Chance the retriever of convenience

Our first West Villages Short Story contest concluded at the end of June and it proved what we suspected: West Villages residents adore their pets and many of you are great writers, too. All are worthy of recognition. Please enjoy this story by Annie Reding of Island Walk.

By Annie Reding 

Chance is our third retriever, a golden this time. He came to live with us in Connecticut the winter of 2010.  He was 7 months old. We looked forward to summer when we could bring him to the beach for a swim and a game of retrieving.  

Our house had a very long driveway and every morning the newspaper was delivered to the end of the driveway.  On our return walks with Chance, I would pick up the paper to bring it into the house. Chance being a mouthy retriever, wanted it and I started letting him carry it down the driveway and into the house.  Eventually, Chance would pick the paper up himself and carry it in without my help. 

As time passed we realized besides, being the most handsome dog, carrying things in his mouth was the only retriever characteristic Chance had.  We tried to get him to swim but he didn’t like it and refused to go in unless we went in too.  He also wasn’t keen on retrieving.  He liked chasing things but then would get distracted, drop whatever he was

retrieving and go off sniffing something much more interesting. 

In 2014, before moving to Florida, we decided to downsize and ended up in a small house on a very long street. We hadn’t gotten an invisible fence put in yet when my husband and Chance went out to work in the yard.  After awhile my husband realized Chance wasn’t in the yard anymore and called for him.  A few moments later Chance came running down the street with three newspapers in his mouth.  He dropped the papers at my husband’s feet and smiled up at him, proud of himself for being a retriever after all.  We never found out who’s papers he retrieved but we never let him out of the yard alone again for his safety and for those neighbors who looked forward to their morning paper.