A Dog’s Tale by Altimexis

Posted March 19, 2011


I’ll never forget the day I first met Timmy. I was just a little baby back then. There were five other puppies in our litter an’ we liked to play all the time. My eyes were barely open when Timmy’s dad came to take me away that day. I sure missed my mom, but it was excitin’ to get out an’ see the world. That was the first time I rode in a car - not that I could see much, ’cause I was in a box. Actually, it was quite frightenin’ at the time, ’cause I din't know what was happenin’.

Anyway, Timmy’s dad drove an’ drove an’ drove, an’ then we pulled up in front of this humongous house - at least it seemed huge to me at the time, but I was real little back then. Not that I could see much of it from the car, ’cause the holes in the box were so tiny. When the car came to a stop, Timmy’s dad carried me inside.

The first thin’ I noticed right away was the strange smell. It was a smell of human sweat an’ dirt an’ somethin’ sweet, too. Later on I came to recognize it as the scent of human boys, but back then I’d never smelled it before. An’ there was a lot of noise! There were lots an’ lots of high-pitched voices, all screamin’ an’ hollerin’. It was so frightenin’ for a little puppy who’d never seen boys before. Din’t know it then, but I thought maybe they were gonna attack me!

Then this one, high-pitched angelic voice rang out. “Dad?” The voice said.

“You said you wanted one,” Timmy’s dad said. ‘Course I din’t understand any of what they said back then but I still remember the words, even now.

Suddenly, the box I was in was open an’ a face was peerin’ down at me. Behind him were many other faces, but Timmy’s was the sweetest of them all. He was smilin’, but there was somethin’ else I saw in his eyes. It was a look of awe, an’ of love.

Slowly an’ gingerly, Timmy wrapped his tiny hands ’round me an’ lifted me out of the box. He brought me to his chest an’ held me against him, huggin’ me to his body. The smell of boy was strong on him, as well as another smell that I’d later learn was the smell of swimmin’. He an’ his friends had been swimmin’ in the pool. I loved the feel of his smooth skin against my face.

Lookin’ up at him, I knew that he would be my best friend for life. I licked his face, causin’ him to squirm, but he din’t let me go, even when I gave a little yelp. It was love at first sight for both of us.

“Happy birthday, Timmy,” Timmy’s dad said.

Timmy looked up at his dad an’ asked, “Does it have a name?”

“Not yet, Timmy,” Timmy’s dad answered. “He’s all yours, so it’s only right that you name him.”

Lookin’ down into my eyes, Timmy said, “You sure are a beautiful little puppy.” Then he scrunched up his face an’ said, “I think I’ll call you Sandy, ’cause that’s the color of your fur.” I still don’t know what he meant by that. After all, hair is either light or dark. Mine’s kinda light, but not as light as Timmy’s.

“You know there’s a lot of responsibility in taking care of a dog,” Timmy’s dad said. “You have to feed him and give him water, and you have to take him outside so he can go to the bathroom, and that means cleaning up after him.”

“Eww, gross,” Timmy answered.

“You’re a big boy, now, Timmy,” Timmy’s dad said. “You’re five years old. Some day you’ll have children of your own and you’ll have to change their diapers, just as we did with you. Yes, it’s pretty gross as you said, but you won’t mind because you’ll do it out of love.”

“I’ll do it, Dad,” Timmy responded. “I’ll do it ’cause I love Sandy.”

Timmy an’ I had a great time that first summer. We were together all the time, day an’ night. Durin’ the day, some of his friends usually came over to play, to swim in the pool or to spend hours playin’ games on the TV. No matter what, though, Timmy spent time with me too, an’ I slept in his room every night an’ sometimes I even slept with him in his bed.

Then one day, Timmy came to me an’ said goodbye. He told me he had to go to school an’ he was real excited about startin’ kindergarten. I din’t know what he was talkin’ about but then he got on this great big yellow school bus - I had no idea what it was - an’ the bus drove away. I was so scared. I din’t think I’d ever see him again but then the bus brought him back that afternoon an’ we spent the rest of the day playin’ together.

Day after day the school bus came to pick him up in the mornin’ an’ to drop him back off in the afternoon. It took a while, but I got used to it an’ I eventually realized that I din’t need to fear he’d never come back, but I wondered what it was he did all day on that school bus.

I soon found out - he din’t spend all day on the school bus! Timmy’s mom took me to this great big buildin’. It was huge inside! We walked down a long hall an’ then Timmy’s mom opened a door an’ led me inside. Inside there were a bunch of children an’ the smell of boys was everywhere along with somethin’ else - a sweeter, more delicate smell I would soon learn was the smell of girls. An’ Timmy was there!

There was also a lady inside an’ she said, “Come on in, Mrs. Warren, an’ Timothy, why don’t you come to the front of the class?”

Timmy got up from a chair where he was sittin’ at a table, an’ he came to me an’ took my leash from Timmy’s mom. All the other children gathered around an’ sat cross-legged on the floor.

“Today for Show and Tell,” Timmy began, “I would like to show you my dog, Sandy. Sandy is a kind of dog called a golden retriever. Golden retrievers are very smart dogs. They come from a place called Scotland, where they were used to help hunters fetch birds after they shot them.

“Golden retrievers are very loyal to their masters. They love to retrieve. Sandy and I play fetch all the time.” I had no idea what Timmy was talkin’ about, but he sure seemed to know what it was he was sayin’.

“How old is Sandy?” a girl asked.

“He’s seven months old,” Timmy answered.

“He’s so big!” a boy exclaimed.

“He’s not done growing yet, either,” Timmy added.

All the children petted me while Timmy talked to them, an’ then Timmy’s mom took me back home.

“You were a good boy today, Sandy,” she said on the drive back. “I’m proud of you.” I liked it when she said nice things to me, an’ so I barked back to show my appreciation.

Timmy kept goin’ to school every day. When he first started school, the weather got colder an’ colder, but then it got warmer an’ warmer. Then one day Timmy came runnin’ into the house yellin’, “Hooray! School's out for the summer!” I wasn’t sure what he meant but I soon found out he din’t have to go to school anymore. We spent all our days together with his friends again. I was so happy.

On one day in particular, Timmy had a whole lot of his friends over. They all wore their bathin’ suits an’ swam in the pool. They played games an’ sang songs, an’ Timmy opened up a whole bunch of boxes wrapped with fancy paper. Timmy’s mom brought out a cake with fire on it an’ Timmy blew the fire out. Suddenly I remembered that this was what happened when I first met Timmy. It was the same thing. I was almost an adult now but Timmy was still a boy. It had been a year since I came to live with Timmy.

