Damian pulled up the driveway that led to his friend’s house. The many acres of farmland seemed to stretch out to the horizon. Off to the side, he saw James playing with a golden retriever. James' luggage was next to him. Damian parked the jeep nearby and hopped out.
“Hey Damian!” James waved when he saw his friend approaching. Then he turned back to the dog and gave it a treat from his pocket.
Damian took a deep breath of fresh country air. “Good to see you. What are you up to with this guy?”
“The dog?” asked James. “Oh, I’m just teaching him a new trick.”
Damian bent down to pet the retriever. “Cool. Can I see it?”
“Sure thing,” said James. “Watch this.”
James picked up a stick from the ground and held it over the dog’s head. The dog prepared to jump up and grab it, but James held out another treat that persuaded him to sit still.
“Good boy,” James said, giving him the treat. “Now go get it!”
James threw the stick as hard as he could and the retriever ran after it. When the dog reached the place where the stick landed, he stopped and picked it up in its mouth. Then he continued running, away from James and Damian.
Damian watched in anticipation, but the dog just kept running farther and farther away. Eventually, the dog was just a tiny dot on the horizon, but he kept going. Damian turned to James, who had a big smile on his face.
“How about that?” asked James when the dog was long out of sight.
Damian pointed in the dog’s direction. “Isn’t he coming back?”
“I sure hope not.” James picked up a suitcase. “I spent all morning teaching him that.”
Damian helped him with the bags. “But you’re going out of town. Don’t you want to know where he is?”
James shook his head. “Nope. Not my dog.”
“Well, whose is he then?” asked Damian.
James shrugged. “No idea. But it sure was a pain getting rid of him. Took me all morning.”