Sam, the young man who would be working with Katie and Arf, came to get Arf the next morning for his 2nd day of training. Katie is scheduled for surgery tomorrow, and if all goes well, she and Arf will begin working together the day after her surgery. The research hospital’s doctors said Katie and Arf had a lot of work ahead of them.
“Okay Arf, today you are going to learn what your responsibilities will be when you are with Katie during the night.”
***Sam took me to Katie’s room. I knew it was her’s because it smelled like cherry blossoms. Katie always smells like cherry blossoms. I looked in the bed and Katie wasn’t there. Did she go home? Did she leave me here to fend for myself? Why would she do that? I would never be friends with anyone else or those other dogs…Never! Uh oh, Sam is talking to me.
“Are you listening to me, Arf? You must pay attention. You have a lot to learn. Let’s try the drills you learned yesterday. I want to see if you recall the signs and signals that will apply here in Katie’s room.”
Sam walked around the room and identified where everything was and then went to lie down on the bed.
“Katie is going to be in quite a bit of pain at first, but it’s important she work through it and she’s going to need your help. Okay, are you ready?”
Arf put his paw on Sam’s arm.
“That’s right. You must offer reassurance. The touch of your paw will distract her from the pain. It’s your job to comfort her and also let her know she can do it.”
“There are a lot of things you can help Katie with both here and the two weeks she spends at home. That is, if the surgery is successful. Now, let’s get back to work so we’re ready to help Katie when they bring her back to her room, tomorrow.”
***I worked harder than I ever have and I tried to remember everything. I was going to help Katie learn to walk.
“Hello Jamie, it’s good to see you. Everyone around here has missed you,” Brad said as he watched Jamie walk up to the porch. “I’ll get your bags from the car.”
“Thanks, Brad, but don’t get them just yet. I’m not sure I’ll be staying here. Do you have a minute to talk?”
Brad did his best to hide his disappointment.
“Sure, would you like me to ask Alice to bring some coffee out?”
“No thank you, Brad. I want to run something by you before any of the others know I’m here.”
“I’m listening.” Brad was more than a little curious.
“Do you happen to know if Miss Bessie plans to move back to her farm?”
Brad was surprised at Jamie’s question, but it was a subject he had given a lot of thought to.
“Miss Bessie and Katie’s Grandma Helen have become good friends. I would like nothing better than to convince them to make their stay at the ranch permanent. As to your question, I just don’t think Miss Bessie should go back to the farm. It’s a lot for her to take care of.”
“In that case, I need your help.” Jamie had a determined look on her face. “I want you to help me convince her to sell it to me. I applied to do my internship at the veterinary clinic close to town. I just found out I’ve been accepted. I start next week.”
That was the last thing Brad expected to hear.
“We’ll approach Miss Bessie after Katie’s surgery, tomorrow,” Brad said. “We’re all going to Jamestown to be there for her. Would you like to come, too?”
Jamie began to get excited about the prospect of owning her own little farm, but more than that, she wanted to be among those who would be there to support Katie.
“In that case, you’ll stay here until everything is settled. I’ll get your bags.”