I’d hoped that Timmy an’ I would spend all our time together forever but then one day the school bus showed up again an’ Timmy got on. Timmy was goin’ to school again, an’ I saw even less of him durin’ the day than I did when he was in kindergarten. A lot of times we couldn’t play when he came home from school ’cause he said he had homework. I wasn’t sure what that meant but he’d open up his books an’ make marks on paper.

Every day when Timmy was at school, I imagined him sittin’ in that room with all the other children, sittin’ at that table an’ then gettin’ up an’ talkin’ in front of the class while all the other kids sat on the floor. I din’t understand why he went to school instead of just spendin’ the time with me but, like I said already, people are strange.

The years passed an’ I got older. Timmy got older too but he was still just a boy. People are so strange - it takes them forever to grow up! At this rate, I’ll be dead an’ gone before Timmy’s fully grown. At least he was finally beginnin’ to grow up. He’d gotten so much taller an’ his voice had gotten deeper, soundin’ a bit more like a man’s than a boy’s voice. His smell had changed too - it was much stronger but not unpleasant. His scent suited him well. He’d also gotten hair in new places - under his arms an’ above his pee thing. There was fine hair on his arms an’ legs too.

I ran as fast as my four legs could carry me, runnin’, runnin’, runnin’ across the yard. At eight, I sure couldn’t run as fast as I used to. I could feel my age in every joint an’ with every ache. Lets face it - I was gettin’ old.

When I caught up with the ball, I grabbed it an’ ran back to Timmy, enjoyin’ the taste of the leather an’ dirt of the ball in my mouth. I liked playin’ fetch. When Timmy an’ I were younger, we used to play it all the time, but when he started goin’ to school durin’ the day an’ doin’ other things with his friends, I din’t get to spend as much time with him.

“Good boy!” Tim shouted out as I dropped the ball at his feet. He reached down an’ petted me - I loved it when he petted me - an’ he looked down at me with his adorin’ eyes as I looked up at him with all the love I could give him.

“Tomorrow’s my birthday, Sandy,” Timmy went on. “Tomorrow I’ll be thirteen years old. Finally, I’m gonna be a teenager! We’re having a big party like always. We’re having a big party with a lot of the guys . . . and, this year, we’re having girls, too! Man, I can’t wait for tomorrow!”

By now I could understand a lot of what Timmy said. Not just from the words - people use lots of words I don’t understand, but I’ve come to realize it’s because they’re just dumb when it comes to communicatin’. They don’ know how to read body language, an’ they have such puny noses - they’re pathetic when it comes to recognizin’ the changes in smell that go along with the most basic of emotions. They just don’t get it, so that’s why they use all those words.

‘Course I can read all those things - the scents, the body language an’ a lot of the words - so I always know what Timmy’s sayin’ - at least when he’s sayin’ it to me. I wasn’t sure what a teenager was, but I had a feelin’ it was somethin’ like bein’ a young adult. An’ he was havin’ girls at his party. That was gonna be a first! I guess Timmy was startin’ to like girls. Yeah, he was growin’ up!

“C’mon, boy,” Timmy went on. “I’m gettin’ hungry. Let’s go inside and get somethin’ to eat. Would you like that, Sandy?”

Food’s always a good thing, so I barked back at him as I panted an’ wagged my tail. Speakin’ of tails, maybe that’s another reason people need so many words. Tails tell you a lot about what an animal’s thinkin’, but people don’t even have them. How strange!

Timmy an’ I went inside an’ Timmy got out my food bowl an’ filled it with some of my favorite dog food, an’ he filled my water bowl, too. He then went to the refrigerator, which is just a big silver box that’s cold inside, an’ he got out a bunch of things to make a snack for himself. Never could understand how much work people go to for food! Just to make a sandwich, he got out some bread, turkey, roast beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato an’ that spicy yellow stuff I don’t like. All that work, just for somethin’ he’ll finish in a few bites.

When we finished eatin’, Timmy an’ I went upstairs to his room an’ Timmy got out his laptop - boy, he could spend hours on that thing just lookin’ at the screen an’ tappin’ away on it. I din’t see why he liked doin’ it but he sure did it a lot.

Timmy plopped down on his bed, leanin’ against the headboard an’ placin’ the laptop on his lap. He opened it up an’ started goin’ at it like usual. I plopped myself down next to him, layin’ my head on his bare chest. Every now an’ then, Timmy petted my head an’ I swished my tail against his bare feet. Yeah, Timmy an’ I were the best of friends.

After playin’ around for a bit, Timmy got a real intense look on his face an’ I noticed right away that his scent had changed. He was sweatin’, but not the way he does when he runs or plays sports. No, this was a kinda musky, bitter sweat. He was sweatin’ from under his arms an’ from his groin. I’d seen this happen before, many times durin’ the last few months.

Sure enough, Timmy’s shorts started to stick out in front an’ Timmy reached down an’ stuck his hand inside his shorts. A moment later, he unsnapped his shorts an’ slid them down an’ off, along with his boxers. Now he was naked, which din’t bother me at all. I never understood why people wear clothes in the first place - well, maybe in winter when it’s cold, since they don’t have much fur, but not in the summer when it’s hot outside.

What I saw on Timmy’s laptop screen was certainly interestin’. There were a couple of boys - young men really - an’ one of them had the other guy’s pee thing in his mouth an’ was bobbin’ his head up an’ down on it. Both of ’em had big, stiff pee things, too, just like Timmy did, but Timmy’s wasn’t nearly that big.

Timmy’s pee thing was stickin’ straight out an’ he was touchin’ it, rubbin’ it up an’ down with one hand while he rubbed his balls with his other hand. That’s another thing that puzzles me. I remember as a young puppy that I used to have balls, too, but then Timmy an’ his dad took me to see the vet one day an’ I guess I went to sleep, an’ when I woke up, my balls were gone. I don’t miss ’em or anything, but Timmy sure likes to play with his.

“You don’t mind me doin’ this, Sandy, do you?” Timmy asked as he looked at me. Why would I mind? I gave a quick bark an’ licked his face to let him know it was OK with me an’ he went back to doin’ what he was doin’ before.

After a while, Timmy was rubbin’ his hand up an’ down his pee thing fast an’ furious. The smell of his sweat was really strong now, an’ then suddenly Timmy got real stiff, his toes curled up an’ his back arched up off the bed, an’ then he cried out an’ this clear, kinda whitish stuff spurted out his pee thing - I quickly got out of the way, or it woulda got all over my face. There wasn’t all that much of it though - nothin’ like when he pees into the big water bowl.

Then Timmy did somethin’ real strange - he licked his fingers an’ wiped the rest of the whitish stuff up with his fingers an’ licked that up, too. Yuck! I may like to smell my pee but I’d never lick it up like that.

“Timmy!” Timmy’s mom shouted from downstairs.

“Yeah Mom?” Timmy answered with a shout of his own.

