I woke up like it was a nice, happy morning. The sun was shining so bright that I felt anything could happen today. Of course, something did happen. Something that just wanted to make my perfect day horrible.
There I was, sitting in the dog pound when a man walked in. He had a very negative aura, stating that he was furious about something. I do NOT want to be anywhere near this man, I thought as he made his way over to the front desk with his high-tech and newfangled camera sticking out of his sweatshirt pocket. He lightly pushed the camera into his sweatshirt, as if to hide it, but it slipped back to its original position. He walked over toward my side of the room. I could see his overly expressive face. The man was so mad that he looked as if someone had just beat him in a game of tug-of-war.
Impatiently, he ducked down to look at us. By us, I mean the other dogs in the pound and the toys with me in the cage. The man faced me with an intriguing look when his odd stance was clearly in my vision. “Amazing,” the man mumbled, “this is by far the best looking dog in here.” He turned around to the receptionist at the desk. “Excuse me, do you have a moment?” he shouted at the femen at the desk. “I found a dog. The perfect dog.”
“Of course, I’ll be right there.” The femen said, looking over. “So, you like Liam?” The phone next to her started ringing. “Oh! Sorry, I have to take this. Just give me a minute,” she said with a smile.
“Please hurry. This dog isn’t getting any younger, and it’s already got the grumpy attitude old people have.”
Why is this man so interested in me? After all, I thought humans could tell if you don’t like them. I don’t like him, so why does he think he can get this close to me?
After a few more sentences were said between them, the man picked me up. “Perfect. Absolutely perfect. Thank you so much,” the man said. “But I hope you don’t give every customer such a tedious wait.”
“Sorry for the, um, inconvenience?” the woman said with confusion in her voice.
“Don’t worry. It only means a 3-star review on Doggyelp.” With me still in his hands, and the snobby aura coming off of him, we left the building. Was he my person now? I’ve seen so many dogs walking around with their people. This man seems like he will not be as fun as my other one. He looks down at me and says, “My name is Frank. Don’t overuse it.”
My other owner was a very exciting person. I liked it as a pup when my old owner would throw tasty, crispy chips at me, and I would try to fit their amazing, salty, and crunchy deliciousness in my mouth as I caught them. At this place where there would be other dogs just like me, but every few months, some of them would leave with their own person.
One of these days in my other house, my person didn’t come out of the place. Something bad happened because there was a loud and blaring noise that came off of the object attached to the wall. Its alarming and frightening sound hurt my ears. I couldn’t stand the noise, so I ran outside in fear. But, first, I had to make sure that the grass was not hostile before I walked over it, because I would have been captured by it. Only 2 of my friends followed me, and some others soon popped out.
A large and oddly shaped car came zooming into the side of the road. Femen dressed in heavy yellow suits jumped out of the truck, some pushing me out of the way to get inside, and the others using hoses to spray water at the growing substance that was eating the house and turning it into a charred color. It also grew very weak, because the roof was collapsing.
The femen inside the building rushed out with my person’s body. They, once again, kicked me out of the way. How rude! He’s my person, not yours, so I have the right to go with him!
“Bethany, get the canine. We can’t just leave it in the yard for someone to steal!” one of the firewomen shouted.
“It’s not just one, Jane.” Another femen waved her finger along the yard I was marking. “There are, like, 6.”
“Well, then, pick them all up! Who knows what could happen if they stay there? Dehydration, hunger, food poisoning from plants, and many other possibilities,” the first femen to say anything yelled back at the other person.
A man in the driver’s seat looked over. “While you two are fooling around, we need to get this man into an ambulance. Don’t worry, I called them for you. Just don’t expect me to be this generous again.”
“Sorry, Boss, we’ll just gather the pups and wait for the ambulance,” one of the two femen said with a bitter attitude. The person that said that immediately picked me up. Why don’t these people just realize that they’re not my owner? They shouldn’t be handling me like this.
Anyway, I never saw my old person again, and I never went to the old house again. So I ended up here, at the dog pound, and now present day, I’m being carried down the sidewalk by an enraged guy with a camera on the brink of falling out of his pocket. It falls and the man throws a fit. My time with him is going to be interesting.
