She had moved to a new neighborhood with her family and adopted a furry friend. Never had she imagined that one day her Doberman would bring her a baby who would change her life forever.
“What? No, I’m not going to agree to that! That dog will be all over the place, and Tilly and all the chores are already driving me nuts. So no, Matthew! No!”
“Mommy?” Tilly asked. “Please? I promise I’ll look after him.”
“And so do I, babe! We’ll help you out!” Matthew insisted.
Gina looked at her husband and daughter sitting at the kitchen table with pleading, innocent eyes, trying to convince her to get a pet dog. But she was not going to fall for it.
“I’m not going to trust you guys again! Remember what happened the last time we got a parrot? No, guys, no! The house is still a disaster, and I need to get back to work as soon as possible!” Gina said as she picked up some cardboard boxes and disappeared into the master bedroom.
“Mommy’s not gonna allow it, Daddy,” Tilly said sadly. “But I want a dog…”
“Hey, hey, princess,” Matthew whispered. “Let’s get one without telling Mommy, OK? I bet she’ll fall in love with him!”
But no. Gina did not fall in love with the pet dog, at least not instantly. When she returned home from work a week later, the overly affectionate Doberman pounced on her and began licking her face, and Gina freaked out.
“Matthew! Get him off of me!” she screamed.
Matthew laughed. “Well, he seems to love you more than Tilly and me! Why don’t you pet him?”
Gina sighed. “Good Lord! What am I supposed to do with you two and now this… thing!”
Tilly grinned and wrapped her arms around the Doberman’s neck. “Washington, Mommy!” she chirped. “His name is Washington!”
“You don’t need to worry, Gina,” Matthew said. “He’s a trained dog. He won’t bite our daughter; in fact, he seems to love her already. Also, it’s for our safety in the neighborhood. You know what I mean.”
Family is more about commitment and love than biology.
“Yeah, whatever!” Gina rolled her eyes. “I still can’t believe you guys did this behind my back. I’m done with y’all, really! But you know what? No! You better send him where he came from!”
“Come on! Don’t be a bummer, Gina!” Matthew said. “You’ll end up loving him! Please?”
“I still don’t agree with this! Good luck taking care of him!”
And that’s how, with slight disapproval from Gina and a lot of love and acceptance from Matthew and Tilly, Washington was welcomed to the Hayden household.
Matthew and Gina had recently relocated to a small house in a new neighborhood in Pennsylvania after Matthew’s job transfer. Because the crimes, especially daylight robberies, were at an all-time high in the area along the highway, Matthew suggested they get a dog.
Tilly had always wanted a pet, and despite Gina’s disapproval, Matthew secretly adopted the Doberman from a shelter and brought him home.
Washington was sweet, and Tilly adored him. But Gina wasn’t mentally prepared to welcome him home.
So she decided to sell the dog secretly and tell Tilly and Matthew that he’d run away.
Gina even found a buyer online, discussed the details, and set up a meeting with him. Thankfully, Tilly and Matthew were out shopping on the day she was supposed to meet the buyer, so Gina decided it was the right time to get rid of the unwanted dog.
But as she was driving to the meeting with Washington in her car, Gina suddenly pulled over at the wayside and said, “No, I can’t do this. I can’t.”
She then looked at Washington and sighed. She remembered his adorable brown rusty eyes, how he licked her cheeks with affection despite her distaste for him, and how Tilly and Matthew adored him—as if he were already a family member.
So no matter how much Gina had wanted to get rid of him, somewhere in some nook and cranny of her heart, she had developed an affection for this pet dog. So, instead of getting rid of Washington that day, she turned the car around and drove back home.
“Mommy? Did you take Washington for a drive?” Tilly asked when Gina got home. Matthew and Tilly had already returned from shopping.
Gina smiled. “I did,” she said. “And I’m glad I did. I think he’s the best dog! We love him, don’t we?”
“Yes, Mommy! He’s our family!” Tilly chirped.
But neither Gina nor Matthew and Tilly could have predicted what happened next. It was nothing less than a nightmare, and Gina’s heart shuddered that day.
Gina was arranging the week’s groceries in the kitchen while watching Tilly and Washington play in the front yard through the kitchen window. She must’ve been gone for about ten minutes when she heard Tilly’s screams.
Gina dashed from the kitchen counter to the window and saw her daughter pale and pointing her finger at something. When Gina looked beyond Tilly’s shoulders, her hands went to her mouth in shock.
