Little Dog Lost – My Story
'It is so not good! My people made a big mistake." Those were my little dog thoughts that terrible day.
My people and I were getting along just fine, I thought. I would bounce around the house, they would yell at me to stop, I would bounce some more, then fall asleep on the little rug in the corner. When I woke up there was more bouncing time, and then my people would feed me. Sometimes my people swatted me, but I knew they did not mean anything by it. They never made me stop bouncing. I was just a puppy; what did I know?
One day, my people were looking at me funny. They seemed a little nervous, but I wasn't worried. What's a puppy got to worry about as long as he has food, water, and a roof over his head – and someone to pet him from time to time? I was put in the car and out into the countryside we went. What an adventure! There were lots of new smells coming through the window and strange sights sailing past. After awhile, the car stopped. " Maybe we are going to get out and run around and smell things up close," I thought. Well, no, I was the only one getting out. One of my people plopped me out on the road, and "zoom," the car took off. I ran as fast as I could, but I couldn't catch them.
I wondered if maybe it was some kind of new hide and seek game. I didn't like to be out there on the road anyway, so I went over to hide behind some bushes. "When my people come back," I thought, "I'll bark a little to let them know where I am hiding. No, heck! I'll jump out and say, 'Here I am! Let's go home.'" But they did not come back.
Evening turned to night, and I was scared, hungry, alone, and totally lost. There were strange noises in the night – screeches and howls and some kind of mooing sound. I needed a better place to hide, but I didn't want to move. When I heard a loud noise close by, I jumped out from behind my bush and dove into a little cave in the ground by a large tree. I was shaking all over. After awhile, I fell asleep exhausted.
Morning came and still no return of my family. My tummy was so empty, and I was thirsty, too. I had to find food and water. I started down the road. I had no idea which way to go, so I sniffed the air. Hummm, strange odors came from the left of me. Smelled like some kind of animal. "This could be good," I thought.
I trotted down the road watching every moment for my people to come and for any scary thing that might jump out and get me. After a little while, I spotted a large building not that far from the road. In a fenced area close by, I saw some really big animals. They didn't look like dogs or even big cats, and they were eating the grass beneath their feet. "Maybe they had tummy aches," I said to myself. As a pup I ate grass when my tummy hurt; I still do. These big animals had long tails that were swishing and pointy ears twitching when flies landed on them. But they didn't look lost, and they didn't look starved. Maybe there were people who fed them. Maybe they would feed me.
One of the animals looked up and spotted me as I approached the building. I was keeping myself really low, but I froze where I was when those large eyes started checking me out. "Oh, my! Lost, alone, hungry, thirsty, and now I might be stomped or eaten or something by these huge animals!" But I guess I didn't have enough meat on my bones. The large animals looked away and went back to their grass. Whew!
I crept up the building. It wasn't a house. I had a house in the city; I knew houses. But it did look like a "people" place. There were doors and windows and everything. Maybe the people had some dog food. Maybe. Well, maybe not! A man came out and spotted me and started yelling and throwing rocks at me and telling me to go, go, go away. I ran as fast as my little legs would take me. I didn't know where I was going, just away! I didn't know why he threw rocks at me. I hadn't done anything wrong.
I found a place I thought was safe and stopped running. Now I was also really tired. Problems piled on problems.
Day after day, night after night – I lost track of time; I searched for food and water and a place to rest. I tried to stay safe, but no where felt safe. One night some big shaggy dogs howled and tried to catch me. I don't know how I got away. Perhaps I had an angel watching out for me. I heard my people talk about angels – really big winged people in the sky. Something like that. Anyway, something or someone saved me that night.
I thought I was going to die. My fur was falling out, my skin itched like crazy, and little bugs were all over me - my ribs were sticking out. I had trouble walking and finally found a large truck and crawled under it. It seemed as good a place as any to come to the end of my short life. I closed my tired eyes and prepared to die. I made little whining noises; I was so scared and sad.
Disturbing my last day on earth, I heard a soft sound. It was a voice. "Oh, no! Someone was going to throw things at me and tell me to go away. Couldn't I just die in peace?" But I listened. It sounded like the person was saying something about "poor little dog." Then I looked up and an upside down human face was looking at me under the truck. Whoa! Now what?
Even though the eyes were where the mouth should be, the eyes looked kind. The mouth was saying, "Come here, little dog." But I didn't want to come here or anywhere. Pretty soon the face disappeared, and I heard footsteps going away.
Relax, I tried to tell myself. It's over. But it wasn't. The footsteps returned, but I smelled something...something, well, like FOOD!
