Zane is 11 years old and won a Young Writer’s Award for this story about his best friend, Corbin. For more on Corbin’s RedRover Relief story, visit RedRover.org/Corbin.

Corbin is the best friend a guy could have. He has shiny black hair, sad brown eyes, and is fourteen years old. He has a loud voice but can’t sing a lick. When he tries, he sounds like a cat being forced to take a bath. Our preacher won’t even let him sing in church.

On a sunny day, he likes to play baseball with my family in the back yard. Climbing up on a diving board, he enjoys plunging into the crystal, clear water making a giant splash; he swims to the other end, and then, he repeats it. When we have a pool party, Dad likes to barbecue on the patio. Waiting anxiously for food, Corbin hovers by the grill for a juicy hamburger with extra cheese. He always wants seconds, and I even have to share my burger with him, too.

Last summer, we went to Largo, Florida, to visit family, and Corbin went with us. His favorite things at the Busch Gardens were the rides. On the Roaring Rapids, some kids got on the twisting, turning ride with us. While they got soaked, Corbin and I remained perfectly dry. He also went with us to Tennessee to attend the Lee University Honor Band performance to watch my brother play percussion. Corbin wore a black suit and bowtie, and I wore a vest with a tie; we looked pretty snazzy. After the concert, my parents took us to ride the Polar Express, which is a train that takes the passengers to the North Pole. On the way there, we looked at the wintry countryside and sipped hot cocoa.

Corbin and I share a love of food. Besides bacon and steak, my buddy’s favorite snack is cookies. When my brother and I want a cookie, we have to spell it out because Corbin comes running. Besides eating, he likes to watch television shows about dogs, and he likes to be read to. His choice of books include: Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Shiloh.

Although Corbin is awesome, he has his share of faults. He does not like to take a bath or brush his teeth. Most days, Corbin stays home and sleeps since he is not enrolled in school. When he gets out toys, he never puts them away, mostly leaving them scattered around the house. He leaves hair all over the place and sometimes gets fleas. Although I love him, he licks himself, and then, tries to gives me kisses.

Corbin is a black lab and is my service dog. He acts as my legs when I can’t walk. When I stumble and waddle through the house due to the pain, Corbin steadies me and helps my balance. If I become sick with a fever, Corbin gets me in the floor and cools me down. During my chemotherapy infusions, he sits with me, holds my hand, and takes my mind off of the pain. His ears are always willing to listen, and he never plays “don’t touch him you will get sick” like the kids on the playground. Corbin is more than a friend; he’s more like a brother. Even with his faults, more people should be like Corbin.