Midge, Jake and Booker-T slowly walked along the sidewalk to Jake's house. Midge was quiet as they walked along. She was not her bubbly self this afternoon.
“Are you okay Midge?” asked Jake. “You are being so quiet and that's not like you.”
“I'm fine Jake,” said Midge.
“You don't look fine,” said Booker-T. “You look like you are feeling bad. Are you sick?”
“Hi guys!” greeted Gabby as he swooped down closer to the three as they walked along the sidewalk. “What is wrong with Midge? I have never seen her looking so bad before. Is she sick?”
“She really had her heart set on a blue ribbon from the dog show,” said Jake.
“You have to be entered into the show to win,” said Gabby.. “Was she entered in the show?”
“No,” said Booker-T. “Like the dance contest, she just walked in and pranced around.”
“What happened?” asked Gabby.
“She made it into the center ring, following a lot of the show dogs,” said Jake. “They soon realized she was there with no owner and chased her out.”
“But she held her head up and proudly pranced around the ring before they got her out of it,” said Booker-T.
“Did the people like her?” asked Gabby.
“I don't think the other dog owners were happy,” said Jake. “But the people clapped and cheered for Midge when she walked around the ring.
“You look really pretty in your pink collar and bows, Midge,” said Gabby.
“Thanks Gabby,” smiled Midge. “You are just being nice to me because I didn't win.”
“That is not true Midge,” said Gabby.
“It is okay Gabby,” said Midge.
They walked through the gate at Jake's with Gabby flying above them. Midge crawled into the swing and sat down.
“Would you like something to eat Midge?” asked Jake. “We can go inside and eat if you want.”
“That's okay Jake,” said Midge. “I just want to sit here and do nothing for a while.”
“Midge,” said Booker-T. “Cheer up. You knew when you walked into the ring, that they would chase you out as soon as they saw you were alone with no owner.”
“I know Booker-T,” said Midge. “I wanted to be as important as those pretty show dogs.”
“Midge,” said Gabby. “You are more important then those show dogs.”
“Why do you think that?” said Midge. “I didn't win a blue ribbon like a lot of them do.”
“Okay, Midge,” said Gabby. “Sit down and I will tell you.”
“I am sitting down,” smiled Midge.
“Oh, that is right, I know,” said Gabby. “But it made you smile when I said it.”
“I guess it did,” said Midge. “Why do you think I'm more important than those show dogs?”
“You have a beautiful home with an owner who loves you just as you are,” said Gabby.
“This is true, Midge,” said Jake. “Your owner loves you very much.”
“Gabby is right,” agreed Booker-T.
“But don't the owners of the show dogs love them too?” asked Midge.
“I'm sure their owners love them too,” said Gabby. “But they are also in love with winning those ribbons. Not all those dogs win ribbons. I bet those dogs who lose are unhappy that they didn't win for their owners.”
“And your owner loves you even if you aren't a show dog,” said Jake. “She loves you even without that blue ribbon.”
“At the farm where Polly and I stay,” said Gabby. “There are several dogs who live there too. Some were show dogs and some of them were racing dogs.”
“They were?” asked Midge. “Why are they not show dogs now or racing dogs?”
“They got older,” said Gabby. “They are too old to race anymore and the show dogs were no longer winning blue ribbons, so their owners gave them to the man who owns the farm. He feeds them and they sleep in the barn. He tries to find them a new home with someone who will adopt them. Some of them never get to go to a nice home anymore.”
“That is so sad Gabby,” said Midge.
“So you see, Midge,” said Jake. “You don't have to be a show dog. Your owner loves you just as you are.”
“And you have friends who love you just as you are,” said Booker-T. “I bet those show dogs don't have friends like you do.”
“That's right, Midge,” said Gabby. “So be happy with who you are and don't try to be what you aren't. Being like someone else may not always be as good as you think it is.”
“Be yourself, Midge,” said Jake. “We are all happy with you just as you are even if you don't have a blue ribbon. You look just as good as those show dogs.”
“Thanks you guys,” smiled Midge. “I'm happy we are all friends. I guess I wouldn't give that up to be a show dog or any other kind of dog. Now, lets go eat.”
“Okay,” laughed Jake and Booker-T. “We are glad you want to stay around with us.”
The three hurried to the back of the house and squeezed in through the doggie door. In the basement laundry room, Jake pulled out the big bag of his dog food and they all helped themselves to some of the nuggets. Midge ran to the water dish and drank some cool water and then sat down next to the water dish.
“I'm little sleepy,” said Midge. “Can we go upstairs and lay down for a little nap?”
“Sure,” said Jake as he led them up the stairs to the living room. “Lets go.”