We got to the person’s apartment. When we stepped in, I could see pictures of unhappy dogs posted all across the room. They were everywhere, covering the vast wall with these pictures posted on it. The awkward detail about these pictures that none of them had a happy dog with it, and they all seemed to be emotionally and physically hurt. Was he going to do this to me?
He placed down a bowl with food that smelled as bad quality as the meals at the pound. “Eat up,” he said, signaling for me to go eat the food. Then he walked away. I dipped my head into the bowl and started eating the kibble. After a few seconds, the aftertaste came. It tasted horrible! Oh well, it’s better than nothing. If I thought about it while I was eating it, it wasn’t too bad. So I kept eating the horrible tasting food.
The man dragged me away before I could drink any water to get the stale sting off of my dry tongue. He put a leash around my neck and we walked down the hallway of the building, to the elevator that took us down to the lobby. As we walked, I barked at some other dogs waiting. “Woof,” one barked back. The man tugged on my leash. “Shh!” he snapped at me. I growled and said no more.
Walking into the patches of grass before reaching the sidewalk, I stopped to mark my place, but he tugged on the leash around my neck. “No! Wait until we get to the field,” the man corrected me once again. We kept on walking and I tried my best to hold in my liquids.
When we got to the field, I felt so relieved when I stopped to dispose of my waste. The man quickly tugged on my leash for the third time today to correct me. Closely after that, we walked into a giant building with stashes of equipment. I sat on the floor, and the person explained to me what this place was, but I couldn’t understand him since I don’t speak human.
I walked up to the place he was dragging my collar towards. Yes, the collar was still on my neck. I sat down in front of the red background and looked at bright lights in the corner of the room. The owner took as he a picture of me and I whined at the bright flash. I ran away, scared of the light. “No! Get back in front of the camera!” The man shouted at me once again. I sat down at where I was. He slapped me and yelled at me one more. I started itching my ear. He slaps me once more and picks me up, then drops me in my other position before I got scared of the flash. He snapped a few more pictures of me. I learned that if I moved out of the camera’s view, I would get whipped again.
When I eventually got tired of the flash, I closed my eyes to block it out and lay down to fall asleep. The man slaps me but I don’t wake up. I’m eventually so tired that I fall into an alluring trance.
In my dream, I was back with my old person. I love him so much that I kiss him all over his face. He looks back with a laugh and a wide smile. But then his beautiful happiness turns into a dark rage. He looks down at me with an evil grin and starts chasing me. I run until I grow tired. I slow down to a fast paced walk and I eventually get caught. I wake up immediately with a painful bark.
“What?” The man groans at me. “I have no useful photos because you fell asleep in the middle of the session. Bad dog!” His expression was the face that your mother would give you after you ate your person’s slippers.
I knew what “bad dog” meant. It means that I disappointed him. That’s what he gets for doing this to me.
“Whatever. It’s time to leave this place anyway,” he replies to my ears sagging in gloom. “Let’s go.”
We leave the vividly lit building and walk over to the sidewalk near the bus stop. With the leash choking me, I do my best to struggle my way and loosen it up. When it’s loose enough, I slip my head out and run for my life. I run away as fast as possible to get away from this disgraceful man. He catches me and slaps me once again.
Was this really what he was going to do the whole time? It’s not nice to be mean to us pups, you know! It makes us sad and we try to run away because of the horrible things that these people do to us.
We get onto the bus. From the window, and return to my person’s apartment where another bowl full of the disgusting food is waiting for me. I back away. No thank you, I thought as I smelled the rancid kibble. Not this time.
I wake up in the uncomfortable and solid bed that was tough to sleep in all night, never mind only falling asleep. I peek out of the closet I slept in and saw my person eating a bowl of cereal. I realize that he’s awake, also, os I realize that it’s okay and walk out of the closet.
Sitting near the couch, I shift my gaze to random places around the monstrous room and make eye contact with the still full food bowl. I am not eating that, especially now that it’s almost a day old. Thoughts pass through my head as I look at the food, despising its existence. The man gets up off of the couch and my vision focuses on him as a reflex.
“Time to start a new day,” the man says to me. He puts his cereal bowl into the sink. He goes into his room to get dressed, wearing a brown robe, and comes out wearing a white button-up shirt with a black tie. His pants changed from the robe’s skirt into a pair of khakis.
