I ran through the forest, enjoying the fresh mountain air. I felt the warm sun melt on me, on this summer day. I looked behind me, to see my dog running after me. He stopped where I did, his tongue lolling, asking for water, the source of life. We are almost there, boy, I tell him.
We walked in silence, his tongue still bouncing as he went. We think about our life thus far, happy and full of good times. Nothing left to lose, except each other, and our past. We continue, down a beaten, worn path that most locals like us use to get to the river. I always call it “The White River” because of its never ending rapids. But, as rough as it is, it is still our best drinking source because of its cleanliness. It comes from a freshwater lake, just north of the river. The White River is about six to seven feet across.
I let my good running partner take a long drink of the refreshing water, while I refill my canister. I also take a long drink of the soothing water. It is in these grateful times that we sometimes let our guard down. I never even heard the padded paws approach, never saw the figure move behind my back.
Only my very good boy heard and saw it. A lone wolf seeking either the river or his next meal, us. I tried to remain calm as my dog bared his teeth to show that we are one, and he felt threatened. The wolf started to circle us, as if to say yes, well that’s nice little doggy. I need dinner too you know. I breathed, but just barely, as my dog took a fighting stance. He growled deep in his throat. The wolf licked his chops.
Before I knew what I was doing, I pulled off my backpack and threw it hard at the wolf. The weight caught him by surprise. He stumbled a bit, before he gathered his senses. I felt like a burden was lifted from my shoulders. My dog took action as I called him, and called him, the tears starting to swell. He looked back, as if to say, it’s okay human. My job is to protect you right? Let me prove myself worthy. He pounced on the wolf, like a cat pounces on a mouse.
I felt a fire rise in my chest, half anger, half courage. I grabbed a nearby stick, big enough to do harm, and walked over to the fighting duo. My dog tried biting at the wolf’s layers, but they were too thick. The wolf tried to push my dog off of himself, so he could fight better. Too much blood was shed, not from the wolf, but from my boy. I steadied the stick on my shoulders, like an axeman resting. My dog was getting weaker and weaker. When I had a good shot at the wolf’s head, I took it. SMACK! The wolf laid down, heart barely working, like a major migraine that stops your body from working.
But my dog had the worst effect. He had been bitten, and he was losing blood. There wasn’t much I could do, despite his puppy eye look and his whimpers. I cried along with him, my only friend in this dark and lonely world, slowly I am losing him. I hug him for the last time, pick up my backpack, and walk slowly towards home. Believer was his name. The clouds grew darker, but no rain would come. I had always had my trust in Believer. He had his times, and I had mine. My black pit-bull was always a softy, but he had a background of fighting. Well, at least he is somewhere better, I thought as I kicked a rock off the path.
Believer changed my life and I want to change other’s lives too. I decided to somehow make a business where I too could help people change their lives for the better. I headed home that day with one less companion than a few minutes ago.
The frown on my face lasted only until I saw my little cabin in the woods. It brought back good times and memories with my small family and circle of close friends. I never thought that someday I could change lives. I set my bag down in the hall and went to the kitchen to get something to eat. I got an apple and pulled up my laptop to research some. I saw many organizations that helped people forget their bad negative past and decided that maybe I should try it too.
In five simple steps, I soon set myself on the path of forgetting the bad and remembering the good. It wasn’t that hard, and only took me a few days, but by the end I was a changed person. It was at that moment that I wanted to help others who had the same problem.
So I set off on another adventure, into the city. Buses and taxis weren’t my first transportation options, but they weren't my last either. I adapted to them quickly along with the other changes I went through. I opened a business using my college money and named it Believer’s Program, Changed for the Better in honor of my Believer.
A few days after it opened, I was the talk of the town. Everyone wanted to be changed for the better after that. I myself was changed after all the people I met and spoke with. I felt light as a feather when I helped these people. I helped them release calm “waves'' if you will. I grew connected to some and others thanked me tons.
Everyday after an early morning at work to nearly dusk, I was tired out and ready for my bed. My feet ached and my back hurt, but everyday it was worth it, meeting great people and doing great things. I wasn’t lonely often, but when I was, it was on the weekends. I walked around town and thought of my great hero who saved my life. I wouldn’t be here helping others if it wasn’t for my boy who attacked the wolf for me. I missed him, sure, but his memory still lives on.