“Freedom,” A Short Story by Vickie Stafford

Rusty is a dog who has never gotten the love he needs. His owner treats him like a servant. Rusty is a farm dog who works outside everyday. Rusty sleeps in a cage outside, until one day Rusty ran away from home.

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Rusty met a homeless man. His name is Jesse Rowlds. He used to be a big time lawyer. How did he lose his house? He never paid his bills in Aspen, Colorado, where he lives and still does even though he’s homeless going on three months.

Rusty loved Jesse more than his owner and Jesse enjoyed him too. It’s been two weeks since Rusty ran away from home. Jesse decided to change Rusty’s name to Freedom, and Rusty loved his new name. It stood for a new beginning.

On the Fourth of July a fair came to town, and Jesse went to the fair with Freedom. It is free to everybody and there was a real-life psychic. Jesse went to her for fun to see how his future will be — good or bad. The psychic told Jesse, “You will become rich.”

Jesse told himself in a quiet tone of voice, “yeah, right,” making sure that nobody could hear him, in total disbelief. Then he left the fair. On July 7, 2007, Freedom sniffed out 12 lottery tickets that were tied up in a rubber band behind the dumpster.

Jesse took the lottery tickets to the gas station to see if he won the money. Yes, he won the money! The clerk at the gas station wrote a big check. Jesse took the check to the bank. Now for Jesse his lucky day was on 7/7/07. Jesse and Freedom are in the newspaper with their new house.

Freedom’s old owner found out they only lived three blocks from each other. He walked there and knocked at the door in an angry way. Jesse opened the door. Freedom’s old owner called Rusty but the dog wouldn’t come. So Jesse gave him money for a new dog and a new car.

Now sometimes they eat together, and the dogs play together, too. Jesse makes homeless shelters for homeless people. A year went by. In June, Jesse took a cruise to Alaska to see the Northern Lights and met an angel who said, “Thank you for making the homeless shelters.”

About the Author

About the Author


Vickie receives residential services from Open Options. Her friends describe her as smart and funny and say she has an outstanding laugh.

Vickie has idiopathic torsion dystonia, a condition that causes painful muscle contractions and affects her gait and verbal communication. A born writer, Vickie has authored many plays and an essay on the rights of people with disabilities.