“Come on, it’s time to go to another photo shoot. I know you don’t like those, but I need money, and how else am I going to afford this penthouse?” He says with a bit of command and a bit of enlightenment in his voice. “I need to get a good photo for the New Dog Times because I have a deal with them that I can get almost $3,000 for each qualifying photos.” He sighs. “I have none, and I’m planning to have 5 ready. $15,000! Yeah!” the man cheers. “Let’s go.”
Once again, we make our way down the hall into the elevator where we have to wait a minute for it to drop people off on the floors below us. It beeps as a signal that it’s ready for us to hop in.
Once again at the lobby, I start a conversation with the other dogs. I don’t get my leash pulled on, but the man still says, “Shh.” Walking out of the rotating doors, thinking that with my person’s positive attitude today, anything could happen, I step into a thornbush. Ow! I stop and whine at the throbbing pain in my paw. The person squats over and pulls out the thorn, causing even more pain for a second, but then my paw calms. “Be a man, suck it up,” he says. “It’s just a thorn.”
We stay standing in front of the apartment place. “We’re going to walk the whole way again. You ready?” I just start strolling down the street. On my way, I look across the street and- Oh. My. Dogness.
I see the most amazing and beautiful poodle. The dog was as pretty as a model on a runway. I stand and gaze at the glory of this dog. I fell in love the second I saw her. The vivid smells on the road- the pavement, flowers, and everything else with a place in nature smelled so sweet and beautiful. All because I can’t gaze away from her.
Until my owner tugs my leash and snaps at me again. “Hey! I thought a positive mood would make you behave better. I guess not. Am I not disciplining you enough? Pay attention!” I frown because my fantasy world leaves me. Back in reality, I arrive at the bright and flashing building and sit in front of the background, now a bright magenta color, kind of neon, with a hint of fingerprints from when people attached it to the stand it was hanging on.
“I know you don’t like this flash, Liam, but I have to make money. Give me, um, sassy!” He says excitedly but with command. The camera flashes and I only flinch this time. “What am I doing, talking to a dog? I’m getting way too desperate for money.”
He snaps about 10 more photos of me and then the flash starts hurting my eyes again. I look back to calm my eyes down. While I do this, I hear my owner looking through the pictures he got from me. “Bad, terrible, horrible, good, bad. Wait. Did I just see a good one?” He says, sounding surprised. “Yes. Yes! Finally! What’s the next one?” He finishes looking at the photos then goes through them again.
“Liam! That’s 4 okay pictures today already! Give me more, I need more! I need more money! Forget about $15,000, I want $45,000 now! This time, give me shy!” He yells greedily in my ear. I try to lay down but look at the camera as it flashes, because I feel weary but I don’t want to be slapped again.
I growl because of his greed and obnoxiousness he has. I begin to once again go into my world of dreams where I think of my love at first sight. I begin to roll onto my back and itch myself on the floor. Just thinking of that poodle made me feel like I could do about anything to get away from this person. Speaking of my person, he yells at me that we have to leave and I’m once again awoken from the daydream. I take a bit to get back up. The man firmly kicks me as if to tell me to hurry up, but it slows me down.
Walking out of the building, the man nods his head in my direction. “It’s been a long, successful day. Let’s go home and you can have some dinner.”
I won’t have any dinner.
For a month, the process continued. Wake up, go to photo shoots, take a break, sit for more flashes, go home, eat stale food, and go to sleep. But one of these days the process was interrupted. I woke up from my dreams of the love of my life, the poodle, and begin readying myself for the day. But then an awkward, loud but not too loud buzz comes off of a device on the wall. My person pushes a button on it. “Hello?” the man asks.
From the other end of the wall, a voice can clearly be heard. “Hi. Come meet me in the lobby. I have business manners to talk about. Your photos are truly a masterpiece, Mr. Frank Incanara.”
“Okay, I’ll be right there.” He rushes to transform his outfit from his robe into a new outfit today. His shirt was a dark blue coat and a light gray button-up shirt under it with another tie. Today’s tie was a pattern between a blue background with orange dots in perfect rows and columns on the top, but as it got further down, the blue morphed into a purple and the orange into a yellow.
On the elevator, there was complete silence. Then, I walked my person into the lobby and he started talking to a woman. Why was he able to talk and I wasn’t?
