One of Ellie's top two requested stories (nobody but us cares, but I figured I'd write it down so one day I can print it out for her):
Once upon a time there was a Mommy and a Daddy. They didn't have any kids, and they didn't even have a Gideon or a Mena! So one day, they decided that they wanted a dog. They didn't know what kind of dog they were looking for, so they went to lots of shelters to look at lots of dogs.
They saw big dogs, little dogs, furry dogs, dogs with less fur, tall dogs, short dogs, loud dogs, quiet dogs...but they didn't find the dog they were looking for. Then one day they were at the Seal Beach Animal Control Center. They walked around a corner, and then at the far end of the walkway there was a little brown puppy in a cage. As we (this is where I usually slip into first person) got closer, I saw a cute little dog jumping up and down, saying "Look at me! Look at me!"
When we got to his cage I looked at him, and he looked at me. He started WIGGLING all over, and jumped up and down even more! We saw that his name was Gideon. Mommy and Daddy said, "Gideon is pretty cute - we should check him out."
So we got a leash and took him on a little walk. He was FUN. So we decided we wanted to take him home. We went to the office and while Mommy was filling out the paperwork to take him home, Gideon peed on my shoe. He'd marked me! From then on, he was my little guy, and I was his dude.
The animal shelter wouldn't let us take him home that day - we had to wait until the next. He looked really disappointed to be going back to his cage, and we didn't want to leave him. But the next day we came back as soon as we could, and he got super wiggly when he saw us again. We got him out of his cage, and took him to our car. (Ellie interrupts here and says, "You mean your TRUCK.") Right. Our truck. So we put him in our truck, and do you know what he did on the way home? He peed in the truck. ("Eews" all around).
So Mommy and Daddy had Gideon for about a year, and then we decided he needed a sister. So we went back to Seal Beach to look for another dog. We found a neat puppy named Sprinkles. They wanted us to bring Gideon in to meet her, so we did. When they got the dogs together in the play yard, they kind of played near each other, but they mostly ignored each other. They were kind of like, eehhh (shrug shoulders here). So we told them, "No, Sprinkles isn't the right dog for us."
They said, "Have you seen Mena?"
I said, "Who's Mena?"
"Oh, you have to see Mena. She's a great dog!"
So we took Sprinkles back, and they showed me Mena. She was so polite, just curled up in her cage behind some other dogs, just waiting for someone to notice her. I hadn't noticed her because she was so polite! So I said, "Okay, let's get Mena to meet Gideon."
When the two of them got together, they started running around like maniacs! They were wrestling with each other, running around, playing in the wading pools, and having a great time, just like they were best friends! So we said that we wanted to take Mena home with us. We didn't have to wait this time, so we filled out the paperwork and went to our car. (again, Ellie now interrupts, "You mean your TRUCK.") Right. Our truck.
Gideon got in, but little Mena was too scared to get in by herself. She didn't know how much fun car rides were yet. So we had to pick her up and put her in, and she was shaking the whole way home. When we got home, she became the best little sister we could have asked for for Gideon, and they were best friends forever.
(usually Ellie then asks to hear the story of how Gideon and Mena died...)
After Mommy and Daddy had Gideon and Mena for a LOOONG time, they got very old. Mena got very sick, and Daddy took her to see the vet. The vet told Daddy that Mena was super sick and old, and that she was going to die soon. (Ellie, who heard Sharon's side of the phone call, says "And you called Mommy and she started crying.") Yes, Mommy was very sad too. So Daddy took Mena to get some more tests done, and they told us she was in a lot of pain and was going to die soon. So then we brought her home and had our Mena day. We took her for a walk, and petted her, and told her how much we loved her. Then the next day Mommy and Daddy took her somewhere where she could die peacefully. And now she's with the angels.
Then a few days later Gideon's eye got sick. Daddy took him to the vet to get him checked out, and we had to go to some other places to get more tests done for him. The vets told Daddy that Gideon was very sick, too, and that he was going to die soon too. We were very sad, because we just lost Mena and now Gideon was going to die too. So we had some fun Gideon days. We played with him a lot, and rubbed him, and told him how much we loved him. Miss Nadine came over and we all played with him and had lots of fun. And then the next day Mommy and Daddy took Gideon somewhere that he could die peacefully. And now he and Mena are together, playing with Grandma Boo and Grandpa Don, and Kitsie and Erf. (Ellie only met Grandma Boo, but we mention the others)