“Robbie’s here,” Timmy’s mom replied. “He’s on his way up.” Robbie’s Timmy’s best friend - next to me, that is. They’ve been best friends since Timmy was eight years old.

“Shit!” Timmy cried out, but quietly. He closed up his laptop an’ set it aside, an’ he grabbed his boxers an’ his shorts an’ quickly pulled them on just as Robbie started bangin’ on the door.

“Hey, Dufus,” Robbie shouted from the other side of the door. “Let me in, would ya?”

Timmy opened the door an’ Robbie walked in. He was dressed just like Timmy, wearin’ just a pair of shorts.

“So . . . why was the door locked?” Robbie asked with a funny smirk on his face.

At first Timmy got a frightened look on his face an’ his scent changed again, but then he smiled an’ calmed down a lot an’ said, “Like you don’t do it too.”

“Do what?” Robbie asked, an’ then he laughed. Spottin’ the closed laptop still sittin’ on Timmy’s bed, Robbie reached for it an’ said, “Let’s see what kind of jerk-off material you were looking at.”

But then Timmy shouted, “STOP! No!” He was too late - Robbie already had it open an’ was starin’ at what was on the screen.

“Oh man . . .” Robbie said in a husky voice as he turned the laptop so both Timmy an’ I could see it. Before he did, I noticed that Robbie’s smell had changed - he was sweatin’ from under his arms an’ from his groin, just like Timmy had when he was playin’ with himself.

“It’s not what you think, Robbie!” Timmy shouted quickly. “Not at all!”

Laughin’, Robbie replied with, “If not, what is it, man?”

When Timmy started cryin’, Robbie wrapped his arms around Timmy an’ said, “Dude, don’t sweat it, man. It’s OK with me and, besides, those guys are pretty hot.”

Timmy stopped cryin’ instantly an’ he got this little smile on his face as his scent changed again. “Huh . . . You mean . . .”

“I guess that makes two of us, bud,” Robbie replied with a real big smile on his face.

“But what about girls?” Timmy asked. “I mean at school, you talk just like everyone else. All you can talk about is which girls are hot and their tits and how you’d like to get some pussy.”

“I could say the same thing about you, man,” Robbie replied. “I don’t need to tell you what would happen if we didn’t talk like that, but truth is girls don’t do anything for me.”

“Me neither,” Timmy stated, an’ then he added, “I can’t believe we both like guys. I was so depressed when I realized I was . . . you know, and it turns out you are too.

“So . . . do you maybe like me?” Timmy asked.

Rather than say anythin’ Robbie got a real serious look on his face, an’ then he moved his face closer an’ closer to Timmy’s, an’ then they pressed their lips together. They were kissin’ - on the lips - just like Timmy’s mom an’ dad do!

Soon, they were both lyin’ down on Timmy’s bed, rollin’ around an’ kissin’ each other, an’ touchin’ each other everywhere. They removed each other’s shorts an’ boxers an’ pretty soon they were doin’ what the boys on the laptop were doin’!

I couldn’t for the life of me understand why they were doin’ what they were doin’, but they sure seemed to be enjoyin’ it!

After a while, Timmy’s mom called up the stairs to let us know that dinner was ready. Timmy an’ Robbie got dressed - Timmy let Robbie wear one of his shirts - an’ we all went down for dinner. Timmy an’ Robbie sat at the table an’ ate with Timmy’s mom an’ dad.

I did my best job of beggin’ an’ eventually Timmy gave me a little of his roast beef - man, it was a whole lot better than my dog food - but, when no one else would give me some too, I sauntered over to my food bowl an’ ate the food Timmy’s mom set out for me. After I finished my food an’ drank from my water bowl, I crawled under the table an’ lay down, driftin’ off to sleep to the pleasant scent of all the people’s feet.

Next thing I knew, it was mornin’ an’ Timmy’s mom was at the stove makin’ lots of noise as she got breakfast ready. Like usual, she was stayin’ home for Timmy’s birthday. I got up, sniffed at my empty food bowl an’ then drank from my water bowl. Realizin’ I had to pee, I walked over to the back door, barked an’ started pawin’ at it.

“I’m sorry, boy,” Timmy’s mom said. “I can’t walk you right now. Why don’t you go see if Timmy’ll take you out? I let him sleep in for his birthday but breakfast is almost ready and we all know how much Timmy likes to eat.”

Well I sure din’t need to be asked again. I ran up the stairs an’ nudged Timmy’s door open, an’ I jumped on his bed, turned around in circles a few times an’ licked his face.

Timmy’s eyes had been closed the whole time but I knew he was awake an’, when I licked his face, he put up his hands an’ kinda pushed me away while sayin’, “All right. All right already.” Then he threw his arms around my neck an’ hugged me. I loved Timmy sooo much.

“Boy, something sure smells good,” Timmy barely whispered as he stretched himself out, an’ then he added, “I bet you need to pee, don’t you boy?” I barked in reply.

“I gotta pee too,” Timmy stated. “Just give me a minute and we’ll go outside.”

Timmy got out of bed, leavin’ the covers all rumpled the way I like ’em, an’ he walked into his bathroom, lifted the seat on the big water bowl an’ let loose a steady stream. What a shame it was to waste a perfectly good bowl of water like that!

“OK, let’s go, boy,” Timmy said as he turned around an’ started to walk out the door to his bedroom, but I stayed put - I knew he’d be back.

Sure enough, he called out, “Oops!” an’ then walked back into his bedroom, picked up the boxers an’ shorts he wore yesterday from off the floor an’ put them on.

“You knew I forgot my clothes, didn’t you boy?” Timmy asked me an’ I barked back in reply. “Let’s go.”

We walked down the stairs an’ through the kitchen on the way outside. Timmy stopped when he spotted his mom an’ said, “Man, that sure smells good.” It did, too. I could smell scrambled eggs, French toast an’ bacon.

“Happy birthday, sweetheart,” Timmy’s mom said.

“Could I have some coffee?” Timmy asked. “You said I could when I’m thirteen.”

“I guess we did,” Timmy’s mom replied. “I’ll put on a pot - you want cream and sugar in it?”

“Definitely,” Timmy said with the sweetest smile on his face.

Timmy slipped his feet into his sneakers, grabbed the scooper thing, I guess just in case we needed it, an’ opened the door. I ran outdoors with Timmy right behind me. We walked almost the whole way down the block before I spotted one of my favorite trees. Lifting my leg, I took care of business an’ then I squatted when I realized I needed to do more. I guess it was a good thing Timmy brought the scooper. He really does know me well.

On the way back, Robbie spotted us an’ ran to catch up.

“Hey, Timmy. Happy birthday, man,” he called out. “You psyched about the party?”

“Oh man, am I ever,” Timmy replied. “I’m finally a teenager. All year long I’ve watched everyone else turn thirteen. At long last I’m old enough that my ’rents’ll let me do stuff on my own. They’re so strict . . . they wouldn’t even let me drink coffee!”

