by Who Dat
Photos found on a thrift store camera - Written for The Writer's Cramp
|“John, you have got to see these pictures,” said Sarah.
“Just check ‘em out. I bought this camera at that used stuff store in town.” Sarah said. “I was so thrilled. This camera costs around $1,000 new and I got it for $450. Anyway, after I took some pictures I uploaded them and there were some photos that were left from the precious owner.”
“Cool. Are they dirty pictures?” he added with a sly look.
“No you old pervert,” Sarah replied with a teasing laugh. “They are dogs. Not just dogs, but gorgeous dogs. Saint Bernards I think.”
Looking over her shoulder, John said, “Wow they are beautiful. They look like show dogs. Look at all those ribbons.”
“I have to find these dogs and whoever sold this camera. These are photos they would want. You can tell.”
“Call Doc. Tom,” John suggests. “He is one of the best vets in the area and if they are from around here he might know who they are.”
John scrolls through the photos as Sarah makes the call. “Oh man, this dog is fantastic. They are all pretty but look at this huge thing and all those ribbons. Tell Doc Tom we have to know where these dogs are, I have got to pet that dog,” he calls to Sara over his shoulder.
Hurrying back into the room, Sarah says, “He thinks they probably belong to some lady but won’t give me her name. He said he would call and give her my number so she could call me if she wants the photos.”
A few hours later the phone rings as Sarah is preparing dinner.
“Hi is this this ummm Sarah?” a very tired woman’s voices asks.
“Doc Tom told me you have a camera with photo of my dogs on it.”
“Oh, yes. Thank you so much for calling me back,” Sarah said excitedly. “I bought the camera at that place in town and when I loaded the photos I took, there were some photos I didn’t take. Anyway, the pictures are of the most beautiful dogs I have ever seen and I just had to see if there was any way I could meet these dogs.”
“Oh,” said the voice on the other end of the line. “I had to sell the camera a few months ago to help cover the cost of some serious vet expenses.”
“I’m sorry,” Sarah replied. “I don’t want to bring up any bad memories, but your dogs are so beautiful.”
“That’s ok honey. I am always happy to share my dogs with folks.” She added, “My name is Paula and I raise and show Saint Bernards. You are most welcome to come and meet my gang.”
“Really? I mean, thank you. That is so wonderful. My husband and I both love dogs and would love to see your beautiful dogs.”
“Sure. Just let me know when you would like to come out. Someone is always here and the dogs just love company,” said Paula. “We have a small kennel-farm over in Maurertown. Where do you live?”
“We live in Woodstock. We could come out whenever is convenient to you.” Sarah added, “I would be happy to bring the camera and let you load the photos to your computer if you want.”
“That is so kind and I would love the chance to have copies of them.”
“Will tomorrow afternoon be ok?”
“Sure, I normally finish feeding by 10:30 and the dogs should be ready for company by then.”
They exchanged information and directions and agreed to visit the next day.
The next morning Sarah and John hurried through their daily tasks and promised their dogs, Tinker and Tank, they would be home soon.
Arriving at the home of Paula and the beautiful dogs, they pulled up the dirt drive and parked at a big double gate. Exiting their car, they were standing in awe at a group of running and romping dogs playing on the other side of the gate.
“Hi there,” called the voice from the phone. “You must be Sarah and John. Welcome to my canine kingdom.”
“Oh hi,” called Sarah. “Thank you so much for inviting us. Your dogs are, well, amazing.”
“That’s my puppy group. Gomez, Mahem, Zilly, DoDo and Buzz.”
“Puppies?” John asked.
“Yeah, they are all less than 18 months,” Paula replied as she opened the smaller side gate and ushered Sarah and John in.
“Good thing you dress in jeans. I meant to tell you to ware something you didn’t mind getting dirty. Saints are great dogs, but not for the faint of heart. They drool and shed and they are unintentionally destructive,” said Paula as her guests entered the fenced area and were smothered in Saintly kisses and head butts.
Following much discussion of dogs in general and Saints in particular, the three sat in the kennel office with dogs lounging around as they chatted and Paula uploaded the photos from the camera Sarah and John brought.
Bringing one photo to the screen Paula said, “Here, this is my boy Sammy. He won Best of Breed every day of a 4 day weekend show in Ohio right after this photo was taken. Back in March. “
Brining up another photos, she said, “This. This is him in April following a breeding. That Saint in the background is Lilly. Her owners flew her here from Washington state to breed to my boy.” Puddles of tears began collecting in her eyes as she added, “That was about two weeks before it happened.”
“I am so sorry,” said Sarah. “He is a beautiful dog. You can tell by his face he is just a giant teddy bear.”
“Yes. Yes he was.” In late April he bloated I sold that camera to help pay for the surgery needed to save him.”
“Oh my God,” said Sarah and John in unison.
“We did all we could but we lost him. He was my heart dog.”