Where I Am Now

It is fourteen degrees below zero today, not counting the wind chill.  Twenty four below if you are in the wind.  I am glad I am not in the wind.  Today reminds me of another day, what feels like a literal lifetime ago.

I was expecting babies, more than one.  I couldn’t live in my house anymore, they said, because there wasn’t room for all of us.  But that didn’t make sense to me.  I didn’t understand how I could be part of the family one second and outside alone the next.  I had always been so good.  I did everything they asked of me, every single time.  But there I was.  Outside.

And it was cold.

I looked for my family for a while.  I thought that if I could find them, I could convince them that I was still worth loving.  But the salt on the road burned my feet and the snow gave me frostbite in my toes.  I grew tired, and I felt a lot older than my years.  It grew harder and harder to look for them.  I realized that I would never see my family again, so I tried to find a new place to call my own.  I tried to talk to people that I met as I wandered, but none of them could understand me.  Some of them seemed afraid of me.  So I did what seemed natural; I disappeared.

I had my babies.  They were hard to keep track of; the three of them were rambunctious and crazy, and they all looked just like me.  But I kept things together the best I could.  I went out into the snow to forage for food, the cold seeping into my feet.  As the weather grew warmer, and the babies grew older, I let them come with me.  I taught them how to run and play, but I also taught them the ways of the world.  I taught them everything that I felt they needed to know.  Rain or shine, we were out doing what we had to to survive.  A pack.  Our own sort of family.  Until the day the truck came.

I saw it from down the road.  I told my babies to run, run as fast as they could.  There was man there with a big stick; he wanted us to get in the back of the truck.  His voice was loud, cutting through my warnings to get away.  I ran, with the babies right behind me.  When they started to fall behind, I tried to distract the man so that he wouldn’t take them away.  I lunged at him, and when he grabbed me I sank my teeth into his arm.  As I slipped away, I called to the babies.  I was down the block before I realized they were no longer with me.  I ran back to where I had last seen them but they, along with the truck, were gone.  I had lost yet another family.

My life didn’t seem worth living anymore.  I walked with my head down, avoiding people and civilization.  I didn’t try to find food.  I spent my nights huddled behind garages and inside sheds.  As the weather grew warmer, I wandered down to where there was a giant place to swim.  I thought about how I had planned to bring the babies here, to show them how to swim and teach them to love the water as much as I did.  I sat sadly, staring out over the water and watching the seagulls circling overhead.

When the man with the stick came, I didn’t even see him until it was too late.  He took me to a place that was filled with others like me, a place where I sat for over two months.  The place was filled with sadness.  I got food and water every day, but there was no one to love me and no one that I wanted to love.  I didn’t want to play.  I didn’t want to do anything.  I knew that there would never be anyone for me.

I remember the day they came, a year ago now. The day they now call “gotcha day.”  All of the others were making so much noise, but I sat and patiently waited.  They barked, but I didn’t.  I didn’t have a lot of hope; many people had come to visit but I still didn’t have a home.  Barking wouldn’t do me any good.  I waited in my place in the corner, and I watched as they looked at everyone in my section but me.  I didn’t move a muscle until the girls came, and put their fingers through the bars.  It was then that I wagged my tail.  Then that I just knew they were there for me.  I cocked my head to one side and put my ears up in a way that, while I couldn’t quite remember, I was pretty sure they would think was cute.

I got to go home that day.  I learned again about things called blankets and beds and toys.  I got to play with balls and play tug of war with rope.  Best of all, I got love.  Snuggles and love are my very favorite thing.

It is fourteen degrees below zero today, but I am not afraid; I am not cold.  I am sitting on the couch with my people, wrapped up in my favorite blanket that looks like that TARDIS machine that makes so much noise on the magical picture box.

I am finally in my forever home.  And I am happy.

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3 thoughts on “Where I Am Now

  1. This nearly brought tears to my eyes 😦 Yay for being warm and having a home!

  2. Love this and the way it has been written from the dog’s point of view.

  3. You made me cry! 😭 but I love this one!

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