“It’s not like you don’t drink it when we all go to Starbucks,” Robbie pointed out.

“Shhh!” Timmy whispered, “They don’t know that and they don’t need to know that.”

“Gotcha,” Robbie replied.

As we got close to Timmy’s house, Timmy asked his best bud, “Hey, my mom’s fixed me a feast for breakfast. Would you like some?”

“I already ate . . .” Robbie answered, “but I can always eat a little bit more,” he added with a smile.

When we entered the kitchen, Timmy’s mom spotted Robbie right away an’ asked him, “Oh, hi, Robbie. Would you like to have breakfast with us?”

“I already ate, but I wouldn’t mind having some eggs and a little bacon,” he replied, “oh, and some coffee too.”

“Coming right up, boys,” she said.

It was funny watching Timmy an’ Robbie eat. They pretended to be enjoyin’ it, but the looks on their faces gave themselves away - neither of them liked the coffee.

After breakfast, we all went upstairs to Timmy’s room, but then Timmy turned on his TV an’ his game thingy an’ pretty soon the TV was makin’ all kinds of weird beeps an’ other sounds an’ the boys taunted each other an’ played games. After a short while, watchin’ them got boring as it always does. The world could disappear right around them an’ they wouldn’t even notice when they played games on Timmy’s TV.

With nothing more interestin’ to do, I sauntered downstairs, plopped myself down in the kitchen where Timmy’s mom was cleanin’ the dishes. The gentle sounds of the dishwasher lulled me to sleep.

Next thing I knew, there was lots of shoutin’ an’ screamin’ comin’ from outside, from the back yard. The door ’tween the family room an’ the pool deck was open an’ there was a whole bunch of kids out there, about half boys an’ half girls. Timmy’s birthday party was in full swing!

Timmy an’ Robbie were in the pool with a lotta the other kids, so I jumped right in with ’em, with a big splash. A lotta the kids screamed when I did that, especially the girls, but then everyone hugged me an’ we had a lotta fun playin’ around in the pool.

Later on, Timmy’s mom fired up the barbecue an’ grilled hamburgers an’ hot dogs, an’ she even let me eat them, too, like she always did on Timmy’s birthday.

After the kids all had cake an’ ice cream, Timmy opened up all his presents, an’ then he turned the music way up on his boom box an’ the boys all danced with the girls.

I started to get tired again an’ so I plopped myself down by the side of the pool an’ took a nap. I couldn’t sleep all that well with all the noise, but I guess I managed after all, ’cause next thing I knew, I felt the fur on the top of my head bein’ stroked. I opened my eyes an’ saw that Timmy an’ Robbie were both sittin’ next to me an’ pettin’ me.

At one point, Timmy’s an’ Robbie’s hands touched each other, an’ then Timmy grabbed onto Robbie’s hand an’ held it.

“Careful!” Robbie practically shouted in a whisper. “Someone might see us!”

Pullin’ his hand away, Timmy said, “I guess you're right, man. The thought of coming out scares the shit outta me, but there’s a big part of me that would like nothing more than to be able to hold hands and kiss you whenever I want. And to dance with you! What a fucking crock it is to dance with girls when the one I really want to dance with is you.

“I don’t want to spend the next five years in hiding, you know?” Timmy added. “I read on-line that kids are coming out younger and younger . . . even in middle school. Do you really want to pretend we’re nothing more than best friends . . . to date girls until we go away to college? Think how awesome it would be for us to be out . . . to be ourselves!”

“Man, I don’t know,” Robbie replied. “You know it’d be all anyone would be talking about when we start school in the fall. You know we’d get called names and maybe beat up all the time. Look what happened to that Wilson kid in the eight grade last year.”

“Yeah, but Wilson was a bully-magnet to begin with,” Timmy answered. “He was a loner who didn’t have any friends at all. Of course there were rumors but we don’t even know if he really was gay, you know? And he didn’t have a hot boyfriend like I do!”

“Shhh . . . not so loud!” Robbie interrupted.

“There’s a part of me that would really like to come out,” Timmy continued, “but I won’t unless you do.”

Sighin’, Robbie replied, “My mom would never understand.”

“God, I hadn't even thought of that!” Timmy added. “I have no idea how my ’rents would react, but they prolly wouldn't take it too good. I guess we’d better wait . . .”

“There’ll come a time,” Robbie answered, “Maybe when we’re in high school . . . just not yet.

“So . . . you wanna get back to the party?”

“Definitely!” Timmy answered with that sweet smile of his, an’ then they both got up an’ went back to dancin’ with the girls.

They danced, swam an’ played games until Timmy's dad came home. We all ate more hamburgers an’ hot dogs, an’ then the kids slowly started leavin’ to go home, I guess. The party din’t finish until it was startin’ to get dark outside.

Robbie stayed the night at our house, sleepin’ with Timmy in his bed, which left me to sleep on the floor. They did a lot more than sleep, too! At first they played with Timmy's game thingy an’, after Timmy's mom an’ dad went to bed, they locked the door.

Right away, they got naked an’ went back to doin’ what I saw those boys doin’ on Timmy's laptop. They did a whole lot more than that, too. It was sure funny, some of the stuff they did before they finally went to sleep.

The next mornin’ Timmy’s mom fixed a big breakfast again, an’ then Timmy an’ Robbie took me for my mornin’ walk.

After I finished my business, we went back home an’ swam in the pool. Timmy's mom had already left for work, whatever that was, so it was just the three of us. Rather than puttin’ on their swimsuits, Timmy an’ Robby swam naked, just like I did. I thought that was pretty cool, at least until they started doin’ stuff with each other’s pee things.

Gettin’ kinda bored, I lay down on the pool deck in a nice shady spot an’ I went to sleep.

Next thing I knew, Timmy an’ Robbie were pettin’ me. Timmy said, “Come on, boy. Robbie has to go home for dinner and I'm goin’ to walk him home. You wanna go with us?” I barked to let them know I did.

Timmy an’ Robbie got on their shoes, ’cause human feet aren’t tough like mine, an’ we all walked down the street to Robbie’s house.

When we got to the back door to Robbie’s house, Robbie said, ”You sure you can’t stay for dinner?”

“I can’t man,” Timmy replied. “The ’rents want to spend time alone with me tonight. I think it’s a ‘bonding’ thing, you know?”

“Yeah, I guess,” Robbie replied, an’ then he added, “I had a great time.”

“Me too,” Timmy agreed, an’ then he brought his lips to Robbie’s an’ they kissed for what seemed like the longest time.

“See you tomorrow, boyfriend,” Timmy said as they separated.

“You can count on it, boyfriend,” Robbie replied as he opened the door an’ went inside.

