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The Yacht Dog

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“Sweetheart did you pack that beautiful yellow sundress I bought for you?” inquired my Mom scanning my clothes in my suitcase.
“I don’t have any room left.” I complained. That dress looked awful on me it was too long and big. The color was hideous, mustard yellow. Who would pay $100 dollars for that crummy dress? Oh right, my mother.
“You are bringing that dress, Delilah! I paid good money for it and for you to wear it on the yacht.” exclaimed my mom pointing her jeweled finger at me.
“Fine! I’ll squeeze it in my suitcase.” I replied and I shut my door.
Most of the clothes in my suitcase were jeans, short sleeve tops, a few skirts, shorts, and two jackets. I had absolutely no dresses. It’s not like I’m a complete tomboy, I would wear dresses if I looked good in them but if my mother picks them out, forget it. I’m 5’6” in. tall and skinny so I look awkward. I found two dresses I had picked out, the mustard dress, and a blue one that was ok looking. Then I zipped up my suitcase and jogged off to the pier.
While other families went to water parks, swam at lakes and hung out with friends. I get to spend my summer vacation being bored on a yacht. My Father named the yacht “Limitless” because he always says our happiness is limitless. Don’t get me wrong yachts can be fun but only if you have friends or other people besides your family. I can go jet skiing but I have no one to race with. Sometimes I’ll play checkers with the chef, but my mom yells at him to get her some steak. So I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this vacation. Oh well, at least I am able to walk around in some cities for a few hours and talk with people there.
Since every summer I basically go on the yacht I have learned many languages. I boarded the yacht and set my items in my room. I could have chosen a bigger room but I like the sunlight in my room and I thought the some of the crew might want an upgrade from their bunk beds. Besides I love the color blue, the walls have this gorgeous sky blue mixed with night sky blue.
So our first stop is the island of Capri in Italy. It’s a beautiful lively Italian villa and my favorite food happens to be Italian. My parents enjoy Italian food as well. They most certainly love the wine (or vino in Italian,) and hors d’ oeuvres. I went to a boutique and bought some better form fitting dresses for my mother’s sake and piled down some pasta. I bought my self a lovely hand carved music box. As I was looking around I noticed an advertisement sign of a tour to a beautiful little island. Maybe I could go there on my smaller boat that I could take from the yacht. I took a brochure and boarded back on the water transportation. I grabbed some art supplies such as a blank canvas, paintbrushes, paint, and an easel. I took some photos of Sorrento in the sunset and I wanted to paint one. Since painting is a solo activity I find myself making art quite often.
The next day I pulled out the crinkled brochure and saw a map of the Sorrento area. I went up to the crow’s nest to give the map to Captain Lorenzo. I arrived at the beautiful island a half an hour later. Funny enough the island seemed to be deserted or at least not populated by dozens of tourists. So I raced to my room and changed into my bathing suit and put on a shirt. I crammed my camera, a little baggie, a compass, and a sandwich in a beach bag. I was off before 10:00 a.m. This tropical getaway was perfect for pictures, and swimming. I ate my turkey sandwich on this rock that was in the shape of a turtle. Turtle Rock was about 8 yards high and it became just right for a diving rock. I pulled off my top and jumped 20 ft into a refreshing pool of water. I swam to the side collected my things and headed to the beach to dry off when I heard whimpering. I stopped in my tracks and scanned the area. I didn’t see anything. I took a few steps and the sound came again. I knew it was near me. So I kept going till I saw it. My jaw dropped and my breath escaped me.
In front on me lie a puppy husky dog chained to a tree covered with dirt and a few minor cuts. When the dog saw me it perked up as if I gave it hope. As I squatted and pet the cutest dog in the world a thousand questions filled my brain. Who left this dog here? Did he/she do it on purpose? How long has the dog been there? I decided I should check first if the owner was around.
“Hello! Is the owner of this dog here? If you don’t say anything I’ll take that as a no.” I took out my compass and began working on the lock it was a little difficult but I got it.
When I was ten I loved spies. I even had a spy birthday party to my mother’s disgust. Hidden cameras in pens fascinated me. So I wanted to learn how to pick locks. When my parents suggested I go to a sleep away camp. I agreed that very second. All my parents did was give me a credit card, and I did the rest. While they though I was going to a Ballroom Dancing camp in England, I really went to California for the Ultimate spy camp. I lost a few pounds, picked up a few skills, and even learned how to use a gun. The gun scared me though and I decided I would only use one if I had to. I had to know how to unlock something with the supplies I have. I got passed a double locked door with a paper clip. My folks never found out.
Picking that lock and managing to go to a summer camp without my parents finding out brought me great pride. All of a sudden a thought occurred to me. My Mom would never allow me to keep the dog or even allow him on the yacht. For example when I asked about bring a cat to keep me company she replied “Delilah this is a nice yacht. This is most definitely no a place for animals.” It was a double negative because my mother was also allergic to dogs. My father just hated animals in general. NO way was I going to leave this cutie behind. I would just have to sneak him on. Buy some puppy chow at some stops and think of what to do before we reach our last port. Once the husky was free he jumped into my arms and licked my face. It was the most adorable thing. I wrapped my t-shirt around him and gently placed him in my beach bag. Then I walked over to the little speedboat waiting to take me back to the yacht. As I was sailing to the mother ship I felt nervous. Do dogs hate boats?
I shook off those thoughts and set my mind to quickly race back to my room before anyone saw me but act normal in the process.
“Did you have a nice time on the island?” asked Rick the butler as I rounded the corner.
“Why yes, thank you.” I replied properly.
“Did you see any pirates or buried treasures?” the old man questioned with a wink.
“Not quite.” I laughed and turned to my room. I could feel Caleb- the name I just +thought of - getting restless. However, when I turned to my bedroom door, I heard the vacuum. The maid was in there. At a time like this! So I decided to head to the bathroom four doors down and get Caleb a nice cleaning and some water. I opened the door closed it and locked it. Then I set down my bag let Caleb out and sat down on the floor with relief. He started running around and barking a little. “No, No Caleb shush.” I whispered
“Delilah, are you all right? I thought I heard barking.” Came my dad’s voice from the speaker. That’s how we communicated because my parents complained it’s easier and less walking. Right now it was pretty pointless since my dad was in his bedroom one door down. There is a speaker in every room: in the kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Prior to the trip I learned how to disable them, so I did in my room so I wouldn’t have to hear my parents when they leave it on by accident. But I didn’t think about disabling it in restroom. I turned on the water for the tub and turned on the waterproof TV. I know what you’re thinking. Waterproof TV as in you watch TV in the bath tub? Yes that’s my parents they will purchase anything money can buy.
“I’m fine Dad, just watching a movie.” I replied trying to hide the irritating feeling I was experiencing.
“Okay honey; come to the deck in twenty minutes so we can indulge in some ravioli that the chef prepared with you in mind.” Slurred my dad. I need to switch that wine with pomegranate juice pronto.
“Ok.” Came my response and I got to work. It turns out Caleb was a very well trained dog. When I said sit he sat, he knew how to roll over, and he was an experienced catcher. He even knew the commands in Italian. This is no ordinary dog if someone had put time into training this cutie pie. So why would someone chain him up to die? Caleb brought me out of my trance and licked my hand.
I turned up Sara Bareilles and took the shower nuzzle off the wall and watered that dirty pup down. Behind the ears, on his belly, and even his toes were clean and sparkly clean. I decided that tomorrow I would buy Caleb a collar, dog food, a doggie dish for food and water. I would also bring Caleb and let him run around. I loved having a dog. He had the most amazing icy blue eyes, and the softest thickest fur, with white patches and grey, and some black. His face was white with grey ears and a black nose. I brought him to my room where I set him on my bed and through the doorway come the butler. I got worried. Rick the butler had always seemed to be on my parents’ side and did whatever they told him. He was unlike the chef and the maid who I had a few laughs with.
“What is that? A dog on a yacht!” inquired the butler.
“Well ….umm yes.” I managed to say. He walked over to the dog and looked at it.
“This the cutest dog in the world. Where ever did you get him? When I was your age I wanted a puppy just like this one.” Rick rambled. I breathed a sigh of relief. I told him of how I found Caleb- Rick also liked that name- and how I want to keep him a secret. Rick took a hard look at me and said he’ll help but if my parents find out he wasn’t involved. I smiled and stared petting Caleb.
“Do you know of a good dog place I could go to get him some dog food?” I hinted.
“I’ll look it up for you miss and give you the address when you leave for the ports tomorrow. You have to remember that Caleb isn’t always going to fit in your bag.” Rick lectured.
“I know I will think of something. Rick thanks for your help.” I reached over and gave him a hug. He seemed shocked by the hug and his face was a puzzled mess.
“Delilah …you are so different from your parents.” He stuttered. “Thank you.” He had given me the best compliment in the world.
“Delilah, find that butler and tell him to give me a glass of wine. PRONTO!” bellowed my mother. Rick got up to leave.
“Oh Rick before you leave, remember give her pomegranate juice.” I reminded him. “Coming right up.” He said and left me with my new best friend.
Rick became my pet sitter. At times when I couldn’t play with Caleb because I was going to eat in the towns with my parents, Rick looked after him. One night I came in my room to see Rick scratching Caleb’s tummy and laughing. Laughing! I heard laughter from the man who never seemed to smile.

Three weeks after I rescued my husky, I took him on a walk in Milan, Italy at Lake Garda, when I noticed I was being followed. I have gotten past the usual glances at me since my new family addition but this man had tracked me from the gelato shop four blocks back. The man had dark hair and small brown eyes. He wore a trench coat and boots which looked a little suspicious. So I stopped, turned around, and walked right up to this stranger.
“Excuse me, Sir. I happened to notice you’ve been following me and I want to know why so I can be on my way in peace.” I asked with a bitter sour note in my voice.
“Where did you get your dog?” he asked looking longingly at Caleb. He reached out to pet him and I pulled Caleb back. Caleb looked happy to be getting father away from that stranger.
“What? My dog? Why does it concern you?” Came my surprised response.
“I had a Husky puppy very similar to your dog that was stolen three weeks ago. I’m not assuming you’ve stolen my companion but I am very upset and allowed myself to follow you to make sure it wasn’t my canine.” He said with sorrow expresses on his face.
“Well I bought my husky from a breeder in Alaska. As an animal lover maybe you can give me some more information and I’ll keep my eye out.” I responded with authority.
“Thank you Miss. My dog’s name is Raga. He has a spot in the shape of a heart on his tummy. I was with him on an island in Sorrento. I found out my wife was injured and so I tied up Raga and went to her aid promising to return to Raga an hour later. When I came back there was the chain, broken, just like my heart.” He sniffled and pulled out a piece of paper. “Here’s my number make sure to call to you find out anything.” The stranger scribbled down.
“Alright I will.” And I walked away. It all made scene the timing, the location. However, Caleb looked like he had been chained up longer than an hour for sure. Caleb does have that heart spot and I think that’s one of his cutest features. Guilt was building inside me. I looked at the piece of paper with the number and put it in my pocket.
My feet halted, and I knew what to do, I walked back to where I met the stranger and heard whispered voices around the corner. I could hear the man I had met and another man, probably a middle-aged man from the states.
“Did you get the dog back?” asked the middle-aged man
“No, boss I can’t just walk up to that girl and steal her dog. She’s rich; she’s the yacht owner’s daughter for Pete sake. She’ll have the police on my tail in no time, Boss,” replied the stranger I had met.
“I want that dog by Sunday, Stewart. That’s when we where going to blackmail the owners,” concluded the Boss.
“Ok, Boss, you can count on me,” Said Stewart, and he turned to where I was standing. I was going to get caught if I didn’t do something fast.
I quickly strolled over to a nearby bench and acted as if I was returning to it because I left my purse there. He spotted me and walked over.
“Hello, again miss. Have you been there since we departed?” asked Stewart with a completely different accent.
“Oh no, I left my bag on this bench, but I do have news on the dog you’re looking for,” I said with a bit of mystery.

“That’s wonderful. What’s the news?” he inquired.

“Well Caleb here is a clone of your dog, which may sound strange but apparently a tourist found that dog in horrible condition, so the tourist brought the pup to the vet, and since my dad is wealthy and nearby he offered to pay for a clone. The dog you’re looking for is the Canine’s Vet in Sorrento Italy.” I said making this up on the spot. Thank god for television. During this time Caleb is fidgeting a lot and I fell badly for him. Then, I hear a voice behind me.

“That’s quite a story but my dear I’m afraid it’s not true.” Came a creepy and recognizable voice from behind me. It was boss and the Rick the butler. The one who had cared so much for Caleb and me I thought since I had known him for 2 years. I started kicking and screaming and I let go of Caleb who raced down the street. The men were too much for me and I was tied and gagged before 3 minutes had passed. Stewart was assigned to watch me complain about being tied up in the corner of an ally. Meanwhile Boss and Rick went to find Caleb. Together, Caleb and I were bound to make them a lot of money.
Luckily I was left with the stupid one. First I started acting like I couldn’t breathe and make faces of strain. He looked troubled then decided to ungag me. I was breathing hard and told him I had asthma and if he put that gag on me again I would die. He believed me and promised never to do that again. Then he spilled his guts on what they were going to do to me. The plan was to stash me somewhere on the ship and claim I was kidnapped. Then pretend that the kidnapper told Rick to go to the Caribbean because I was there. The dog’s family was there so Rick and his men could take my parents money and Caleb’s owner’s money. Once they collected the money they would put Caleb and I on a little teeny island and boss and Rick would row the families to the island with no wireless connection. Once the families were on the island Rick and his men would row to the yacht and leave on it, stranding the rich families on a little island. It was a well thought out plan but it wasn’t going to work.
I started to cry silently then gradually grow louder, and my tears turned to sobs. Stewart told me to stop quietly and told me he was sorry. He said he couldn’t let me go or he would get in a load of trouble and Rick would make his life miserable.
“Listen Stewart I have a plan that might make life a lot easier for you. DO you want to be a part of it?” I sweetly asked.
“I don’t know.” He replied
“Ok well think about this. You are going to get caught. No matter what you think or what they’ve told you the police are going to bust you. This families are rich they have people that protect them like the secret service and the police will send your butts in jail for a lifetime.” I persuaded and halfway through my speech I saw a boy my age listening and standing where I stood when I was eavesdropping. The day was turning into night and I got a little chilly. I began to speak louder so the mysterious fella could hear perfectly.
“No, I don’t believe you. My guys wouldn’t lie to me.” He said with confidence.
“Please Stewart the only thing that will make me feel better will be to untie me for a moment and let me grab some gum from my purse because I am starved. I pleaded. and I noticed the boy disappeared. I shoved my phone which was recording in my pocket and grabbed a stick of gum then I let Stewart tie me up.
Stewart’s phone rang and Rick was on the other line. They had captured Caleb and they were coming for me. Where was the boy? Did he ditch me? Is he bringing the police?

I talked Stewart into revealing the story again and including his accomplice’s names. It went well until a beep came from my pocket. Was I getting a text? I prayed Stewart wouldn’t notice but he did and reached into my jean pocket. Thank the lord it was the one with my iPod in it and the red sliver confined that it had low battery. So Stewart believed me when I told him that iPods did that when they were about to die.

Behind the corner I saw that boy’s head pop up and a big rock in his hands. Through strain he nodded toward Stewart and I got the hint.

“Umm, Stewart I have to cough and I don’t want you to get my cold so can you back up a little?” I asked as innocently as I could

“Ok.” He scooted back. That’s when mystery boy dropped the rock on his head and Stewart was knocked out. Stewart dropped in a heavy heap and a little blood was coming from his forehead but that was it.
Mystery boy acme over to me and introduced himself as Eric and he was working at the tight knots. I swear that Stewart was a Boy Scout leader because he could really tie knot. Fifty kinds actually, he told me.
“Thanks for your help but this won’t work.” I replied flatly.
“What do you mean? You’re going to be free and we will turn those bad guys in. It’s perfect.” He protested with a grin.
“No you don’t understand. Any minute now Rick and Boss are coming back and with me gone they will just continue their plan and act like I was kidnapped. If we call the police they won’t believe us because they have no proof. If they ask my parents they will just say Rick is a great butler and he would never do that.” I confirmed.
“You have a butler? You better tell me the whole story because I’m lost.” Eric said confused. And I did. But his reaction wasn’t what I was expecting. In fact he looked like he was piecing something together.
“Eric what’s wrong you seem distracted.” I asked
“This is going to sound weird but I’m connected to your story. I’m Caleb’s owner.” Eric admitted.
“Really!? Wait so your family is the one that’s being blackmailed? But aren’t you supposed to be going to the Caribbean?” I sputtered out.
“I didn’t even know who Caleb was. I always complained about having no one to hang out with. I have two older sisters who shop nonstop and a little brother who plays video games. I guess I got through to my parents because for my birthday they went and bought Caleb from a special breeder in Alaska so he was expensive. Before I got to see him Caleb was dog napped and they didn’t want to tell me till they got Caleb back. They told me this yesterday because my parents said they had to go the Caribbean which they never go to and I caught on.” He explained.
“Wow so do you will keep the name Caleb because I think it fits him perfectly?” I asked making us laugh. Then Stewart’s phone rang and it was a text from Rick saying that they were five minutes away and they had a crate to store us in.
We put our heads together and we made a plan in four minutes Eric who was about as tall was Stewart, changed into Stewart’s jacket, and he kept his on similar pants on and a wig shop nearby came in handy. We tipped off the police about the real Stewart, who we laid in the wig shop.
When Rick came around he didn’t even notice the difference. Stewart, well actually Eric, kept on giving me sympathetic looks but after a while I gave him scowls. This plan has got to work.
Turns out I didn’t have to worry. When Rick tried to persuade my parents that I was kidnapped they could be less concerned.
“She wasn’t kidnapped. She’s just shopping. Maybe she’s staying at a hotel. No matter Delilah will turn up. There’s no use going to the Caribbean, We’ll just anchor here till she comes back,” said my Dad. While he was relaxing on the deck with a glass of wine and jazz music on.
I should have been mad that my own parents couldn’t care less about me but I was just happy Rick hadn’t gotten his way. While I was crammed in the crate I thought about a few things. One: I needed to call my chiropractor because my back had been in an awkward position for hours and how to turn Rick in. Then I heard a beep from my pocket it was the recording on my phone. The beep meant it had stopped recording. I had all the conversations with Rick Stewart, and that Boss whose face was always hidden.
I heard a body fall from above and my whole body tensed. I heard grunts and slamming and a person running closer to me. Someone landed on the crate and the force had caused the crate to break. The bright light had blinded me for a second but when my vision cleared I was shocked. It was Eric! His disguise was off and he leaning against the wall. Rick, the attacker, was in the doorway but Eric came up and slammed the door and locked it from the inside.
“Eric, what happen?” I questioned fear in my voice. My eyes grew large while he helped me out of the crate. I could see that Eric was more frightened than I was. He was the guy! The person who’s supposed to be fearless. My eyes followed the scrap marks on the floor to a corner where Caleb lay with a muzzle and chained to the wall. Thank goodness they didn’t drug my little baby. I took off his muzzle, him and hugged him as if I had been reunited with my son for the 1st time in 10 years.
“The real Stewart was arrested and for his one call he called Rick. Rick came at me and knocked me down.” Eric panted. I could see scraps and cuts along his arm and leg. I felt a bang of guilt for dragging him in this mess. We called the police and played the recording for them. They said that they left and were on the speedboat, to come rescue us and collect the evidence. Just as we hung up Rick and Boss came in. They had a spare key. I could understand why Boss had hidden his face. He had a gigantic burn all over his face. But even through the scars, I could see a slight resemble between Rick and Boss. They were brothers.
Rick spotted my phone in my hand and reached to grab it. I dodged him and ran across the room, jumping over crated and packaging. Boss came up behind me and wacked my phone out of my hand. Grabbed it and threw it in the ocean. I was defeated, or so I thought. Caleb jumped in after it. My little hero!
“Dumb dog. That phone is long gone,” chucked the brothers. They high fived, while Eric and I slipped out of the room and locked the door. Once the bad guys noticed that we left they tried the door and started banging and yelling. I raced to the ledge and the strong wind was whipping hair in my face. No wonder the police weren’t here. They were having weather trouble.
Then I spotted Caleb fighting against the current. He hasn’t had too much swimming experience. My purple metallic phone cover glinted in his mouth. I threw the life preserver in the water but it didn’t do anything. Then from the violent water the yacht started rocking a bit. I was beginning to feel seasick. I looked at Eric for the next move but he wasn’t there. He was in the water helping Caleb and he grabbed onto the life preserver. He was saying something but I couldn’t hear him. I pulled the life preserver with all my might. God I need to get more arm muscle.
To my relief the police came and got everyone safely on board. I hugged my best friends and took my only evidence: my poor phone. I was glad I was rich for once because my phone was disaster proof. So it was still in great condition. The cops were satisfied and arrested the guys and shocked my not-yet-drunken parents. They had to hear the whole story and instead of being mad they said “That’s fun honey, but we aren’t letting you keep the dog. You know I have allergies.”

Did they not understand the depths I went through just to keep this remarkable dog? I offered to take Eric back to his family and HIS parents were amazing at the story. They said they were so proud of us and thankful that I brought back Caleb. Eric and I exchanged numbers to say in touch. As I was leaving tears brimmed my eyes and Caleb was whimpering. He was so loyal to me.
“Delilah, would you be interested in spending the rest of the summer with our family and Caleb? asked Mrs. Twiner.I had only known this family of five for ten minutes but I loved them. They were rich, but super normal.
“YES! Yes yes yes. Thank you.” I hugged the mom with all my might.
“Are your parents going to be okay with this?” asked Charley (Eric’s little brother.)
“Oh, you bet your little self.” I replied with a giggle.

The next day it was all set. My bags were packed and I couldn’t wait to have my first FUN summer. Eric’s older sisters Julie and Mira decided to shop with me and introduced me to all these new incredible shops. Charley taught me how to fish and play the Wii. Eric and Caleb however, taught me what it was like to have best friends.





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