Chapter 30

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Chapter 30

       "How about this one?" I asked.

       Laughlin looked at it, then shook his head before walking down the aisle. I sighed, slowly following him. He was being very picky. It wasn't that hard to pick something.

        We had been here for probably on hour and nothing was satisfying him. "Can you just pick one?" I asked.

       As soon as I said that, Laughlin stopped and bent down, looking through the window. One of the workers walked up to us. "This one came in a few months ago," she said. "We don't know what happened, but he was a stray and very hungry."

       "He lost an eye?" Laughlin asked.

       The worker nodded. "Our guess was the his previous owners were very abusive. He had a few cuts here and there. Nobody has been wanting to take him in because of it."

       "Can I play with him?" Laughlin asked.

       The worker pulled out a key ring and unlocked the cage, carefully taking out the white and brown shih tzu before handing him to Laughlin. I had never seen Laughlin look so happy before.

       "He's so cute," Laughlin said, scratching behind his ear. "I think he's the one. I'd like to adopt him."

       The worker smiled happily. "Great. He needs a loving home."

       "My brothers will love him," Laughlin said.

       We followed the worker around the store, buying dog furniture, toys, and food. After paying for anything, Laughlin told me I could carry him while he drove back home. He bought a dog carrier, but he wanted the dog to stay out of closed spaces for a bit.

       "Now I know why you wanted him," I said. "He's adorable. What are you going to name him?"

       Laughlin took his eyes off the road for a second, looking at the dog before looking back on the road. "I don't know. Maybe Munro should name him. He's the one that's been wanting a dog."

       "Did you tell them that you're getting a dog?" I asked.

       Laughlin shook his head. "I told my grandparents, but not my brothers. I want to surprise them."

       I smiled. "See, this is why you were granted custody. You're a great guardian."

       "Thanks, Ellie," he said, returning the smile. "I was worried the court would find me unfit. I still don't get why Mary's dad was attacking me the whole time. I wasn't the defendant."

       "Maybe he knew your parents were unfit," I said. "And so he had to make sure the court saw you more unfit than your parents. Luckily they didn't."

       He pulled into the driveway of his house, looking excited to show his brothers. I handed him the dog and began pulling the dog necessities out of the car.

       Laughlin opened the front door where Munro and Nick were arguing over the TV remote. "Hey!" Laughlin called. "I have a surprise for you two."

       When the two boys turned, their smiles were the biggest I had ever seen. "You got a dog?!" Munro asked.

       Laughlin nodded, walking over to him and letting him hold it. "This dog needs a lot of care," Laughlin said. "He was most likely abused by his previous owners because he had a lot of scratches when he was at the animal shelter and he lost an eye."

       "He's still cute," Munro said. "What's his name?"

       "That's for you to decide," Laughlin said. "I thought after all you've been through, you can name him."

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