Tag Archives: animal shelters

The Saga of a Rescued Dog: Chapter Two

21 May

image

 

The Saga of a Rescued Dog

Chapter Two: Ain’t Nuthin’ Betterin’ Bacon

by L. Stewart Marsden

Previously:

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.

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.

_____________________

I heard about this scientist that did a lot of experimentation with dogs and dog behavior. Seems we animals get conditioned to respond in certain ways.

If a bell rings, for example, we run to a door and press a button. It opens, and voila — a dog treat!

In my case, I was conditioned by Mister Master — only what I do is definitely not good. When he would come and get me, and when he would stick his face near mine? Sometimes I growled and snapped at him.

He said I had a nasty temper. I say I don’t really know.

So, when the mister at the animal shelter bent down to pick me up — I dunno — Mister Master’s face flashed in front of me, and I growled and snapped at him pretty viciously. He dropped me and the leash and backed up and around the counter quickly, grabbing a long pole with a loop made of wire.

In the meantime, I headed for the front door just as a little old lady opened it from the outside. I scooted outside into the parking lot and looked around quickly to see where to hide. Just across the road from the shelter was a big field of corn that had grown maybe a couple of feet high.

Perfect!

Just as the mister ran through the door after me, I dashed for the field. I had one thing on my mind: that corn field.

Hey! Stop pooch! Stop! C’mere!

I heard the word C’mere, which acted like jet fuel in my veins. I just didn’t hear the semi headed down that road.

SWEEEEEEOOOOOOOWWWWW! went the truck, barely clipping the very end of my tail. Dang that stung! I yelped loudly and sped into the corn field, the mister running and calling after me.

In the middle of the field I found a small ditch that had standing water. I lay down in the ditch, careful to douse my hurting tail in the muddy mixture.

I could hear the mister moving off to my left in the field, calling Here doggie! C’mere, doggie! I won’t hurt you, doggie! And he would whistle over and over.

I thought why did I act that way? I knew this mister was not like Mister Master. I could tell by his eyes, and the way he looked at me — sad-like. Why did I do that?

I was too afraid to stand and move — still hurting too much. I would wait the mister out. He would give up. And then what? Where was I going to go? What was I going to do?

The sun was hot, and while I licked at the water, it was very muddy, and there were mosquitos buzzing about. I had heard mosquitos were not good for me.

A pesky fly kept buzzing about my head, and I snapped angrily at it — not sure what I would do if I caught it. What does a fly taste like, anyway? What did I care? It was getting late, and my stomach was growling. I hadn’t eaten all day. Sometimes Mister Master fed me. Sometimes he didn’t.

I lay my head down on the ground and tried to get comfortable. My tail throbbed. The voice of the mister got further and further away, and finally stopped altogether.

I fell asleep.

______________________

I was awakened by a loud screech just overhead, and jerked alert in time to see a huge owl swoop by, illumined by the light of the full moon. The owl dipped into the cornfield suddenly, and a few moments later flapped back into the sky, a small mouse twitching in its talons.

My stomach rumbled again. My tail still hurt, but not as much. And now I was really thirsty. The late afternoon heat had dried the puddle I was sleeping in — or maybe my fur soaked it up.

I shook what water and mud had clung to my back legs and body, and looked about. Then I tilted my nose into the air and began to sniff.

Something absolutely incredible wafted into my nose!

Bacon! There was bacon out there — not too far away, in fact! Mister Master had given me small pieces of bacon — back when I was a good dog. When I was a really small puppy. My teeth weren’t too sharp at the time, and I mostly gummed it — but oh, glory be! There ain’t nuthin’ like a good strip of bacon! I could just howl thinking about it!

The problem was, it was coming from the other side of the road. From the animal shelter I had run away from.

Know what? I didn’t care. It would be worth the risk to cross back over for some bacon. Besides, how’d I know there wasn’t some other animal — a raccoon or a possum or a fox or skunk — sniffing out that bacon at the very same time?

As quietly as I could, I retraced my steps back to the road. In my imagination I saw and heard the semi barrel by, brushing my fur with the wind of its passing.

But it wasn’t there.

I looked down the road — first one way and then the other. I listened to hear the sound of tires speeding over asphalt. Or to see oncoming headlights.

Nothing.

Carefully — but not too carefully, remembering all the other critters getting ready to congregate around that bacon — I clicked over the road, my toenails making a snappy sound. Once across, I headed for the cinderblock building.

Sure enough — in a metal bowl on the front stoop of the shelter — was a stack of bacon! And next to that, another bowl filled with water. Just sitting there! God, I thought I had died and gone to heaven!

I moved in quickly, but stealthily, wary of any other animal, or that some kind of trap had been set.

Nobody and no thing. Just slices and slices of bacon stacked up high.

Oh! I dove in with unabandonment. And the taste! The aromas! The crunch of the pan-fried meat! I was inundated in ecstasy — euphoric — totally out of my mind with bliss!

As I wolfed huge bites of bacon down, at the corner of one eye I spied the mister approaching slowly, carefully from around the building with that rod with the wire loop at the end of it.

And you know what?

I did not care one iota.

 

Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 21 May, 2014

Saga of a Rescued Dog: Chapter One

21 May

 

image

 

 

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