Saga of a Rescued Dog: Chapter One

21 May

 

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Saga of a Rescued Dog

Chapter One: The Present

by L. Stewart Marsden

BAD DOG!

I heard Mister Master scream as he entered the house. He had found my present in the front hallway, no doubt.

C’MERE, YOU MUTT!

Mister Master did not have a mute button. Everything he said — at least to me — was at full volume. Needless to say, I did not c’mere, but tucked my tail and skulked down the hallway to my hiding place underneath the stairway.

WHERE ARE YOU? COME OUT NOW!

So I scrunched into the tiniest ball I could, and however much I tried, my toenails made a scratching sound on the wood floor. Obedience to Mister Master was not one of my better traits.

I HEAR YOU! YOU CAN’T GET AWAY FROM ME! YOU ARE IN FOR IT THIS TIME!

I never got way from Mister Master. But I always tried. It wasn’t so much I thought he wouldn’t find me, but it delayed the inevitable. At least for a few sorry seconds. It didn’t matter in the long run, and I was always in for it whatever it was.

Mister Master found me and screamed THERE YOU ARE!

He put on one of his heavy work gloves and reached under the space under the stairway and grabbed me by the collar. I scratched deep marks into the floor in my attempt to resist, which only made Mister Master madder.

He fumed as he dragged me back down the hallway to the front door alcove.

DO YOU SEE THAT?

He pointed at my present, neatly piled on the floor a few feet from the door.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT?

I’m not sure why he asks. He wouldn’t understand me if I did explain. And what I had to say was “If you hadn’t left me in the house for ten hours I wouldn’t have left you the present.” But that would only have made him madder.

So he shoved my nose into the present. I can’t begin to explain how awfully disgusting that is! And while he did that he repeated his angry statement:

BAD DOG!

I thought to myself, “Bad Mister Master.”

Then he took me to the back of the house and let me out into the back yard — which, by the way, was fenced in. Why he left me in the house in the first place was beyond me!

I cleaned myself in the unmowed grass and tried not to get sick from the smell. I love to smell things, but not that!

Mister Master stormed out into the back yard after a few minutes. He had the leash.

THAT WAS THE VERY LAST STRAW!

He hooked the leash to my collar, and dragged me to his truck, almost tossing me into the truck bed.

Then he jumped into the cab and slammed the door, and started the engine, revving it loudly. He jerked back down the driveway, tossing me about in the truck bed, slamming my body against the sides and the wheel covers. I was afraid of being tossed out of the back, which was protected by a webbed fabric gate. Not the strongest material where I was concerned.

Then we drove away from the house, reeling about corners, slamming to stops at intersections, and peeling out at green lights.

After a terribly long and frightful ride, Mister Master pulled the truck into a driveway where there was a one-story cinderblock building. A sign at the entrance to the driveway read County Animal Shelter.

He grabbed the leash and nearly tore my head off pulling me out of the truck bed. He dragged me toward the cinderblock building and through the glass front door into a waiting area.

An older, much kinder looking mister sat behind a tall counter, and was reading a magazine. He looked up at Mister Master and me, and seemed to size up the situation pretty quickly.

Problem with your dog?

Amazing! He didn’t shout!

HE’S A DAMN NUISANCE!

A nuisance? That all?

DONE WITH HIM. TIRED OF HIM CHEWING EVERYTHING AND CRAPPING ALL OVER THE PLACE.

Well, that’s generally what puppies do — chew and crap. You didn’t know that when you got him?

IT’S MORE THAN I CAN PUT UP WITH. CAN I LEAVE HIM HERE WITH YOU?

For a fee. We’re not a charity, you know.

HOW MUCH?

Fifty dollars.

FIFTY DOLLARS! DAMN! MAY AS WELL PULL OUT A GUN AND SHOOT ME!

Well, that WAS a thought I’d vote for!

We’ll feed him for thirty days and keep him safe. He’ll be put up for adoption.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THIRTY DAYS?

This is a country animal shelter. If an animal isn’t adopted over that time, we euthanize. So if you don’t want your pet to be euthanized, I wouldn’t leave him here.

GOT NO OTHER PLACE. NOBODY I KNOW WOULD TAKE HIM. ‘SPECT NOBODY WILL WANT HIM. MAY AS WELL EUTHANIZE HIM NOW, FOR ALL THAT MATTERS.

I dunno about that. We’ll wait the thirty days. It’s the law.

Mister Master pulled out his wallet and counted out the money begrudgingly, murmuring curses under his breath. I sat and watched the transaction, sensing perhaps a chance for a new life. I didn’t know what euthanize meant, and was sure it wasn’t good. But, even so, two weeks without Mister Master was going to be like eternal heaven for me.

THAT IT? ANYTHING ELSE?

Is he up on his shots? I see he has a tag.

YEAH. I TAKE GOOD CARE OF MY PETS AND MAKE SURE THEY’RE UP-TO-DATE ON EVERYTHING.

Except love, I thought.

Mister Master handed my leash to the other mister, grunted, and walked out of the door and out of my life. He didn’t pet me, or say good-bye, or even look at me once. He just walked out the door, got into his truck, and drove away.

Not that I minded.

What now? I thought, and watched the other mister come around the counter with my leash in hand.

He bent down to pick me up.

 

 

Copyright © Lawrence S. Marsden, 21 May, 2014
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