Thursday, October 1, 2009

Before The Happy Ending : Part II

The below is a true account of my experience as an abandoned pet, of how I was reduced to a savage stray on the edge of death, and how the love of two human beings turned my fate around.

This is not here for the sake of being a sob story. Me, Duke the dog, do sob stories? I don't think so. But you have to know this - the world has to know this, if only so a few more abandoned strays have a voice. This is what you came here to know. This is my story.

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Several times more we met: the kind human and the savage dog. I suppose this does not do anything at all for the image of the stray canine - feral, snarling beasts whose only redemption is a human being willing to sacrifice a few fingers. Whereas the truth is very different. It was a human being who had put me here. But it was also a human being who saved me.

Gradually I began to let him in. I would allow him to place the food and water in front of my nose; after a while I even began to reach eagerly for the provisions and lap them right up like a healthy hungry puppy. And then one day, while I was intensely and sloppily absorbed in my meal, he pulled me loose.

Clanggg. I felt the chains fall around me - and suddenly I was free. The mad dog in me resurfaced, but this time it was full of joy instead of anger. I was, pardon the pun, barking mad. I was out. I was free.

FREE! Without a second thought I bolted from my old prison and off, off into the open horizon. The air stung my open sores but I had no time to lick my wounds - I was free, unbound by horrid steel chains and starvation. I was a full-fledged stray out to conquer the streets. Here comes the hellhound! – full of pent-up rage and ready to rumble.

Of course, I found out just a few days later that life on the streets did NOT suit me.

Hell no.

What's there to like? Sure the thought of being a tough feral mutt who don't take shit is great (to a sheltered house dog anyway), but the reality is very different. Being a naturally affectionate creature, I soon found that desperate, starving sensation in my stomach returning. Not just my stomach; my whole body. All I wanted was to relive that vague memory of having been fed and bathed and groomed, and loved.

Then just when I was getting desperate enough to gnaw my own leg off to feed my stomach, I sniffed out a familiar scent. Confident, male, near middle-age. It was that of my saviour – the man I now call Richard – turning up like some blessed sign from providence.

And that was how my brief adventure as a failed stray came to an end.

My cloud of misery lifted, and I trotted after him like I was already his.

I knew I was going home.

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