Cricket lovingly strapped the puppy into his seat. 

"I have a mother in heaven you know," said Scruffy.

"I'm really sorry she had to leave you," said Cricket sadly.

"She died in the mills," said Scruffy.  "I pawmised her I'd try to get out of there alive."

"It looks like you kept your pawmise," smiled Cricket.

"I never rode on a bus before," said Scruffy. "This is cool.  Sissy would like this. She is my friend in Missouri."

"Why don't we send her a picture of you in the bus some day?" smiled Cricket.  "I bet Sissy would be happy to get that."

"Let's send her a picture of everyone," said Scruffy.  "She used to be Lady Di, but she changed her name to Sissy."

"Are we there yet?" asked the puppy.

Cricket and Patrick listened patiently to the puppy chatter in the back seat.  They knew Scruffy was excited, and scared.  Tomorrow was a big day.  Tomorrow they would find out if the hospital in Boston thought his little life could be saved.

"Are you my new Mommy and Daddy?" asked the puppy.

"We can be your 'pawdoptive' Mommy and Daddy," said Cricket.

"What do I call you?" asked Scruff.

"You can call us Daddy Patrick and Mommy Cricket." smiled Patrick. "And that is Grampy Henry, and Auntie Molly."

"Ok," said the puppy. "Daddy Patrick and Mommy Cricket and Aunt Molly and Grampy Henry..."

"Yes?" they replied.

"I have to pee."

` When, at long last, they arrived home, Auntie Molly took the puppy out to do his "business".  He sniffed around the entire yard, looking at all the wonderful things. 

"Uncle Mark has a fountain." he stated out of the blue.

"Well, you will have a doggie door here," smiled Aunt Molly.  "You can come out in the yard any time you like."

"Cool." said the puppy.

"What's that?" asked the puppy.  "Why is there a bus seat in the yard?"

"That was Guinney Gumdrop's seat," said Patrick.  "She's in heaven too.  She was like a mother to me. We come to this garden to remember her, and HT and Scruffy."

"Remember me?" asked the puppy. "I'm not dead yet!"

"Not YOU, Scruffy. A different Scruffy.  She was a little terrier who lived here for many years."

"I'm not ready to go to heaven," said the puppy.  "I'm just a baby. And I don't want to be called Scruffy anymore!"

The little puppy sniffed the flowers in Guinney's garden.  "I'm sorry your mommy is in heaven too," said the puppy.  "It seems funny to have a dad."

Patrick laughed.  "It seems funny to have a kid," he smiled.  "Maybe our moms are having pizza together in heaven right now!"

"They have pizza in heaven?" asked the puppy with surprise.

"Anything you want to eat," said Patrick.

"I don't care," said Scruffy, "I'm not ready to go there.  Will you and Mommy Cricket pick out a new name for me? A name that no one ever had who has died."

"I'll talk to her," said Patrick.  "We'll do everything we can for you, but you have to be a good boy at the hospital tomorrow."

"What are they going to do to me?" asked Scruffy.

"They are going to listen to your lungs and heart with the stethoscope, and take some x-rays to see inside. They will take a little blood to test and they will probably give you some new medication." said Patrick.

"I don't want to stay there," said the puppy.  "I want to come home."

"No matter what, your new family will be here for you.  We need to do exactly what the doctor tells us because we love you and we want what's best for you."

"--besides," thought Patrick quietly, "this doctor is your last chance."