Once upon a time there lived a little girl named Zaza. She was 6 years old and was lucky enough to have a baby sister named Cahalta. They lived in Ireland with their mum and dad.
One day Zaza said, ”Mum and Dad, please may I have a dog?” She was a well behaved child so her parents said yes.
The family went to the dog pound to pick out a pooch. They looked at various cages there along a corridor. Zaza wanted to buy the yappy little chihuahua that never stopped jumping. On the other side of the corridor there was a cage with a handsome black and white border colly in it. He wagged his tail playfully but was not noisy. The kindly thin old man who worked in the dog pound was fond of this border colly. The man took Zaza’s dad to the side. The old man wore a blue uniform and he took off his cap and scracthed his grey haired as he said to Zaza’s dad, ”Sir, that colly’s a lovely dog and I think your child would be better off with that one. Besides it is that dog’s last day. If that colly is not taken today then he is going to great big park in the sky.”
The mum and dad agreed. They would take the border colly. Zaza had asked for the yappy little chihuahua but sometimes parents know best.
They paid for the dog and took straight to the vet. On the way there the mum asked Zaza, ”what are we going to call your new dog?”
”We’ll call him Happy!” she cried out with joy. The name stuck.
The family lived in a three bedroom house in the countryside. They were surrounded by fields of pasture. Black and white cows browsed on the lush verdure of the well watered mead there all day long. Happy was allowed to roam free. But he never bothered the cattle. Soon he was friendly with the other dogs around the place.
Happy was a sweet natured and energetic dog. He also knew when to be quiet. He was patient and forgiving to the children. They played with him. Zaza sometimes forgot he was a dog and tried to hug him like a human. Cahalta was beginning to walk. She sensed she need not be afraid of Happy. Cahalta would feel Happy’s face. Once she put her finger in his eye. He just growled a little to her let know it hurt. He did not scare the baby but she learnt not to hurt him again.
After a few months the mum and dad told Zaza and Cahalta that they had some big news. They sat around the kitchen table. Mum told them she was having another baby. The little girls were delighted. They did not know if they would get a sister or a brother. In those days there was no way of knowing before the baby was born whether it would be a girl or a boy. The mum was soon growing huge as the baby got bigger. Finally she had to rush to hospital and gave birth to the baby. The baby was a boy and he was named Duncan.
Happy was a little envious. He noticed people were crowding around the baby and not taking him for walks so much.
One morning the family came down for breakfast. Happy was usually sitting outside the kitchen door. But this day he was gone! They all thought that he must have gone for a wander. He was an adventurous doggy. But he still had not come back by lunch time. They began to get worried. The mum walked around the nearby fields with her baby in the papoose. ”Happy, Happy!” she called. The little girls were feeling sad. Had they lost their dog?
Dad came home from work that evening. They told him the bad news. Happy was nowhere to be seen. Instead of having dinner he drove around to all Happy’s favourite spots calling for him. But Happy was not there. After a couple of hours he reluctantly drove home. He broke the news and Cahalta was in tears.
The next day the Dad had the newspaper print a notice with a photo of Happy. ”Have you seen this dog? Large reward for the safe return of this border colly. Please call this number-”
Days passed and there were no calls. Then one day the dad was driving home from work. He saw a group of teenage boys beside the river. The were laughing raucously. One of them was holding a rope as a lead. There was a dog on the end of it. A black and white border colly it was. The dad slowed down. He looked carefully. COuld it be? It was! ”Happy!” he heard himself shout.
Happy turned his head and saw dad. The dog barked a cheerful greeting. He strained at the lead trying to jump in through the car window. By now the big boys were looking around at dad’s car.
”Excuse me boys”, said dad, ”That’s my dog Happy. He went missing a week ago.”
”Sir, this is our dog. His name is Prince. Isn’t that right Prince?” said one of the boys.
Happy barked a clear ”no” to that question. His tail was wagging like mad and he whined to be let back to his owner.
”Boys, this is my dog. I got him from the pound six months ago. Look at him. He knows me. He misses me,” said dad plaintively.
”Mister – we found this dog on the road north of the city a few days ago. He is ours. He is prince.” said the leading boy.
”I have three little children and they all miss him terribly” said dad adamantly. ”We live just north of the city. He came from our place.”
”Tell you what sir” said the boy holding the lead. ”If you give us 100 pounds you can have the dog back.”
”100 pounds? That is a fortune,” said dad almost angrily.
”If he really is your dog you will pay it,” said the lad wisely.
”All right – all right. My children will never stop crying till Happy comes home”, said dad philosophically. The dad reached into his pocket and began to count out the banknotes.
The boy then said, ”you really are willing to pay. I see you are telling the truth. Prince is yours. You can have him for free. ”
The boy handed the rope to dad.
Dad opened the car door and got out. Happy leapt into his arms. He almost smothered dad with licks on his face. Soon the rope was off his neck and Happy was safe in the car.
Dad drove Happy home in triumph. He took Happy into the kitchen and the children jumped with joy to seem Happy come home.
Happy would walk around the area but he never ventured as far again. The family learnt from their mistake and put a collar on their precious dog. The collar said his owners’ name, address and home phone number. The girls began to take him for walks
As the baby boy got bigger Happy even let the baby ride him like a horse.
Happy had some play fights with the other dogs in the area. He also had some romances with the female dogs in the area. His puppies were born.
One day the dad came back with some good but difficult news. He and the mum had something to tell the children. They were going to move to a country far away. It was called Libya. They would have a bigger house and a lot more money. The children would be able to swim in the sea every day. It would be very sunny. But it would be too hot for Happy. Dogs do not like living in Libya very much. The family would leave Ireland but Happy would stay at home. The children were excited by sad. Where would Happy live?
Kindly aunt Lily and Generous uncle Bernie had agreed to take the dog in. They had three children of their own. Happy was then brought to live in their house. They had an enormous farm. It was a tearful farewell. The family returned to Ireland every year to visit Happy.
Happy lived many, many wonderful years. There never was a dog with a more suitable name than Happy.