Timmy an’ I returned to our house an’ we ate dinner with his mom an’ dad.

Later that evening, I heard the talk box make that funny, chirpin’ sound it often makes an’ Timmy's mom lifted up the handle an’ spoke into it like usual. I never could figure out why it made that chirpin’ sound an’ couldn’t for the life of me understand why people would talk to such a thing. I could hear that it talked back, but it was way too small for someone to be inside of it. Come to think of it, the TVs were way too flat for all the people that lived inside them, yet it seemed they did.

So Timmy's mom listened to what the talk box was sayin’ to her when she suddenly shouted into it, “THEY WHAT?” After listenin’ for another minute, she added, “Sharon, there’s no way he could be gay! Timmy’s not like that. He’s into sports . . . big time. There’s not a gay bone in his body!”

At that moment, Timmy’s dad stormed into the kitchen an’ I could hear Timmy in the family room mutter, “Fuck!”

“Are you accusing our Timmy of turning Robbie gay?” Timmy's mom went on talkin’ to the talk box. “If anything, it’s the other way around! Robbie’s the quiet, shy one. It’s Robbie who's a bookworm with little interest in sports. It’s Robbie who grew up without a father. A boy needs a man’s influence growing up. Maybe that's why Robbie turned out gay.”

“ENOUGH!” Timmy shouted from the open doorway. “Robbie did NOT turn me gay. I didn’t even know he was gay until the day before yesterday, nor did he know about me. I’ve kinda known I’m gay for the last couple of years now, and I knew it for sure a few months ago, when I had my first wet dream. Robbie told me he’s known he’s gay since he was nine. We did NOT turn each other gay . . . we were born this way.

“You are NOT gay!” Timmy’s dad shouted back. “You’re not going to be gay. No son of mine could be, so get over it!”

“It's not like I have a choice, DAD!” Timmy shouted back. “I couldn’t care less about girls. I have no interest in them other than as friends. All my wet dreams . . . God, this is embarrassing . . . are about boys. When I . . . you know . . . I do it thinking about boys.”

“Well that's going to change, right now,” Timmy’s dad replied. “We’re going to get you subscriptions to Playboy, Penthouse and Hussler . . .”

"DON!” Timmy's mom shouted.

“Well what would you suggest we do, Susan?” Timmy's dad replied. “It’s not like boys his age aren’t exposed to such things. When I was his age, I had my secret stash of porn, just like every other kid around. It’s normal for boys to look at pictures of naked girls.”

Then turnin’ to Timmy, he went on. “Where’s your stash? I won’t have you looking at pictures of naked guys.”

"I don’t have one, dad?” Timmy answered, but then Timmy's dad slapped Timmy!

DONALD!” Timmy’s mom shouted at the same time that I started growlin’ at Timmy’s dad.

With tears in his eyes, Timmy ran out of the room.

“Now look what you’ve done!” Timmy's mom shouted at Timmy’s dad. “You think he’ll listen to us when you go and do something like that?”

“He lied to us, Susan,” Timmy's dad replied. “We can’t let him lie to us.”

“But how do we know he lied to us, Don?” Timmy's mom asked.

“Believe me,” Timmy's dad answered, ”He did. Every teenage boy has a stash of porn. Even if he thinks he’s gay, he’ll have one. It would be even more abnormal than him being gay for him not to have some porn.”

“But he just became a teenager,” Timmy’s mom replied.

“True,” Timmy's dad answered, ”but most of his friends have been thirteen for a while now. What matters is more what grade he’s in, and he’s about to enter eighth grade. He’s almost certainly got a stash of porn . . . I guarantee it.”

“What about his computer?” Timmy’s mom asked. “Maybe he’s getting his porn on his computer.”

“Not with the nanny filter we installed,” Timmy’s dad answered. “There’s no way he could have gotten past it.”

“I forgot about that,” Timmy’s mom replied an’ then she continued, “but slapping him did little to gain his trust. The question is, what do we do now?”

“Well the first thing is, we can’t allow the boys to be together . . . that’s a given,” Timmy’s dad stated.

“Agreed,” Timmy’s mom replied.

“We need to take away his phone and his laptop, so he can't talk to, text or e-mail Robbie,” Timmy’s dad added.

“But Don, he needs his phone for emergencies, and he’ll need his laptop when school starts up again,” Timmy’s mom replied.

“Simple enough,” Timmy’s dad answered. “We'll block messages on his phone and cap his talk time at five minutes a month. That’ll be enough to call us in an emergency but not enough to spend any time talking to Robbie or his friends.

“We can install tracking software on his computer, so we’ll know if he visits any inappropriate sites or if he tries to e-mail or message Robbie.”

“You can do that?” Timmy’s mom asked.

“That and a whole lot more,” Timmy’s dad replied. “Parents do it all the time.”

I was gettin’ bored an’, besides, I was worried sick about Timmy an’ so I made my way upstairs to Timmy’s room, but the door was closed. After pawing at the door an’ whining for a bit, I finally let out a short bark an’ Timmy opened the door for me.

“Come on in, boy,” Timmy said, but I was inside before he’d barely opened his mouth. I went straight to his bed, jumped up on it, turned around an’ around a few times an’ then settled down.

Timmy closed an’ locked his door, an’ then he joined me on the bed, snugglin’ up with me an’ pettin’ me. I loved the smooth feel of his skin on my fur as he nuzzled his face against my head. I’ve always loved that feel since the first time he picked me up an’ held me to his chest. We loved each other so much.

“It’s all fucked up, Sandy,” Timmy said as he stroked my fur. “It’s all so fucked up. Robbie and I were texting each other until his mom took his phone away. She’s gonna send him to live with his dad in Seattle. His father’s gonna teach him how to be a ‘real’ man, whatever that means.

“Oh God, Sandy,” Timmy continued as he started to cry. “I’ll never see Robbie again, but that’s the least of it. I can’t stand the thought of never being together again . . . I love him . . . but what’s gonna happen to him? What’s gonna happen to me? It’s gonna be awful for both of us but it’s gonna be so much worse for Robbie. I can’t bear the thought of what might happen to him in Seattle, or wherever he ends up. I can’t bear it.”

Poor Timmy cried an’ cried for what seemed like hours before his mom an’ dad finally came up the stairs an’ banged on the door. Timmy got up slowly, went over an’ opened the door. Timmy’s mom an’ dad pushed their way inside. Timmy sat back down on the bed an’ snuggled up with me.

“Timmy,” Timmy’s dad began, “I know you’re angry right now and believe me, we understand. You have to understand that learning you’re gay was quite a shock to us and it’s going to take some time for us to deal with it, and we’ll probably never understand it.”

“The most important thing for you to know is that no matter what,” Timmy’s mom added, “We love you with all our hearts and we will always love you. We just want what’s best for you.”

