Prose, Grades 7 – 9: Third Place
Latke the Dog — Noah Orloff
I came home from school and hopped into the car. My mom and I went through the normal
routine of asking each other how our days went. Midway through the conversation, she said, “I
got some great news; I think dad found you a job!”
My mind skidded to the thought of chores of some sort, but then my mom continued, “You
know how some new neighbors moved in?” I had no clue what she was talking about. “Well, a
new family now lives down the street, and they have a dog that needs walking. Are you up for
After a few seconds of processing all the information that had just been thrown my way, I
responded, “Of course! But only if the dog is little.” See, I have always wanted a nice small dog
of my own, but I figured this was the closest I would get because my dad is allergic. I never had
been a dog person, but things would soon change.
“Yes, Latke the dog is miniature and fluffy. This Sunday you will be able to meet Latke and
his parents. You will learn the ropes.”
When Sunday rolled around, I was walking with my parents down the street to our new
neighbors’ home. My parents and I were greeted by an anxious white fluffball, who was shaking
in fear. I noticed how Latke’s fur looked just like snow.
Latke’s parents instructed me how to put on his ‘harness’ and coat. Despite his coat not fitting so well, due to a few too many cheerios he had eaten, the velcro still connected.
I was offered to walk him on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, while Latke’s grandpa would walk him the other days of the week. My body nearly shivered at the thought of walking this dog in the winter, three times a week!
When I bent to pick him up, his little body shifted up like an arc, ready for two arms to lift him. Latke felt delicate as I cradled him in my arms for the first time.
My hand was lost in his thick soft fur when I lowered him back to the floor. When I fed him a treat, he bent down to get it, just like a kid going under a limbo stick. His treats were nice and petite, so the metaphor, ‘You are what you eat’ came into my mind.
His tail wagged in unison with his legs. His little eyes were filled with curiosity. I thought about how he was the cutest dog in the entire world. His ears had an apricot tone. If my hands got within a couple of inches of his face, they would be greeted by a miniature red tongue.
Latkes are a delightful treat that are enjoyed during Hanukkah. Just like the festivities of
Hanukkah, Latke brings joy and happiness.
Two days after Sunday’s visit, I walked into their house. I surveyed the scenery and then
walked into the living room. There he was, Latke, sitting on the couch shaking like he had seen a
ghost. I already knew that I would wait for this part of the day every week.
I picked him up, and we went on a short walk. When we got back to his house, he was overly excited and started running circles around me. After calming down, he lay on his side and let me rub his stomach. We would be best friends in no time. Now I love dogs.