No-Name, The Beautiful

By Rebecca Bartholomew

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Once there was a beautiful, golden puppy. Everybody said he was the most beautiful puppy they had ever seen. He loved to dig...

...and pounce...

...and chase birds (and people)...

...and play with his best friend, Bowser.

One day No-Name — for that was the beautiful puppy’s name — saw his master coming towards him.  No-Name ran to his master, who put a leash on him and said, "Today you are going to school to learn some dog manners.

At manners school, No-Name met many new friends: Billy the Great Dane who had such wonderful posture...

...Aussie the Australian silky, whose fine hair was always brushed and shining......and Poof the Poodle,

who could stand on his hind legs and do all sorts of tricks. No-Name liked them all and wanted to sniff and play with them. But everyone said No-Name was the most beautiful dog of all.

When it came time for class to start, the master pulled on No-Name’s leash and commanded him to stand at attention, No-Name balked. He did not want to stand at attention.

When at last his master got No-Name to stand in line, No-Name turned and growled at the dog behind him, who was sniffing him. When the master cried, "No, No-Name!" No-Name snarled at him!

Finally the teacher came over to help. No-Name turned on him and started toward him with a mean look on his face. His master took No-Name home.

The next week, the master again took No-Name to manners school. Billy, Aussie, and Poof were there. No-Name greeted them happily. But then he saw a stranger — another retriever like himself. He snarled at the stranger, who barked at him. No-Name leaped at him and they got into a terrible, fighting tangle. The master had to take No-Name home again. All the people at the class said, "What a shame such a beautiful dog has no manners."

The third week, the master tried once more to take No-Name to manners school. That week he barked at the children who passed by, chased the mailman, stranded a kitten up the cherry tree, and snarled at his master.

The master was very sad. No-Name was the most beautiful puppy he had ever seen. But No-Name was so mean and unmannerly that no one liked him. On the outside, he was the smartest, most beautiful dog in the world. But on the inside, he was not beautiful at all. But No-Name didn’t know this.  His master was very sad to have such a beautiful dog with no manners.  He thought for a long time about what to do.

One day No-Name stepped on a piece of glass from a broken bottle and cut his paw.  His master quickly took him to a veterinarian to have it sterilized and stitched up.  The Veterinarian did what was needed and then gave No-Name a very thorough examination.  The doctor suddenly dropped his surgical scissors on the floor.  They hit the metal table as they fell and made a loud sound.  No-Name's master jumped, but the Vet was surprised to see that No-Name didn't flinch.

"I wonder," said the Vet.  He took a leather strap and cracked it behind No-Name's head.  Again he paid no attention.  

"I'm sorry to tell you this, but I think your beautiful dog might be deaf," he told No-Name's master.

The man smiled and said, "That's wonderful news!"

The Vet was stunned at his response.  "Why would that be good news"" he asked.

"Because now I know why he has been misbehaving and disobeying!  He can't hear my commands!  He's not a bad dog!  He just doesn't hear what I tell him!  When other dogs run towards him he must feel threatened since he can't hear their friendly whines."

The Vet understood and taught the master how to use hand signs in front of No-Name's eyes, and soon he was following every command as if he had known how all of his life.  The master proudly took him to obedience school, where he politely played with Bowser, Billy, Aussie, and Poof, and obediently did whatever was requested of him.

No-Name got a new name: Silence.  Since he couldn't hear his name the master also gave him the name in sign language, and whenever he saw his name he wagged his tail.  He became not only the most beautiful, but the most obedient dog in the whole county, and the next year he won first place at the dog show.

The End

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