Gadget’s Puppy Days
By: Jean Boonstra
Gadget is Jamey Simon’s dog and he’s one of the characters in Discovery Mountain. This is a story about him as a puppy.
Gadget was a mischievous puppy! Gadget was the wiggliest of all the puppies in his litter—his six sisters were the perfect Australian Shepherd puppies.
Gadget and his sisters were born on Cherryville Farm and the kind and patient Farmer Alex took care of them. Australian shepherds are born with the instinct to herd animals. This is a good instinct on a farm where they help take care of the animals, but Farmer Alex had other plans for Gadget and his sisters. He hoped that they’d be adopted by loving families that loved them.
One day a duck and her little ducklings quacked across the farmyard. Gadget’s herding instincts kicked in and he started to chase the ducklings. He got in close to their quick-moving webbed feet and tried to nip them.
Gadget heard the voice. It sounded like Farmer Alex’s voice, but he’d never heard the patient farmer speak this way before. Gadget got in close to the waddling duckling and then he heard the voice again.
Gadget paused just long enough for Farmer Alex to scoop him up in his arms. “Gadget,” said Farmer Alex, “you can’t nip at these little ducklings. You need to listen to my voice and not follow your instincts.”
Gadget loved Farmer Alex and he wanted to make him happy. A few days later when the ducklings bravely walked into the farmyard again Gadget ran after them and then he heard the voice again.
This time Gadget remembered and he listened to Farmer Alex’s voice. He stopped running and let the ducklings walk right past him.
Farmer Alex noticed how Gadget listened and he decided it was time. Time for Gadget to meet a special family.
The next day was hot and Gadget and his sisters sat in the cool grass in the shade of the barn when they saw a new car drive into the farmyard. Two little girls jumped out of the backseat. The bigger of the two girls ran towards the puppies and Gadget’s sisters jumped in her lap and covered her in kisses. The younger blonde hair and green-eyed girl toddled straight over to Gadget. She leaned in close and stared. Gadget barked and the little girl laughed. Gadget jumped up and the little girl chased him! It was the most fun Gad had ever had.
As the two played in the grass Gadget heard a noise. Rattle. Rattle. Gadget perked up his ears and spotted the rattlesnake. The little girl was running straight towards it! Gadget ran behind her, nipped at her heels, and turned the little girl away from the snake and towards safety. He was so happy! He’d saved his new friend!
Gadget saw Farmer Alex running towards him. “Gadget,” he said kneeling next to the puppy, “why did you herd this little girl? You didn’t bother the ducklings the other day. You could’ve hurt her!”
Gadget barked and ran a little closer to where the rattlesnake was. Farmer Alex saw the snake and immediately realized what happened. “Good boy, Gadget,” he said with a warm smile on his face. “Now run into the farmhouse with the little girl, Jamey, and keep her safe. I’ll scare away the snake.”
Gadget and Jamey have been almost inseparable ever since!