A Second Chance

P. S. Gifford

© Copyright 2005 by P. S. Gifford


  Mr. Philips looked despondently at his beloved Border terrier as he carried him in his arms from the taxi to the vet’s office door. That morning the inevitable had finally happened -his beloved companion’s legs had finally given up.

As he scratched his best friends head affectionately tears welled up in his eyes.

We have had fifteen years old boy, you can’t expect anymore than that. You have been the dearest companion a man could ask for. After Mildred died I had no-one, after twenty six years of marriage and not having any children I was all alone in the world. When Charlotte from next door brought you round, I told her I did not want a dog, that they were too much trouble and that I was quite content reliving my life’s memories by myself. Then I looked into your eyes old boy and I saw something so very extraordinary and captivating in them. That was fifteen years ago, and I don’t regret a single moment of It.-you gave me a second chance at love you did”

The vet glumly examined the terrier and then Mr. Philips forlorn face as he spoke in a mellifluous voice.

Did you consider all we discussed last week Mr. Philips? We both knew that this day was coming and it truly is the best and kindest thing we can do you know, for the both of you.”

With that Mr. Philips nodded and laid his beloved pet onto the shiny stainless steel table, by now he was desperately fighting back the compulsion to completely break down and weep, yet he wanted to remain strong. As he softly scratched the nose his closest companion for the very last time he sang in a whispered voice.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.” As he sang the little terrier looked up lovingly at his master and despite evident discomfort managed to wag his tail.

As he finished the song he paused for a few moments..

Goodbye” he eventually said and with that he took a deep breath, and somberly left the surgery silently closing the door behind him.

   He decided he was going to walk the two miles home, to ponder his emotions and so he set off into the cool afternoon. Every step he took he encountered places and sights that brought memories rushing back. He smiled as he looked at the fire hydrant, the one his beloved old boy used to always like to raise his leg up on. He shook his head at the butchers shop, as he remembered the day the rascal ate the sausages he had brought from there without him even realizing till they were almost gone. The park however was by far the worst, as this was there very special place; this is where they had visited practically every day for the last fifteen years. At first they had both excitedly chased and raced together playing with balls or Frisbees, but as the years gradually slipped by, they became far more contented to simply while away the time sitting on the bench genly absorbing all the wonderful sights and smells.

Eventually he arrived home to his now silent house. Sullenly he hung the well worn leather leash and collar into his hall closet then he sat in his favorite chair, the one they always used to share, and wept.


  Ten weeks later the phone rang early one morning. As he picked it up he was excited to hear the vet’s voice which was far more cheerful than the last time they had spoke. “I am delighted to tell you that we have some wonderful news! The cloning was a complete and total success Mr. Philips, your terrier was the perfect specimen, and right now I am staring at a healthy young puppy identical in virtually every way to your old dog Chance. He even cocks his head to the left in the same curious manner as you scratch him behind the ears!”

 Excitedly Mr. Phillips thanked the vet and hung up the phone. Then with a renewed sparkle in his fading grey eyes he once more retrieved the leash and collar from the hall closet, put on his jacket and almost skipped out of his front door into the morning sunlight.

A second chance!” He thought grinning ear to ear.

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