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Inky & John The Saga Continues

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The Letter

Inky is always interested in the mail we receive and insists that I read everything to him. I don't mind this because I know that his main interest is if we got anything from N.A.S.A.. On this bright, beautiful fall morning we are on our way to the front gate to pick up the mail. Inky is by my side, trotting along just fast enough to keep up with me.

We reached the mailbox and opened the door. "Just one letter, Inky, let's see who it's from." I turned the envelope over and there it was - - "Headquarters, N.A.S.A.!" I yelled out. Inky let out a whoop like a wild Indian. "What does it say? What does it say?"

I read the letter aloud to him. You are to report to the testing center in Houston at your earliest convenience. "How about that, little pal?"

Inky was so excited he almost did a flip. "Oh, John! This is what we've been waiting for! How soon can we go?"

I thought for a minute. "How about next week? I'll call Brandi and we'll set a time. If nothing goes wrong, we'll be on our way to Houston soon!"

All the way back up the mountain Inky asked questions one after another, at machine gun speed. Will we fly this time? - - What shall I take along? - - Will you be able to stay with me? - - Will there be other doggies there? - - Can Pancho and the others go with us? I told him that all those questions will be answered in the next few days and we would just have to be patient. "We must remember that we are probably going to be gone for a while and someone would have to stay at home and take care of the others. Also, let's remember that Libby doesn't know yet and I'm not sure how she will feel about all this. After all, she loves you very much and she will be worried about what N.A.S.A. will want you to do."

We reached the house and found Libby in the den reading. She stopped when we came in and asked "Hi, guys, what did we get in the mail today?" I stood there and tried to think of what to tell her. Finally I handed her the letter. She read it once, then again, this time more slowly. Then she just sat back in her chair and looked at me. "John, are we sure we want to do this? After all, you'll be gone for a while and I'm not sure I can handle everything. Besides, I'll miss both of you so much!" I knew she was right, and that she was just reminding me of the other responsibilities I have.

"Inky, Libby's right! What we must do is call and get a detailed account of what to expect. Then we will sit down and have a family meeting. At this point there are a lot of loose ends and we shouldn't overlook anything. Is that OK with you?"

Inky sat down on the floor in front of Libby's chair. She reached down and gently picked him up and put him in her lap. "Inky, I know you're excited about going, but I also know you would never want to do anything to hurt the family."

Inky gave Libby a kiss on the nose and told her that he understood and will always put family first over everything, then he looked up at her and said, "I assume there WILL be cookies at the family meeting."

Inky is a man of priorities.