A store owner was tacking a sign above his door, advertising puppies for sale. A little boy appeared, staring eagerly into a kennel inside the store. “How much are you going to sell the puppies for?” he asked.
The store owner smiled, “Well, I don’t think you can afford to buy one on your own right now.” The little boy reached in his pocket and fingered some change. “Can I at least look at them?”, he asked wistfully.
With a kind look, the store owner whistled. Soon enough, four tiny balls of fur came rolling out of the kennel. Inquisitively, the puppies looked up at the boy, panting and frisking about. But the boy’s attention was held by something still moving about inside the kennel. It was another puppy, slowly making an appearance.
“What’s wrong with that puppy?”, asked the boy as he watched the little fellow gamely coming up with a limp. The store owner explained that the veteririan had examined the puppy and discovered a hip socket missing. It would always be lame.
The little boy became excited. “This is the puppy I want to buy.”
The store owner shook his head. “No, you don’t want to buy him. If you really want him, I’ll give him to you free.”
Quite upset, the little boy insisted the puppy was worth every bit as much as the others. “I’ll give you all the money I have right now, and the remainder in little bits every month until he is fully paid for,” he implored.
“But why do you want to go for him? He is useless, a burden! He will never be able to run and jump and play with you like other puppies,” protested the store owner.
The little boy reached down and rolled up his trousers to reveal a twisted, crippled leg supported by a metal brace. Looking up at the store owner, he replied softly, “Well, I don’t run so well myself. The puppy will need someone like me who understands!”
Wise dog lovers believe it is not the master that finds the dog. Rather, it is the dog that finds the master. The boy and the puppy needed each other, and had met at last.
But at a very tender age, the boy had understood a great truth. Those who are the most difficult to love are the ones who need it most.