Friday, 11th January
BEST. BIRTHDAY. EVER!!!
I, Jonathan Clark, got a puppy! My very own puppy!
I’ll call him Sunny.
Mum says I should start a diary about Sunny and me.
I’ll try but I don’t like writing very much.
Saturday, 12th January
Sunny is a very pretty kinda dog. He’s got golden fur and big brown eyes. They remind me of my favourite chocolate.
He can’t really bark yet coz he’s only little. I try to teach him but I can’t bark either. He can still make noises tho like when I accidentally stepped on his tail. He is fine now.
He likes sniffing everything especially the cat who doesn’t like him much.
Muffin will just have to deal with it.
Sunday, 13th January
Sunny is gonna be a biggish dog mum says so I gotta teach him good manners.
I wasn’t sure how to do that but I thought teaching him sitting and being quiet would be good. Mum always tells me to sit and be quiet and behave.
He’s not very good at listening. He just starts chasing his tail or wants to play.
I like playing more than learning too.
Tuesday, 15th January
Sunny is in trouble coz he dug up mum’s flowers. It’s not his fault. His paws are big and he needs to practice with them.
He whined when she locked him in the bathroom. I was upset too but soon he was allowed back out.
We brought him a little bed and I told him it was his. He sniffed it and lay down.
I think he likes it.
Thursday, 17th January
Because Sunny is my dog, I have to clean up after him, feed him and walk him.
It’s a lot of work but I guess that’s okay.
I’m trying to get mum to let him sleep in my room but she says a big no.
I’ll keep trying. Sunny would keep my toes warm.
Saturday, 19th January
It was Sunny’s first time at the park today. He loved it. He chased the sticks I threw for him but didn’t bring them back. I’ll have to teach him that too.
He met some other dogs and went crazy and ran around loads. He was friendly with them, even the big, mean one that growled at him.
Mum says if I give him treats when he's good he’ll keep being good.
I wonder if he likes chocolate like me.
Sunday, 20th December
Sunny does not like chocolate.
He ate some but then it came back up in the living room. Mum and dad both said that chocolate wasn’t good for dogs. It makes their tummy’s sick. I was sad that he didn’t like my favourite treat, but he likes chicken so I will give him that instead.
He can now sit and lie down. Dad says he’s very smart to learn it so quickly.
I wish he would stop chasing Muffin tho.
Saturday, 26th January
It was stormy today and Sunny didn’t like it. He hid under the couch blankets. I got him to come out and patted him. I used to be afraid of storms too. I’ll teach Sunny not to be afraid.
Besides, the puddles from storms are heaps of fun to play in.
Friday, 1st February
I couldn’t write for a while because I was sick. It was awful. But now I’m better so mum says I should do some writing.
Sunny is now allowed in my room. He kept my toes warm when I was sick. He would whine and scratch at my door if he couldn’t come in and would lie out there and wait for me. So mum and dad let him in to cheer him up. It cheered me up too.
Sunny got into more trouble while I was sick. He chewed up the couch, kept chasing Muffin, annoyed dad and pooped near Muffin’s tower house.
So everybody, especially Muffin, was not happy with him.
But he’s getting better. I promise.
He was happy to see me better. He’s already grown a lot. But his paws are still too big and clumsy.
My throat still hurts but I tried to teach him to shake and gave him lots of bikkies. He did learn quickly, not like me. I find learning hard, especially maths. I wonder what Sunny would think of learning numbers. What would dogs even count if they could?
I don’t want to go to school on Monday. I want to stay with Sunny.
Monday, 4th February
School was okay. Everyone asked me about Sunny and I got to talk to the class about him. Mum brought him with her to pick me up. He was so excited he couldn’t stop jumping. All my friends took turns patting him and he was so happy.
He followed me around for the rest of the day until I went to bed. He’s lying at my feet right now.
He’s actually a bit smelly so I might have to wash him soon.
Friday, 8th February
I washed him after school and got soaked. He kept shaking and his long fur can hold lots of water. He was so funny when he played with the hose tho. He tried to eat it.
He can shake hands now.
And he is also kinda learning to be nicer to Muffin and not chase her.
I try to give Muffin extra treats too. She hides up in her cat tower most days, away from Sunny.
I hope they can be friends one day.
Sunday, 10th February
Mum got really angry when Sunny came in with all muddy paws ALL over the house. She shouted at Sunny and smacked him. He went and hid under my bed.
I cleaned it all up. I was kinda angry at mum for being upset at Sunny but he really did make a mess, even more than I did sometimes.