I was right. A bowl of dog food came sliding under the truck. "Oh, boy!" I jumped up and almost bumped my head on the underside of the truck. I scooted over to the bowl and gobbled down the food not even thinking that I didn't know the hand that was feeding me. Then a red can with water in it came sliding in. I drank and drank and drank. "Burp!" My tummy was full.
It didn't seem like such a bad place. I heard the footsteps go away, and I waited. Nothing. I waited. Nothing. I was curious. I crept to the edge of the truck and looked out. Still nothing. "Where did that person go," I wondered. I couldn't help it; I had to know.
I crawled out from under the truck and began to sniff around. I trotted over to the door to the building that was close to the truck. It smelled like, well, like people stuff, people car stuff, things I had smelled before in the city, at my old house. I tilted my head and looked into the door shaking all over. There inside was a man looking inside his car. He didn't see me, so I crept a little closer. Then he saw me! I put my tail between my legs and put my head down. The man only smiled and said, "It's okay."
I fell to the ground and showed the man my belly. I didn't know what else to do. He slowly came over and patted and rubbed my tummy. That felt really good. Then he picked me up real careful like and looked me over. I looked into his eyes, and it seemed like he was sad. The next thing I knew, he was carrying me out of the car building and down a path. I saw a people house, and we were headed towards it. I was still scared.
When we got to the people house, the man talked to a lady who grabbed me up and hugged me. Then she took me into the house and gave me a bath. I did not like that at all. I thought, "She is going to kill me; I just know it." I was shaking all over. But then, she dried me off and petted me and held me close wrapped in the towel. She carried me around the house and found a little collar just my size. It was blue. She put it on me. "Wow!" I thought. "A collar means I belong!"
The lady carried me over to a chair to a table thing. She picked something up and held it to her ear and started talking. I didn't see anyone else, and she sure wasn't talking to me. "Oh, well," I thought. I curled up on her lap and waited.
After she finished talking, she took me outside and put me in the front seat of a car and she got in. I started shaking again. I just knew she was going to go dump me out on the road like the other people did. I didn't want to be in that car.
We road along for awhile and then she stopped. "This is it!" I thought. "I'm going to get thrown away again!" But the lady got out with me and carried me into a building. I didn't know where I was, but I could smell lots of doggy and kitty smells and other stuff. Some ladies and a man were in the building, and they started looking at me and poking me. They even put something in my poo-poo part. I didn't like that one bit. Then they stuck a pointy thing in me. It didn't really hurt. I tried to be very brave, but I didn't know what any of this meant. The man talked to the lady who had brought me there and then we left and got back in the car. "Here we go again," I thought.
When the car stopped again, we were back at the lady's house. She took me over to a little kennel and put me in. Then she got me a towel to lie on and a bucket of water. She shut me inside. I howled when she left. I was all alone. Then I thought, "But I'm not hungry or thirsty. And no scary things can get me." I curled up and went to sleep. When I woke up, the lady came and took me out and put a long thing on my collar. I pulled and pulled. It would not let me go. The lady walked around, and I had to walk, too. Pretty soon I figured out that she wanted me to go with her. She made happy sounds when I walked with her. Then she took me back to the kennel and gave me more food. "This is working out pretty good," I thought.
Every day the lady came. Every day, she walked me, she fed me, she petted me, she gave me water – and she gave me a little thing to eat that didn't taste like food. She called it "a pill." I ate it. I had the feeling if I didn't that she would make me.
Then, one night it started raining and got kinda cold. I was in my kennel and was not getting wet, but it was cold. The lady came running out into the rain and got me and took me in the house. She put me in another little kennel. And then...I looked around. There were OTHER DOGS in the house. "Oh, my!" I thought. "Will they hurt me? They are big; I am little." But they just looked in at me and couldn't get me. One of them seemed really happy to see me. She was big, but she had kind eyes. The lady called her Cassie.
I never did have to go back to that outside little kennel. I got to stay in the house. My skin didn't itch any more, and my hair grew back, and I grew up. The lady started calling me "Tristan." I knew that was my name; I knew I was home. I was no longer lost.
Here I am (the brown one) in my new home. That's my new "dog mommy," Cassie.
** Image ID #1568760 Unavailable **
Here I am - Tristan - when I got bigger. Mom needs a new picture because I'm full grown now and weigh 72 pounds.
My human mom says I am Tristan - Knight of the Round Table. I don't know exactly what it means but I'm pretty sure it means in part that she likes me!
Copyright © September 17, 2009 by Karen M. Crump edited September 26, 2009
***Winner of Round 1 of the Animal Mania 2 contest.