This short story was written by the American author Stephen Crane. It was first published in Cosmopolitan in 1901.
This beautifully written, yet sad story tells of a young boy, who lives in a tenement apartment with his lower class family and the dog he finds. Or, rather, the dog finds him. He resists the dog's advances at first, but the dog follows him home anyhow, and eventually wins his affection.
"Down in the mystic, hidden fields of his little dog-soul bloomed flowers of love and fidelity and perfect faith."
The story does not have a happy ending, nor is it very uplifting. What I love about it, though, is the wonderful contrast between Crane's language and the dark subject matter. For instance, there is a scene in which he describes the parents of the little boy arguing. They are low class people: dirty and drunk, in an unkempt tenement apartment. One imagines sepia-toned poverty.
But to describe this scene, Crane writes:
"They had a lurid altercation, in which they damned each other's souls with frequence."
The contrast between the words and the scene they describe only point out all the more how terrible a situation it was for that little boy. In this way, Crane was truly a master of story-telling.