“The life of the average gay man is horrible,” Timmy’s dad went on. “The average gay man has thousands of sexual partners over their lifetime. Even if you use condoms, sexually transmitted diseases are common and the risk of acquiring AIDS is significant. Although treatments have improved substantially in recent years, they essentially do little more than buy time. If you choose to remain gay, you will ultimately die of AIDS.”

“That’s such horseshit,” Timmy replied.

“Timmy!” Timmy’s mom shouted.

“Well it is!” Timmy shouted back, an’ then he continued in a softer voice. “There’s a lot of misinformation and outright lies being spread about gay guys by so-called experts who only spread hate. Most gay men are the same as straight men. Some gay men sleep around but, then, so do a lot of straight men. Most of us want what everyone wants. We want to find love with one person . . .”

“And it pains me to think you never will,” Timmy’s mom answered. “That’s the biggest problem of all with being gay. You’ll spend your life searching for something that doesn’t exist. True love can only exist between a man and a woman, so you’ll spend your life jumping into one bed after another searching for a love that cannot be . . .”

“Bullshit!” Timmy shouted. “I don’t need to search for true love . . . I already have it. Robbie and I already love each other the same way you and dad do. We’ve been best friends for, like, ever. We’re meant to be together. We’ll get married when we’re ready, and we’ll go to college together, and we’ll spend the rest of our lives together.”

“I know you’d like to think things will work out between you and Robbie,” Timmy’s dad replied, “but they won’t. First loves rarely last. Besides, the two of you will face tremendous obstacles straight kids never have to face . . . insurmountable obstacles that will only tear you apart. People won’t accept you. You’ll be ostracized . . . and worse.

“The path of a gay man is one of despair and destruction, but it’s not too late. There’s still time for you to change course . . . to be normal, to date girls, to get married and to have a family of your own. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

“And except for dating girls, that’s the way it’s gonna be, Dad,” Timmy replied. “Robbie and I will get married and we’ll adopt kids of our own and raise a family. Or if we want, there are lots of ways for gay men to have children of their own.”

“Those all involve using women, and I’ll have nothing to do with that,” Timmy's mom answered.

“We’ve decided we need to take action now, while there’s still some time,” Timmy’s dad added.

Lookin’ real nervous, Timmy asked, “What sorta action?”

“There are places that specialize in helping kids like you,” Timmy's dad answered. “Special summer camps and even schools that help kids overcome their inappropriate desires. They help you learn to suppress your feelings toward boys and learn to like girls.”

“Dad, I've read all about those places on the Internet,” Timmy started sayin’. “The best of them teach kids to hate themselves and to pretend to like girls. The worst of them use physical torture to turn kids into mental cases incapable of liking boys or girls. And if it’s using women to pay someone to have our baby, what would you call it when a gay boy pretends to be something he’s not . . . ?”

“A good marriage is built on trust, Timmy,” Timmy’s mom answered. “It would only be fair that you tell the woman you marry everything, including about your past attraction to boys. She’ll only love you more for your honesty and for having overcome your weakness.”

“Yeah, right,” Timmy replied. “Somehow, I don't think, ‘Hi, my name’s Tim and I used to be gay,’ is the sort of pickup line girls like to hear.”

“Obviously, you need to wait until you get to know the girl before you tell her about your past,” Timmy's mom answered. “But seriously, think how much happier you’ll be living life as a normal man, getting married and having kids of your own instead of living life alone, always in search of a love that cannot be.”

“Argh! It’s like talking to a brick wall!” Timmy practically shouted as he paced the room and threw his hands up in the air. “Don’t you guys get it? Me and Robbie love each other. Someday we’ll get married and we’ll spend our lives together. I’m not gonna spend my life living alone. I’m not gonna have sex with every gay guy in sight. I’m not like that. Robbie’s not like that either.

“But you just can’t accept me for who I am, so you’re gonna send me to some kinda concentration camp with a whole bunch of other gay boys so I can be tortured until I hate myself, all the while being surrounded by boys who want to have sex with me and all the other boys . . . horny teenage boys with raging hormones. Do you really think a place like that can cure me of being gay?”

At that, Timmy burst into tears an’ his mom put her arm around him an’ comforted him. “Don, are you sure about this?” She asked.

Placin’ his hands on Timmy an’ Timmy’s mom, Timmy’s dad answered, “Learning how to control your desires, even when surrounded by other gay kids, is a part of the process of becoming normal. We’ll spend tomorrow researching all the alternatives we can find. I’m sure we can find a place with a good reputation.”

After standin’ there for a few minutes, Timmy’s dad left the room. Timmy’s mom stayed a bit longer as Timmy kept cryin’ an’ cryin’, an’ then she said, “You’ll see . . . everything’s going to be fine.” She then left the room too an’ closed the door behind her.

“What a fucking mess,” Timmy cried once we were alone in his room. “What a royal, fucking mess.”

Lettin’ out a big sigh, he continued, “No fucking way am I going to some camp to make me straight. No fucking way . . .”

After just layin’ there for a long while, Timmy finally got up an’ got ready for bed. After washin’ up an’ brushin’ his teeth an’ all, he got under the covers an’ turned out the lights.

I got up, turned around a few times an’ then settled down next to Timmy, snugglin’ up with him in his bed like I usually do. Timmy put his arm around me an’ pulled me close. I loved it when he did that.

I guess I musta fell asleep, ’cause the next thing I knew, the lights were on an’ Timmy wasn’t in bed anymore. I looked around an’ spotted him in his bathroom, gettin’ a whole bunch of stuff out of the box with the mirror above the sink. He was puttin’ it all in a plastic pouch, an’ then he put the pouch in his big backpack - the one he uses when he goes away every summer - the one that holds his sleepin’ bag.

Next, he got out a bunch of his clothes an’ he packed them into the backpack too. He looked around the room an’ added his laptop, then he spotted his game thingy, looked at it an’ shook his head.

Timmy picked up his phone an’ looked at it for a bit an’ held it in his hand an’ said, “I can’t believe they let me keep this, but it could be used to track me.” Lookin’ at it an’ tapping a bunch a times on it, he added, “I can turn off ‘Location Services’ and ‘Find my iPhone’, but I think the police can still use my phone to track me. Maybe later I can find an on-line hack to prevent it being tracked but, for now, I guess I’d better turn it off and use it only for emergencies.”

Throwin’ his phone in his backpack, he turned to me an’ said, “Well, this is it, boy. There’s no way I can stay here anymore. My parents hate me and they want to send me away to some God-awful place to have me ‘fixed’. Trouble is, I ain’t broke and no amount of ‘re-education’ and torture is gonna make me straight. If they can’t accept me as their gay son, then I can’t accept them as my parents.

