Murdo Girl…Arf..I can help

Miss Bessie and Arf took a trip to town to try to cheer themselves up. They were concerned because Steve and his daughter, Katie, had not shown up at the farm the day before, as promised. A lady at the park knew where Katie’s grandmother lived so Miss Bessie and Arf went there hoping to learn what had happened. To their surprise, Katie, in her wheelchair, opened the door. Her Grandma Helen was there as well and invited them in.“I still can’t believe I misplaced your phone number,” Katie’s grandma said.”I understand,” Miss Bessie assured her. “I lose phone numbers all the time, but please tell me…is Steve alright?””As far as I know, he’s fine. All I can tell you is he got a phone call the night before last that seemed to upset him. He asked if I felt well enough to watch over Katie for a few days while he took care of something out of town. Then he asked me to call you and tell you he would be in touch in a few days.””Is it like him to be this secretive?” Miss B asked.”Not at all. We both went through a lot when my daughter left and we are very protective of each other. We have to be for Katie’s sake.””How are you feeling, Helen? If you need a few more day’s rest, Katie can come to the farm. She would enjoy being with Arf and as you can see, he’s enthralled with your granddaughter. I’m sure Steve wouldn’t mind.”

Arf and Miss Bessie
“I’m very tempted to take you up on your offer to help,” Helen responded. “My blood pressure has been giving me fits and poor Katie has been confined to the house.””Well then that settles it! If I may borrow your phone, I’ll give our friend Brad Humbolt a call. He can help us with Katie’s wheel chair. He has a truck. I’m afraid my little car wouldn’t suffice.”No one had to ask Katie if she approved of the plan. She and Arf were both obviously looking forward to spending time with each other.***I couldn’t believe that Katie was going to be staying with us, and as it turned out, when Brad got to Miss Helen’s, he insisted that all of us go stay at his ranch where everyone would be more comfortable and have the help of his cook and housekeeper. The only problem was getting in touch with Steve. Miss Helen decided to stay at her house until he called, and if it was still going to be a while before he returned, Brad would come back and get her. It wasn’t long before all of us were settled in at the ranch. Brad’s hired hand, Mark and I went to Miss B’s to do her chores each morning and I spent the rest of the day watching over Katie.On the second day, Miss Helen heard from Steve. He said it was going to be necessary for him to be gone for at least another week. He didn’t offer any other information, but said not to worry about him. He was relieved that Katie and Miss Helen would be with Miss B and Brad. And of course, me, Arf…Brad’s house has a big porch that goes all the way around the house and I pushed Katie all the way around it. Miss Alice, the cook, brought us picnic lunches and Katie could usually sneak a cookie to me. She called me “cookie dog.” I love Katie and I love to hear her laugh. Every day, she seems happier which makes me happy, too.One day, I heard Brad ask Miss Helen why Katie couldn’t walk.“It’s very rare for infants to contract polio,” Helen said. “But that is what happened to Katie. She was only four months old. The age most children get their first vaccination. In Katie’s case, her legs became paralyzed.””She seems to be a real trooper,” Brad observed as he watched Katie throwing the frisbee to Arf. “I would never want to offend you or Steve, but I have to ask the question. Has she been examined by the best doctors available?””I can’t speak for Steve, but believe me, I’m not offended. Katie was given the best care available at the time, but that was eight years ago. I’ve often wondered if there is new technology that could help Katie. I think Steve feels rather guilty because he can’t afford insurance that could help cover the cost of pursuing something like that.”Brad watched Katie and Arf playing together for the longest time. Surely something could be done.***I hope Brad is right. Maybe there is a way. Maybe Katie can learn to walk, and maybe I can help her.