After seeing the movie, "Lassie Come Home," the one thing that four-year-old Donnie wanted more than anything else was owning a dog to love and to love him back. With Christmas, 1945, coming soon, that's all he could talk about.
Donnie's father, Tex, was a poor welder, who had to work all day on Christmas Eve. A massive blizzard had rolled into Wichita, Kansas and much to everyone's surprise, a half-frozen, abandoned puppy crawled through a hole in the cinderblock wall of Tex's welding shop.
The week before, Tex and his wife, Irene, had agreed there was no money to buy their son a Christmas present and told Donnie so. But, when Tex saw a free puppy come into their lives, he recalled the joy he felt from the puppy his father gave him on his eighth birthday. Overjoyed, he decided that finding a free puppy had changed everything.
While driving home with the puppy in his coat pocket, Tex worried that Irene might not be thrilled that he had made the decision without discussing it with her first. Then he convinced himself that nobody could pass up the opportunity to give their only son a present that he wanted more than anything else in the world...and it was FREE!
How could Tex possibly anticipate what effect giving Donnie a dog would have on his family?