“Goodbye, Sandy,” he continued as he crouched down an’ hugged me. “I’m gonna miss you something fierce. You’ve always been my very best friend . . . and I love you.”

Somehow I knew that when Timmy said ‘goodbye’, he din’t mean it the way he does when he goes to school or to play with his friends. No, this time Sandy was sayin’ it as in forever, and I couldn’t allow that. Timmy was my life!

After shoulderin’ his backpack an’ turnin’ out the lights, Timmy quietly made his way down the stairs in the dark, an’ I stuck with him. When we got to the kitchen, he opened one of the drawers an’ pulled out a whole wad of that funny green paper he keeps in his wallet, but this time he folded it up an’ stuffed some of it into each of his socks. Openin’ the back door, Timmy turned around an’ said, “You gotta stay here, boy. I’ll be back tomorrow.” I could tell that Timmy was lyin’, though. I could always tell when Timmy was lyin’.

Wearin’ his backpack, Timmy couldn’t move very fast, so I sat there an’ waited for him to turn back around an’ open the screen door. Soon as it was open, I ran for it, sneakin’ around him an’ out ahead of him.

“Sandy!” Timmy called out in a loud whisper, “Get back here! Get back here now!

I wasn’t about to stay behind. If Timmy was leavin’ then I was leavin’ too. I started barkin’ knowin’ Timmy would have to come out to quiet me down or his mom an’ dad would hear me.

“Fuck,” Timmy said softly, an’ then he came to me an’ threw his arms around me an’ said, “OK, boy. I don’t know how we’re gonna manage, but you can go with me for now. Trouble is, I don’t know how I’m gonna feed ya. I’m not even sure how I’m gonna feed myself. I guess we’ll somehow manage, you and me and, I hope, Robbie.”

Gettin’ back up an’ closin’ the door behind him, he came back to me an’ said, “OK, boy, let’s see if we can spring Robbie loose before his mom sends him to Seattle.”

It was a short walk to Robbie’s house, an’ then Timmy told me to be quiet, but I already knew I had to be quiet. Robbie’s house is a lot smaller than Timmy’s - it only has one floor, an’ so we were able to walk right up to Robbie’s bedroom window.

Timmy knocked on the window a few times, an’ then the window opened an’ Robbie stuck his head out. “You came!” Robbie said in a loud whisper. “Thank God you came. I figured I was gonna hafta sneak out on my own.”

“I didn’t have much choice,” Timmy answered. “My parents decided to send me to one of those ‘reorientation’ camps.”

“Shit, that’s even worse than being sent to Seattle to live with my dad,” Robbie replied.

“Listen, I shoulda listened to you when we texted earlier tonight. I shoulda agreed to come with you in the first place,” Timmy added. “It’s not just that we’re boyfriends . . . even though we are. It’s not just that I love you, which I do. It’s way more than that . . . we’re friends forever. We’re in it together, no matter what.”

“Friends forever,” Robbie said as he stuck out his hand an’ they did that weird hand bumpin’ an’ grabbin’ thing they do. Then Timmy an’ Robbie kissed each other on the lips.

“Were you able to talk your mom into letting you pack your backpack instead of a suitcase?” Timmy asked.

“Thank God, yeah,” Robbie answered, an’ then added, “I coulda just repacked everything, but this made it so much easier. I just told her Dad and I would prolly go camping, and she agreed.” Turnin’ around an’ lookin’ back into his room, Robbie turned back to Timmy an’ said, “We’d better get going before my mom hears us.”

Robbie then pushed his backpack out the window an’ Timmy helped lower it to the ground, then Timmy helped Robbie climb out the window too. After closin’ the window behind him, Robbie shouldered his backpack an’ we all started walkin’ down the street.

“I raided my parents’ cash drawer . . .” Timmy started sayin’.

Robbie interrupted an’ said, “So’d I. Between that and my own cash, I’ve got close to two hundred dollars with me.”

“I’ve got just over three-fifty myself,” Timmy added, “so between the two of us, that’s over five hundred dollars.”

“That won’t last very long,” Robbie said. “It sounds like a lot but, at thirteen, we can’t exactly get jobs . . . not legal jobs and I’m not about to resort to selling drugs or prostitution.”

“God no,” Timmy answered. “No way in Hell would I want to do that. Yeah, I know the money has to last a long time. I know it won’t last forever but maybe we can find a place nearby to hide and maybe some of our friends can help us out.”

“We’d have to tell them why we ran away,” Robbie stated.

“Somehow, coming out to our friends seems a lot less scary than being out to our parents has been,” Timmy replied.

“Definitely,” Robbie added, an’ then continued, “By the way, why’d you bring Sandy along? Not that I mind the company . . . he’s a great dog . . . but having him with us means having three mouths to feed, and we can’t exactly go very far. We can’t ride our bikes, or take a bus or even hitchhike with him along.”

“I know,” Timmy answered. “It wasn’t my idea to bring him . . . I tried getting him to stay but he just ran out in front of me and started barking. Obviously, he understood I was leaving and wanted to be sure I took him with me.

“Besides, how could I leave him behind?” Timmy added as he scratched me behind the ears. I loved it when he scratched me behind the ears.

We walked for quite a long time - until the sky was startin’ to get light - an’ then we stopped at the big gas station we sometimes go to. Timmy stayed with me an’ watched Robbie’s backpack while Robbie went inside the store. A short while later, Robbie came out carryin’ a couple bags of stuff.

“They don’t exactly carry camping rations,” Robbie said, “but I got us enough to get by for a few days. I bought several bags of trail mix, ’cause it’s lightweight an’ filling. I got some cans of tuna for the protein, some string cheese ’cause it’ll keep, a couple bags of M&Ms to have something sweet an’ a bottle of vitamins ’cause we won’t be getting fresh fruit for a while. I also got some dry dog food for Sandy,” Robbie added as he scratched me behind the ears. “Sorry, but I didn’t get us anything to drink. Soda’s expensive and we can always refill our canteens in any public restroom.”

Just after Robbie put his backpack back on an’ we started walkin’ away, a car with flashin’ lights pulled into the station an’ stopped right in front of us!

“Fuck,” Robbie said quietly.

“You got that right,” Timmy added.

A man an’ a woman, both of them dressed in black, got out of the car an’ came right to us. The man started talkin’, sayin’, “It’s a bit of a long walk to the nearest hiking trail, boys. Would you mind telling us what you’re really up to?”

Sighin’, Timmy answered, “I don’t suppose you’d believe us if we told you we’re going camping, but that’s what we’re doing.”

Smilin’ an’ shakin’ his head, the man asked, “At five in the morning? I don’t think so. The gas station attendant thought it a bit suspicious too and gave us a call. And besides, we got a call about a couple of runaways. So I take it one of you is Timothy Warren and the other is Robert Goldstein?”

