Here is a love story one day early:

Have you ever loved someone so much that they were, without a doubt, your best friend? Well, my brother has.

Thomas Russ, my brother, is a U.S. Marine who has already been to Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, he is in mountain training in the Sierra Nevada mountains. After he left Iraq, he was stationed in Hawaii. He came home last year around May.

Our fabulous pit bull mix dog, Leela, had died in March. Tom wanted to get a new dog. He and my mom went to a shelter. My mom described it as a beautiful place. They had a trail, so you could even walk the dog you wanted to adopt.

Tom and my mother looked at so many dogs, but there was one that stood out. He was a 6-month-old male Australian cattle dog named Quint.

Quint was in a humongous cage with another dog; Quint was running around, barking and pleading for attention. Tom knew Quint was for him, but my mom was nervous because of Quint's crazy behavior.

They took Quint home that day, but he had never been in a car or house before, so he was nervous. Since everyone but Tom had school or work, Tom kept Quint company every day, and they created quite a bond. Quint always stayed with Tom, played with Tom and even slept on Tom's bed.

Unfortunately, the day came when Tom had to go back to Hawaii. It was so heartbreaking. Every day for a month, Quint would sit by the door waiting for Tom. Then, we got the idea of talking on the phone. The first night, we were going to try to get Tom to say hi to Quint through the phone. Finally, that night arrived. We called Tom on the phone and called Quint over to the couch. My mom talked to Tom a bit, but then said "Here, Tom, talk to Quint."

We put the phone up against Quint's ear and had Tommy talk. Quint's reaction was insane. He got all perky and started barking, howling and running laps around the house. After that night, Quint was so much happier.

We talked to Tom a lot, and every time Quint would react the same way to Tom's voice. Now, every time we talk to Tom, Quint does, too, and we can't wait until Tom comes home; imagine what Quint will do then!

Our pop quiz on rock

1) Who are the two remaining original members of The Who?

2) Who is the oldest Beatle?

3) What band wrote the song "Smoke on the Water?"

4) Who was the drummer from Led Zeppelin?

5) What country is the band AC/DC from?

6) What member of the band Aerosmith was an "American Idol" judge?

7) What was the original name of the band Van Halen?

Answers: 1) Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey 2) Ringo Starr 3) Deep Purple 4) John Bonham 5) Australia 6) Steven Tyler 7) Mammoth

--Kidsday Reporter Alex Worrell

CLASS OF THE WEEK: Marie Amella-Pesko's eighth-grade English class, SAYVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL