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Intolerance in the Kennnel This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Tent, the beagle puppy was sitting in his kennel, waiting quietly for the trainer to open his kennel and to start his new day. It was routine, the families that walked in and out of the store each looking at him. Because he was the friendliest, he was the one put in the ring in the middle to have the little grubby two year olds rub their grimy little hands all over him. Of course he had his friends, Sylvie the poodle, Kicks the boxer and several others. But there was this small half bred dog in the corner, a Shi-Tzu poodle mix, or a Shipoo. All the other dogs seemed to make fun of this small fragile dog. All he wanted to do was play and be friends with them, but the only ones who gave him the time of day was Tent, Sylvie, and Kicks. Kicks didn’t talk much, but he was still generally nice to the puppy.
One day though, Tent went out on a limb and started playing with the new puppy. As the word got around, the other dogs began to shun Tent, like they did with the other puppy, Badger.
After this happened Tent started talking to Badger, “Why do the other dogs not talk to you?” he asked.
“Because,” Badger said, “I’m not a pure bread dog. They view me as inadequate. Even though I’m the one every human stares at and says ‘I want that one’ I’m still not good enough.”
“I’m sorry, if I had known I would have been nicer to you.” Tent said.
“It’s not like you could have done anything out before you got ousted from the group like earlier.” Badger simply stated.
“But please, spend time with us, which would convince them that you don’t have to be purebred to be a good person.” Tent said.
That’s when Badger went over to the friends that he currently had. Empty headed, scum buckets with in his mind, no true standards. Abel, another half-bred puppy, started bashing on the puppies Badger wanted to make friends with. “Abel,” He said, “Stop that. They are my friends and when you think about it, I am one of them.”
“So go play with your ‘friends’.” Abel muttered at Badger.
“Stop it.” Shouted Kiwi, Abel’s little girlfriend, “Even if we don’t approve of his choices we can’t change them.”
He knew that this was not going to end well, especially with Kiwi’s Sister Kandy.
Badger stood helpless. He wanted to be friends with the purebreds, but he wasn’t one of them. He was a dog, and they were dogs. That means they should be able to be friends. But it didn’t work like that. It never works like that. The world doesn’t work like that. Then there was Tent. He was nice, but was he truly nice enough to shield Badger from all the humiliation that would be thrown at him.
Over the space of several days Badger slowly moved towards being friends with the Purebreds. He was still ridiculed. Tent did nothing for him. He was helpless. But when he tried to go back and talk and play with Abel, Kiwi, and Kandy, he was ridiculed and mocked by the purebreds. He was alone in the world. He looked forward to the day that he would be able to be bought and go home with a loving, caring family.
The next day when he was about to move on, he was cornered by Tent and Sylvie. “Be our friends.” They said. “We are your friends. We aren’t like the rest of them. You are a dog. That’s good enough for us.”
Time progressed and Badger gave up his thoughts of wanting to move in with another family were all but forgotten. He was happy where he was, with his true friends.





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