Amazing Kids! Magazine

Earning Snickers

By Lauren Barrett, age 13, Ohio


My fingers were stressed with soreness. I always grasped ahold of Mom’s tan, soft, sweetly fragrant hand. I always had her at my side, and nothing felt right if she wasn’t with me.

One day we were walking on the slick, leaf-covered sidewalk, coming home from school. As we walked, I saw an image of a golden fuzz ball ahead. It was so gold it was if we were walking towards the shiniest golden coin. As we approached the puppy, I opened my hands and felt the soft fur overflow on my arms. Thoughts of a dog of my very own quickly took shape in my mind. I began to beg my mom. She said that we could get a puppy once I became responsible enough for one. I felt hopeless. I always had someone with me, and never knew how to do anything on my own, although I was willing to give it a whirl.

I was starting 2nd grade, so I thought that maybe this was a sign that I needed to grow up and let go. I decided to give it my best effort. I usually slept in my parents’ room, but that night, I decided to be brave and pulled the mattress back into my room. As I laid there in my dark, lonely room, the only thing I was thinking about was the cold feeling of a dog’s tongue licking my face.

When I awoke, I felt super accomplished. I could hear the dog barks getting closer to me. However, that was only the first step, I had to do more to prove to my parents that I was responsible. I got out of bed and walked on the cold hardwood floors to the kitchen. I pulled out my lunchbox, Doritos, a sandwich, cookies, and grapes. When my mom came down to see my lunch already made, she was elated!

The next, biggest step was to walk to school all by myself. I oriented myself through the lonely streets, keeping the dog in my thoughts to block out the fear. It seemed as if the trees were waving at me and calling my name. But when I walked through the 2nd grade door at school, the smell of crayons and the voices of my friends filled the air and calmed me.

When the school bell rang at the end of the day, I remembered that my mom wouldn’t be on the other side of the wooden door to greet me. My heart dropped, but I knew I could do it. I knew exactly where to go, and which street I was on. I thought of how proud my parents would be, and I was eager to find out if I qualified for a dog. When I approached my house, I walked in the door with pride.

Mom was sitting on the black leather couch, thrilled to see me. She had a surprise for me, and led me to the car. Jumping with joy, I followed her lead and sat in the backseat of my Dad’s suburban. Images of me holding puppies overflowed in my head. I couldn’t wait; I was overjoyed.

My mom told me we were going to a special place to pick out the perfect puppy. When we walked through the main door of the building, I was hit with the smell of dogs and the sound of barks. A little brown lab with soft fur smoothed back trotted out of a cage, and I knew she belonged to me.

We named her Snickers, because her fur was like smooth milk chocolate being poured out of a bowl. On the car ride home, I couldn’t stop smiling. I had conquered my troubles and become more independent—but best of all, I got the softest, sweetest, most loving dog: Snickers.