“I’m Timmy . . . er, Tim,” Timmy answered.

“And I’m Rob,” Robbie added.

“And who’s this?” the woman asked as she petted me on the head. I barked in return.

“This is Sandy,” Timmy said as he crouched down an’ hugged me.

“So . . . would you like to tell us why you ran away?” the woman asked.

“No ma’am, we can’t,” Robbie answered.

“Boys,” the man replied, “Believe me, we’ve heard just about every reason you can think of for a couple of boys to run away. Kids don’t leave everything they’ve known behind for no reason at all. Little kids sometimes do it for seemingly trivial reasons but teenagers generally have legitimate reasons . . . not always good reasons, but always important.

“Now the two of you don’t have police records and you don’t look like the kind to be involved with a gang or drugs. So I’m guessing it’s not anything bad either of you may have done. Family Services is going to be involved regardless, so please trust us. You can tell us anything, particularly if you’ve been physically or mentally abused.”

“It’s not that,” Robbie answered. “It’s just that my mom’s gonna send me away. She’s gonna send me to live with my dad in Seattle.”

“Is your dad abusive?” the woman asked.

“No, it’s nothing like that,” Robbie replied. “She wants to keep Tim and me apart . . . and she thinks . . .”

“She thinks you need a man’s influence in your life?” the man asked.

“Shit, is it that obvious?” Robbie asked in return.

The man looked at the woman - they seemed to be communicatin’ the way us dogs do - an’ then he turned back to Robbie an’ got down at his eye level an’ said, “Believe me, Rob, I know just what you’re going through.

“When I was twelve, I knew there was something different about me . . . that I wasn’t like all my friends. It took me a while to figure it out but, by the time I was fourteen, I knew I wasn’t attracted to girls the way all my friends were. In my case, it wasn’t my parents that were the problem, however. It was me. I just couldn’t accept it. I’d always wanted to be a cop and I was pretty sure there were no gay cops . . . so I pretended to like girls.

“I dated all through high school and college and, yes, that included having sex with them. I was using them but, at a fundamental level, I thought I was making myself straight. Then one of the girls I dated told me she was pregnant.”

“Fuck!” Timmy said, an’ then he added, “Sorry.”

“Fuck was right,” the man replied with a wink, an’ then he continued. “The thing was, I didn’t love her and I sure as Hell didn’t want to spend my life with her. I couldn’t spend my life with her. A child needs a loving environment and parents who don’t love each other can’t really provide that. I ended up telling her the truth. I guess you could say I came out to myself as well as to her.”

“So what happened?” Robbie asked.

Laughing, the man answered, “The girl was a gold-digger. She wanted a husband, but not a gay one, and it turned out the child wasn’t even mine. The real father took off.

“After that, I decided I wasn’t going to pretend anymore, even if it meant I couldn’t become a police officer. I joined the GSA at my school and discovered that a lot of the members were planning to go to the police academy. It was a Criminal Justice program, after all. It turns out there are as many gay cops as gay anything and more and more of them are coming out.”

“How did your parents take it?” Timmy asked.

“They had a tough time with it at first but, eventually, they came around, particularly after they got to know my boyfriend,” the man answered.

My parents want to send me away to one of those camps that claims to make gays straight,” Timmy said with a sad voice.

“Most of those places aren’t as bad as what you read about on the Internet, but they still do more to mess up peoples’ lives than anything,” the man replied. “Making a gay person straight is impossible and, fortunately, CPS views this sort of thing as abuse. Like it or not, you guys are way too young to live on your own. The best thing would be for your parents to come around . . . and most eventually do . . . but if they ever threaten you, feel free to call me anytime, day or night.” The man then handed Timmy an’ Robbie a small, stiff piece of paper an’ they smiled at him.

“Come on, let’s get you boys home,” the woman added, “and we’ll do everything we can to help your parents deal with it.”

The ride back to Timmy’s house was kinda fun. Timmy an’ Robbie an’ me got to ride in the back seat an’ the man an’ woman showed us all the cool stuff they had.

When we got to Timmy’s house, Timmy’s mom threw open the door an’ ran up to us, throwin’ her arms around Timmy an’ cryin’, “I’m so sorry, Timmy. I’m so sorry.”

“But I’m the one who ran away, Mom,” Timmy replied.

“I know, and now I think I understand why,” Timmy’s mom answered. “Dad and I heard Sandy barking and it sounded like he was outside. When I got up to see what was going on, you were nowhere in sight. We called Robbie’s mom and, when she checked, we found that Robbie had run off too.”

Robbie’s mom rushed out the door too an’ was huggin’ Robbie, an’ she added, “We called the police and then I rushed right over. After the police took our statements, The Warrens started talking about what they planned to do to help Timmy. They showed me some of the stuff they’d found on-line but then I suggested looking up reviews to see what the parents who sent their kids there had to say, and what the boys who’d actually been there had to say.”

“When we read the reviews people posted, we discovered the truth,” Timmy’s mom added. “The parents were disappointed in the results and the kids reported horrors I don’t even want to think about.”

“We started looking up all sorts of stuff about gay teenagers on the Internet and, well, we learned a lot,” Robbie’s mom continued.

“Most of what we thought we knew was just plain wrong,” Timmy’s dad added as he came up to us. “Most gay teens go on to become well-adjusted members of society. The majority of them settle down with a partner, just like straight people do, and more and more of them are indeed raising families.

“I didn’t want to have a gay son but I learned tonight just how much I’d rather have a gay son that no son.”

The man in black handed Timmy’s mom an’ dad an’ Robbie’s mom those small stiff pieces of paper an’ he said, “Like I told your sons, feel free to call me any time. And my boyfriend and I would be delighted to have them over for a barbecue or something.”

“You?” Timmy’s dad asked.

“Like you said, most of us are well-adjusted members of society,” the man answered.

We all went inside an’, after a while, a woman showed up an’ she asked a bunch of questions. After everyone left, Timmy an’ his mom an’ dad spent a lot more time talkin’ to Timmy an’ I got just plain bored. I din’t really understand what happened that Timmy an’ Robbie left home like that. People are so strange - they do a lot of things that don’t make any sense!

With nothing better to do, I headed up the stairs to Timmy’s room, jumped up on the bed, turned around a few times an’ settled down to take a nap.

The author gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of David of Hope in editing and Low Flyer in proofreading my stories, as well as Gay Authors, Awesome Dude and Nifty for hosting them. This story was posted as part of the Gay Authors 2011 Spring Anthology.

DISCLAIMER: Ths story is a fictional account of two young teenage boys who fall in love. There are references to gay sex and some graphic descriptions of sex between teenage boys, and anyone who is uncomfortable with this should obviously not be reading it. Also, if you are underage or if it is illegal to read stories involving sex between minors where you live, do not do so.