“Oh, God! Tilly! Washington!” Gina screamed and dashed outside.
As Gina approached Washington, she couldn’t believe her eyes. In front of them lay a little figure, a baby, crying and throwing her small arms in the air. Washington had carried the child all the way to their house!
“Oh, you sweet thing! How did she end up here?” Gina panicked as she cradled the little child in her arms. “What is a baby doing here?” she asked. “Tilly, hun? What happened?”
“Washington ran outside for the ball, Mommy! And I followed him… And he saved the baby from a snake… and he… he got her home! He didn’t bite her, Mommy! He didn’t hurt her!”
“What the hell?” Gina gasped. “Where did you find the baby? And how can someone leave their child unattended?”
“There was no one, Mommy! The baby was alone! Can we… keep her?”
“No, hun. God, no!” Gina said worriedly. “We need to take her home! Washington, where did you find her?” she asked the dog. “Can you take me there? Wait a second; let me lock the door, and we’ll go look.”
“Mommy, I know the way!” Tilly said.
“Great. Good, hun. Good. I’ll be right back.”
Gina cleaned the baby’s soiled arms and feet with wet wipes and wrapped her in a lovely pink blanket. Then she followed Tilly and Washington to the child’s house.
When Gina arrived, she was shocked to find herself at the doorstep of an old, dirty house. The front door creaked open when she knocked, and a gust of musty and damp air met her nostrils.
The house was filthy and reeked of garbage meat. She could see dirty dishes on the table and a lot of inappropriate stuff lying around—things that no baby’s house should have.
“Let’s go home!” Gina decided. “We need to call Daddy, hun,” she told Tilly. “And then the cops.”
After seeing the house in such disarray, Gina realized the baby had been left unattended by careless parents. So she called Matthew home early, and they decided to notify the cops and CPS.
“Officer, we don’t think the child’s house is safe for her,” Gina told the officer and social worker. “It was a mess! I mean, it seemed like nobody has been living there, and whoever is… they might just be returning home for a few hours and then disappearing again.”
“We’ve dispatched a team to check about the family’s whereabouts. Could you please repeat the events of this morning?” the officer asked.
Gina told the officer how Washington and Tilly had found the baby, and he nodded. “Well, in such cases, we usually place the child in foster care, but the baby seems to trust you,” he explained, staring at the toddler, who was fiddling with Gina’s necklace.
“But we can’t keep her here, officer,” Matthew said, looking at Gina. “Both my wife and I have day jobs. She happened to have an off today, luckily, so she could handle it. But we can’t make any guarantees—”
“No,” Gina interrupted. “I believe we’ll be fine!”
“Gina!” Matthew said. “It’s a big responsibility. We also have Tilly, Washington, and your work! We’ve already asked neighbors to look after Tilly until you get home, and things will get crazy if we agree to keep the baby!”
“I know, but I can’t leave her in the system, babe,” Gina argued. “I grew up in foster homes, officer, and I really don’t want her to go there. Please.”
“Well, great then!” grinned the officer. “We’ll keep an eye out for the child’s family. We’re already interrogating the neighbors, and we’re hoping for a valuable lead.”
“Thank you, officer. I hope we can find closure soon and the baby returns home safely,” said Gina.
“Well, thank you for your help, Mrs. Hayden. We hope we aren’t causing you too much trouble. Thanks to you too, Mr. Hayden.”
“No, no, it’s alright,” Gina sighed.
Gina did not know anything about the baby yet decided to keep her home. Bella, as Tilly named her, was a huge responsibility for the Haydens. But Gina didn’t want to leave baby Bella alone because she’d seen how horrible some foster homes are!
And it was then that something magical happened. “Ma… Mama!” exclaimed Bella as she looked at Gina.
Gina’s eyes welled up, and the judge smiled. “So to me, it appears that,” the judge continued, “the baby has picked her mother, which has simplified my responsibility as a judge…”
In the end, Bella became Gina and Matthew’s daughter, and they were delighted to have her back. But the happiest of all was Washington, who not only brought Bella to her new family but loved her scent and showered her with drooly adoration, licking her tiny feet and hands.
What can we learn from this story?
Family is more about commitment and love than biology. Gina and Matthew embraced baby Bella and became loving parents to her.
There’s a reason why dogs are a man’s best friend. All thanks to Washington, who saved Bella from a snake, the little child was pulled out of a miserable life.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.