The Lonely Puppy. Scruffy is an untidy little puppy that nobody wants to play with. But if you can look beyond appearances and truly give someone a chance, you might find a special friend under all that messy fur.
Make your child the main character. Replace this (_____) with your child’s name.
The Lonely Puppy
It was a calm, sunny day, and _____ was playing with his friends at the park.
_____ loved the park, and most of all, he loved the swings. He liked to whoosh really fast and really high.
He was having so much fun on the swings, he hadn’t noticed how hungry he was. His tummy rumbled and growled.
The children all decided to stop and eat their lunch on the grass.
When they suddenly heard a noise nearby.
“Woof! Woof!” It was the sound of a dog barking. The children became very excited to see it.
But when the animal appeared, it was very muddy. Its fur was messy, and its ears were ragged.
“Hello, little guy!” said _____. “This poor puppy! It looks like nobody has been looking after it.”
“Don’t let it come near,” said Geronimo. “It’s dirty!”
“Yes!” cried Clarabelle. “And it smells bad!”
“Okay,” said _____, feeling disappointed. He sat back down on the grass and picked up his apple.
The puppy whined and began walking away. Its tail hung limply between its legs.
_____ turned away. He tried to forget the puppy, and ignore the twisty feeling of guilt in his belly.
His hunger disappeared, and he couldn’t enjoy the taste of his apple anymore. It seemed bitter.
_____ made a decision. He put his apple down on the grass and said,
“You guys have fun at the park. I’m going to play with the dog.”
Clarabelle shook her head. “Why would you want to play with that messy thing?”
_____ sighed at his friend.
He ran over towards the puppy, who started wagging his tail in delight.
“I think I’ll call you Scruffy!” said _____, kindly. He patted Scruffy on the head.
“Sorry about my friends. I guess they can’t see how much fun you are, under all that dirt!”
Scruffy yipped happily and ran in circles around _____, making him laugh.
“Do you like to play fetch?” _____ asked.
In response, Scruffy rushed off excitedly to find a stick.
_____ threw the stick, and Scruffy sprinted across the grass. He was so fast. Much faster than the swings at the park!
Scruffy picked up the stick in his teeth and galloped back to drop it at the boy’s feet.
“You’re a very good dog,” _____ said, and ruffled the messy fur on Scruffy’s head. Scruffy yipped happily.
“Come on, let’s get you cleaned up, shall we?” he asked.
And the little dog ran alongside him as they walked home.
Back at _____ house, Scruffy enjoyed a nice, warm bubble bath.
Then _____ dried and brushed Scruffy’s fur.
He looked amazing! His fur was soft, light, and tidy. Scruffy was delighted to smell so fresh and clean.
“Want to play some more fetch?” _____ asked, and Scruffy’s tail wagged. “Let’s go back to the park!” he said.
So, the two friends began walking back towards the grassy playground.
When they arrived, they noticed that the other children were still there, and were just finishing their lunch.
“Oh!” cried Clarabelle. “What a lovely puppy!”
“Yes!” said Geronimo. “Where did you find that beautiful dog?”
_____ laughed. “Don’t you recognize him?”
Geronimo and Clarabelle looked shocked.
“You mean… This is the same mucky dog from before?” said Geronimo.
“Well, it’s the same friendly dog from before,” said _____. “He was always this friendly, whether he was dirty or not.”
“Oh my goodness,” said Clarabelle. “I can’t believe it!” “We are so sorry,” said Geronimo. “Will you forgive us?”
Scruffy thought for a moment. He tilted his head.
Then he wagged his tail and ran up to Clarabelle and Geronimo.
“Oh, wonderful! Here, little guy,” said Clarabelle. She gave the puppy some pieces of chicken left over from her lunch.
Geronimo said, “I guess we’ve learned we should never judge a book by its cover… or a dog by its fur!”
_____ picked up a stick to throw for their new friend Scruffy, and they all played together until the sun went down.