continued. “You can tell someone you love ‘em all day long, but it’s when you reach out and touch them, showing affection, that’s when they really know it.”
His father then reached out and wrapped his arms around his son. They hugged for a long time.
Since that day, John Griffin has done his best to practice the lesson he learned from his Dad and Scooter.
SCOOTER and Johnny's whole story is told in our new book, "DOGWINKS: TRUE GODWINK STORIES OF DOGS..." pub date, May 4th. Take a look and reserve your signed copy here.
The DOGWINKS audiobook is available as a preview
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