“So, what do you want?’ The man said after they exchanged names. “Why did you feel the need to possibly shorten my time taking photos today?”
The woman replied, “I’ve noticed that you have a new dog. It’s very cute and all, but it would be a shame if you kept it for yourself and didn’t share your beautiful taste in puppies since the pictures you take of these dogs are just phenomenal.
“I see. So you’re asking to have this dog,” he said, with his voice showing that his mind is carrying heavy thoughts about the subject. “I’m sorry, but I can’t let that happen since I just got this dog, and I currently need it for my career.” The woman he said this to smelled like other puppies, so I whined when I heard the negative tone in his voice talking to this dog lover.
“Let’s go, Liam.” He tugs on my leash to leave for the photo shoot. We walk there, as we always do. On the way there, I see the beautiful poodle again. We interlock eyes as I slow down to get a closer look at this precious animal. The man tugs on my leash again.
Was it true love? I felt like it was. Actually, I knew it was. I walk with a blank stare on the path ahead of me, thinking about the dog. We get to the photo shoot once again and I sit in front of the backdrop, this time a mountainous painting with trees that never seemed to be alone because they had each other. They were happy little trees that loved hearing the rushing water of the river in front of them. I think of the dog and wonder, What if we end up like those trees? Always happy with each other at our side. My eyes wander around the room in thought as I finally notice that my owner is yelling at me.
“Hey. Hey. Hey! HEY!!” He says while snapping his fingers. “I don’t have all day! That’s 10 minutes wasted. Now look at the camera and PAY ATTENTION!” He says this with more rage than I’ve ever seen. I end up lying down and looking at the camera. Flashes of light make the room explode in a white color for a quick second. In between one of these, I have to itch myself, which would be very impolite in front of the camera, so I get up and move away from the view. I itch myself and get lost in thought again, so I forget to go back and sit on the floor next to the backdrop.
The man comes over and slaps me 3 times. “Pay attention! I can’t get rid of another dog spacing out and look for another one! There aren’t enough dogs in the world for that!” The man picks me up and drops me two feet off of the ground onto my back. “Now stay there!”
I look at the camera, whining. I couldn’t keep doing this.
The day passed after more blinding flashes and being slapped. In the morning, the man pulled out his phone from a pocket on the back of his pants, since he had already transformed his robe into clothes today.
“Hello? Yes, it’s me, Frank. I’ve changed my mind on the situation,” he said, talking to himself with regret in his voice, holding his phone next to his cheek. “Meet me at the lobby again today.”
As always, we went out the door, to the elevator, to the lobby. The woman from yesterday was waiting there. They started talking again. “So, you agree on letting me own the dog?” The woman asked.
“Yes, yes. He’s too much of a trouble for me. Just, I hope you know, I’m going to need some type of pay for this. I need to make money,” he responded with some sort of doubt in the woman.
“Ok, how’s fifty dollars?” The woman asked as if she was making a bargain with the man.
“No, I need at least two hundred dollars for the dog. Two hundred fifty, if possible,” he responded to her bargain.
“I feel I will not regret this. Two hundred. Deal,” she said as they shook hands. “Oh, and I forgot to ask. What is his name?”
“He’s Liam. Good luck,” he said with relief, turning his back on us and leaving us together. I had perked my ears when he said my name, did that scare him away? No matter what happened, the woman picked me up.
“Ready to see your new home, Liam?” I knew what two of those words meant, new and home. I wondered why I was getting another place to live after I had only been with the man for a month.
When I arrived at the house with the woman, it smelled of dogs. I knew I would immediately love this place. Walking inside, I only saw one dog. That dog meant the world to me. It was the poodle I had fallen in love with.
“Liam, meet Ruby. Ruby, meet Liam.” I started talking to the dog, and we exchanged information. Her name was Ruby. We instantly became friends, and after a day, good friends, but after a week, really good friends. By really good friends, I mean we got together and we were in a doggy relationship.
After a month, we got engaged. I proposed to her with a dog toy to play a game of tug-of-war. She accepted it, and we soon got married. We raised seven baby pups, none of which had gotten a disease or died during puppy birth. Seven of those puppies are still living strong and happy with their mother and father today.