When I finished, I went upstairs to tell Sunny that he had to sleep outside tonight. He was very upset. I was too but I explained to him that he had to be a good boy, like me. And good boys don’t put muddy pawprints all over the house.
Lucky it isn’t too cold outside tonight.
Monday, 11th February
Sunny had to go to the vet today to get an operation. It wasn’t a scary one and he came home soon. He was sleepy and he looked sore so I gave him lots of pats and love.
He looks so funny with the big cone on his head tho and I can’t help but laugh at him. He looks like the satellite dish on the roof.
But I looked after him, just like he had looked after me when I was sick.
Friday, 15th February
Sunny is better now. He is also growing even more but his paws are still too big and clumsy.
He knows all of his tricks now like sit, shake, roll over, lie down. He is very smart.
My friends come over a lot to see him and go to the park to play with the ball. They are the best part of the days.
Saturday, 2nd March
I think Sunny is in a lot of trouble.
One of the boys who plays with us, Tim, was bullying my friend Sam, saying mean things and then pushing him hard down onto the ground. Sunny saw and jumped up and growled and tried to bite Tim to protect Sam.
But Sunny didn’t bite him. Sunny doesn’t do that. But Tim screamed and cried that he had.
After we got home mum and dad got a call from Tim’s dad and there was lots of shouting about Sunny biting Tim. When they came to ask me I told them the story and refused to let them be angry at Sunny. Sunny had done nothing wrong.
Sunny is staying very close to me at the moment.
Tuesday, 5th March
Mum and dad say that Sunny is not in trouble anymore, but I don’t think Tim or his parents are happy about that. They all give mean looks to me and Sunny when they think we aren’t looking. Tim doesn’t play with us anymore too.
Thursday, 14th March
Mum and dad have been arguing a lot today. I think they still are, in dad’s office. They do that a lot now. I wonder why. I hope it’s not Sunny coz he has been naughty again.
Saturday, 16th March
Sunny doesn’t like them shouting. He always hides under my bed or under my desk. I think it’s a good idea. I wish I could hide too. Once I’m in bed, I’ll have Sunny hop up beside me and cuddle me. His warm fur makes me feel safe, and the sloppy licks on my face tell me that he loves me.
Saturday, 23rd March
Dad doesn’t talk much anymore. He always has his study door shut which makes Sunny sad. Sunny likes dad. Dad gives the best chin rubs and juicy sausages from the barbecue. Now dad yells whenever Sunny barks at the door.
Mum is not much better, but at least she doesn’t shut her door and she still gives Sunny pats. She is quiet too, except when she is shouting with Dad.
Sunday, 7th April
Mum and dad sat me down today and asked the strangest questions.
First they asked if I liked living here. I said yes of course.
Then they asked me if I wanted to move. I thought about it and asked if I could take Sunny with me. They both smiled and said Sunny would go wherever I went. So I said I wanted to stay.
Then dad asked if Sunny and I wanted to move and live with just him for a little while. I was very confused. We couldn’t leave mum alone.
Mum said she didn’t mind but I think she was lying. Mum never lies.
Then they kept asking so I just said I wanted to stay, all of us together like we were.
Why did I have to choose?
They both smiled a bit sadly.
I wonder what's going on.
Saturday, 4th May
Dad is leaving.
Sunny can tell our moods are not happy, mine especially. He keeps whining and tries to lick the tears off my face. I push him away angrily. I’m sure it must be his fault. Maybe dad doesn’t want Sunny anymore because Sunny was just too naughty and loud. Maybe dad wanted me to come live with him, but not Sunny and I said Sunny had to come.
It was all his fault.
He came in before and stuck his great big nose in my lap. I pushed him away hard and he yelped. I locked him out of my room. He scraped his big stupid paws at the door and I yelled at him again.
I don’t want dad to leave.
Tuesday, 14th May
Dad is gone.
The house is really quiet now. Mum cries a lot but she pretends not to when I’m around.
She came into my room today to ask why Sunny had been sleeping outside and that he was very unhappy.
I said I didn’t care about Sunny anymore. Everything was his fault.
Mum looked sadly at me and left the room.
Monday, 20th May
Sunny is quiet now. He doesn’t jump around much anymore or bark outside. Probably coz I don’t want to play with him. He’s too big and loud and messy. School is harder too and I don’t like it.
I don’t like anything right now.
Saturday, 15th June
Dad came back today!
I thought he was staying forever but he said he was just here to talk to me. Mum had told him about me and Sunny.
I begged him to come home, saying that Sunny would be a good dog, or he could move to somewhere new so dad could stay.
