Lindo was partially covered in sand, his upper body and face left exposed as he lay on the beach sand facing upwards. Soon, Lindo got bored. There was nobody else around to play with. Lindo was the only child among his parents and many other adult strangers in the vicinity.

Lindo went to sit next to his parents. His mother and father were lying on beach towels under a colourful striped cotton umbrella that cast shade onto their bodies and much of the area they occupied. Lindo quietly snuggled next to his mother and explored the beach terrain with his eyes.

Distant sounds of loud jovial laughter caused Lindo to stretch his head up and towards the east. His eyes widened and his face lit up with interest as he spotted twin boys running across the vast stretch of the beach with their small puppy. Lindo stared at them with a fixed gaze, his eyes moving to and fro with every movement the twin boys made.

“Lindo! Lindo!” repeated his mother, calling for his attention.

“Ma?” replied a startled Lindo.

“Do you want an ice pop?”

“No thanks,” replied Lindo promptly.

“Why not? You kept reminding me last night to not forget to pack them in the cooler box and now you don’t want to have one. Why?” asked his mother, with a confused look on her face.

“Not now, maybe later,” said Lindo, his face still turned towards the twin brothers running behind their puppy.

Lindo’s mother noticed that Lindo’s attention was fully focused on the boys and the dog.

“Lindo!” nudged his mother with her elbow.

“Huh, Mom?” said Lindo, turning his head to face his mother.

“Are you looking at the twin boys and their dog?”

“Yes!” replied Lindo with an excited voice. “The puppy is cute, Mom! Look at his adorable face!”

“How do you know it’s a ‘he’?” asked Lindo’s mother.

“I can tell,” said Lindo. “I know a lot about dogs: how they look and behave, and how to look after one ve-rrry-well!” replied Lindo with an encouraging smile and a nod while wiggling his eyebrows up and down.

His mother chuckled hesitantly and turned to Lindo’s father, who was listening to the conversation in silence.

“Well,” said Lindo’s mother nervously, “do you think Lindo is ready to have a dog?”

“He might be,” replied Lindo’s father, “but it’s you that I’m concerned about. Will you be OK with the presence of a dog at home?”

“What do you mean, Dad?” interrupted Lindo.

“Your mother was viciously attacked by an untrained dog that almost bit off her right foot when she was a young girl,” explained Lindo’s father. “Fortunately, the owner of the dog heard your mother screaming and the noise of some neighbours who were attempting to stop the dog from attacking your mother. Since that day, your mother has been scared of dogs and doesn’t feel safe around them.”

“Oh!” said Lindo. “Is that why she said no when I asked to have one?”

“Yes, Lindo,” replied his mother. “I am sorry. I know you love dogs and want to have one desperately.”

Lindo looked at his father and then turned to his mother. He smiled broadly and said: “Mom, most dogs are fun and friendly, although some can be mean. See how the puppy has been playing nicely with the twins without hurting them or anyone around?” Lindo asked, as he pointed in the direction of the twins.

“Yes Lindo, I have and I am aware of how fun dogs can be,” replied Lindo’s mother. “My only trouble is that I freeze each time I come into close contact with a dog, and if you have one I would have to experience that daily.”

“Okay Mom, I understand,” replied Lindo with his head hanging low.

It was suggested that Lindo’s mother try to touch the puppy and, if she felt brave enough, she could even hold and hug it. After she agreed, Lindo’s mother was given the opportunity to touch the puppy, which was now standing at her feet. She took a huge step and picked up the dog! She bravely held the dog against her chest and it sat quietly in her arms. It made a few attempts at licking her face and at each attempt she bent her head backwards as she giggled and laughed in amusement. Lindo was very happy to see his mother feeling safe in the presence of a dog. This meant that he could finally get a cute puppy, just like the one the twins owned.


Tell us what you think: Are you afraid of dogs?