“Have you got some sugar?” Dad asked over the phone. “I’m all out and need some for my coffee.”

“Sure,” I replied. “I’ll send some right up.” I popped open the canister on the kitchen counter, filled a small Tupperware container, secured the top with a burp, then tied a ribbon around it and knotted it tight. “Dusty, come here,” I called out. He came running into the kitchen, ever eager to perform any task I asked of him. He sat quietly when I told him to sit, his mouth hanging open and his pink tongue lolling out. His brown eyes sparkled.

“Grampa needs sugar this morning.” I tied the container’s strong ribbon to the collar around his neck. It jostled below his strong jaw when he walked, but he didn’t need to go far. Dad lived just up the street, a mere eight houses away, but neither of us wanted to go out in the cold, misty morning in our pajamas. It was only 7:00 a.m. and he needed his coffee.

“Dusty, go up to Grandpa’s. Go on, he’s waiting for you.” I opened the back door and in rushed a gush of cold air, but Dusty didn’t mind one bit. With his thick brown and gold flecked coat, he was armed for the weather. And he knew his job. He’d done it many times before.

A few minutes later the phone rang. “Got it,” Dad proclaimed. “You’re a lifesaver.”

“Not me, Dad,” I replied. “That would be Dusty.”

“Oh, I’ve already thanked him with a few treats. He’ll head back down to you in a couple of minutes, I’m just petting him for a little while.”

“Enjoy your coffee. See ya later.” I hung up the phone, picked up my own steaming cup, and waited near the door for my best friend. Dusty was always there to lend a helping paw. Truly a friend indeed when there was a need.


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