Instead, Dad told me that it wasn’t Sunny’s fault and that Sunny was dad’s most favourite dog. He had left because of grown-up reasons, not because of Sunny or me.
I still asked again why he had left. Was it definitely not me?
He shook his head sadly, told me no, kissed me on the forehead and left again.
Sunday, 16th June
I was still upset about dad, but I trusted him and he said that Sunny was a good boy.
Today, I went outside to play ball with him. His tail wagged so hard it looked like a helicopter.
I took him for a long walk too and he stayed right beside me, not even running off to sniff everything.
He was even okay with Muffin stealing his bed in my room. He gave Muffin a lick which I don’t think Muffin liked, but at least he wasn’t trying to eat her.
Tuesday, 18th June
Sunny slept on my bed again last night for the first time in a long while. He gave a big happy dog sigh. I cuddled up to him as usual, feeling his warm, dog-smelling body and I felt so so sad that I’d ignored him for so long. He didn’t seem to mind and tried licking all the tears from my face when I cried.
Friday, 21st June
School is a bit better now I have Sunny again. He’s always happy to see me when I get home and I know that he looks after mum during the day when she’s alone.
I found out today tho that grandma is sick. We’re going to visit her and grandpa tomorrow. I’ll bring Sunny. I hope he can cheer grandma up.
He’s really good at that.
Friday, 5th July
We’ve been staying at grandma and grandpa’s house a lot. She’s really sick but won’t go to hospital.
Mum is always tired so I mostly have to look after Sunny and myself.
He’s been very helpful.
Thursday, 18th July
Grandma went to the hospital. Sunny couldn’t come and I missed him.
I don’t like the hospital. I hope grandma will be okay.
Wednesday, 25th December
It’s our first Christmas without grandma, grandpa or dad. I know I haven’t written much lately but there isn’t much nice to write about. Mum is so so sad all the time and there were the two funerals we had to go to and dad doesn’t call much.
Sunny is still with me tho. He’s nearly a year old now. He still loves to play but he can also sit and be quiet. Sometimes I think he knows a lot more than I do about life.
He’s the only one who can make mum and I smile.
Wednesday, 1st January
New Year’s Day. We went to a nice big park today which was fun. Sunny went swimming in the pond, chasing the ducks. It made us laugh.
I had to give him a bath after tho coz he stank.
Saturday, 11th January
Today is the happiest I’ve been in a while. It’s my birthday, and Sunny’s coz we don’t know when he was born. So we celebrate the day he came to us.
We got him a big bone and mum actually got me a bicycle. She gave me a big hug and thanked me for being so wonderful. I didn’t think I had been but I was glad mum seemed happier.
Dad sent me a card. I don’t know why he doesn’t come back. That would be the best present.
Sunny and Muffin are both on my bed now. I think they’ve finally accepted that they both have to live together.
It makes me smile.
Maybe things can get better.
Wow. I remember first writing in this diary on my 11th birthday, the day I got Sunny, almost 20 years ago now. It was both the best, and worst, year of my life.
Divorce, two deaths, a deeply depressed mother and a father who couldn’t care less. Then I started high school.
So, life was very different after that year.
But Sunny was always there. He saved my life, I think, in more ways than one.
He was there through my teenage years, years which were hard for us all. When I finally moved out of home, after mother was okay again, I took Sunny with me. He didn’t mind the endless road trip of trying to find somewhere to live. As far as Sunny was concerned, wherever I was was home for him.
He was also how I met my wife. He seemed to know, when he saw her running at the park and promptly bowled her over, that she was something special. Thank god he had or I would have missed out on one hell of a woman.
Sunny was one of the first to see our newborn daughter when we finally brought her home. I remember Sunny looking at this small, strange creature before him, then heaving a deep sigh and resting his head near her, watching her intently.
From then on, my daughter had a guardian angel in the form of an old Labrador.
Sunny is gone now. Even his great spirit couldn’t resist the slow, steady march of death. He had a long life, and I think a happy one. He never complained. But it was hard, losing your friend of 17 years. I find strength in knowing that he no doubt crossed the rainbow bridge into doggy heaven. There couldn’t be a better place for him.
It’s good to read about Sunny and remember him as a young, silly puppy. I will give this diary to my daughter when she’s older, so she knows a little about the Sunny of my boyhood.
But first, I think it’s only right that the diary I wrote for Sunny and I has a proper ending, as all great love stories must.
Thus, here ends the diary of Sunny, the greatest dog that ever lived, the greatest friend I ever had.
I miss you.