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Texas native Colt Burrow isn’t happy about his third cold, lonely Christmas in frozen Michigan. But when fate sends him a gift in the form of an abandoned puppy, he can’t keep his heart from melting. With the puppy’s companionship, he doesn’t feel so isolated anymore, and the holidays don’t seem as bleak. He even finds enough Christmas spirit to take Roger tree shopping. But just when Colt’s starting to hope Roger’s owner doesn’t show up… he does, and Colt doesn’t want to say goodbye.
Will Roger end up being Colt’s Christmas heartbreak… or his Christmas miracle?
“I’m sorry, sir. The shelter is full.”
“What? I can’t take him. I have to get to work.”
Erin gave Colt a sympathetic smile. “I wish there was something I could do, but we can’t take him. We simply don’t have the room. I can give you a list of other rescue centers that may be able to take him. Unfortunately, the number of abandoned and surrendered animals increases this time of year.”
“That’s heartbreaking. It’s freezing out there, and no one should be alone for Christmas, not even a dog.”
“I totally agree with you.” Erin reached out and stroked the fur along Roger’s back. “It’s a good thing he found you.”
“Actually…. Never mind. Doesn’t matter.” He rattled off his number. “Please call me if you find his owner.”
Erin wrote down Colt’s number, then held out a pamphlet.
“What’s that for?”
“It’s the list of rescue centers.”
Colt studied it for a moment, then shook his head. “I’ll keep him.” Erin smiled broadly. “For now.”
“Like I said, it’s a good thing he… I mean, you found him.”
“Oh, hey, do you happen to have any leashes?” He held up the end of the rope. “This really doesn’t work when he’s in a hurry to pee.”
“Right there,” she said, pointing past Colt.
He turned to see a wall of colorful leashes, harnesses, and collars. He went and picked out a thin, light blue one, brought it back to the counter, and pulled out his wallet.
“That will be five dollars and thirty cents,” Erin informed him.
Colt pulled out a hundred dollar bill and handed it to her. “Just donate the rest to the shelter.”
“Thank you. That’s very generous of you.”
Colt attached the new leash to Roger’s collar. “Thanks for your help, Erin.”
“My pleasure and Merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas,” Colt called back, then stepped outside. The instant they were out the door, Roger perked up. The trembling eased, and his tail began to wag.
Colt couldn’t blame him. He wouldn’t trust a place like that if he’d had his nuts cut off at one. He cringed at the idea. “Looks like we’re stuck with each other.” Roger licked his face, and Colt couldn’t help but laugh.
Meet Jo Peterson
SJD Peterson, better known as Jo, hails from Michigan. Not the best place to live for someone who hates the cold and snow. When not reading or writing, Jo can be found close to the heater checking out NHL stats and watching the Red Wings kick a little butt. Can’t cook, misses the clothes hamper nine out of ten tries, but is handy with power tools.