Pippen was an unusual circus dog. He was a miniature Doberman Pinscher. He never knew how he came about being a circus dog exactly; it's just how he grew up. When he was six months old, his trainer taught him how to balance on his hind legs and hop! Pippen always knew he wouldn't stay in the circus, that his true calling was to have a human all to himself.
He planned his escape very carefully. He thought about his plans as he was being trained, he thought about his plans as he ate his meals. He even thought about his plans as he slept, cuddled up against a cool tree trunk.
When Pippen went to Louisiana to do an act with his circus family, he just knew this was where he belonged. The smells were just right, the weather nice and warm. His escape was near, he could feel it with his whiskers.
After his act, he quickly shuffled out of his costume. There were two more acts before the animal trainer would come looking for him. He had to work quickly.
First, act like a dog. Not a circus dog, a real dog. Sniff, sniff. The ground smelled so sweet! He followed a scent and found a little girl eating fluffy pink sweet stuff. The girl reached down and smacked Pippen on the head for no reason. Pippen ran away from her, not realizing that the smell he smelled was meanness.
He looked back and realized that the circus tents were really far away from him. It was now or never. He looked where the sun was setting and headed west. He strolled along quietly, stopping long enough to sniff and mark his scent in various places. He walked for a long time.
It was dark. He realized that he hadn't slept yet, so he found some tall grass to hide in and sleep. Pippen slept.
The next morning, he continued his quest. He came upon a town, with humans. Now, he had to find the right human; someone who didn't smell mean. He smelled some nice people, but they didn't smell just right to him. For one lady, he decided to show her his dance. She giggled and walked into a shop.
Halfway through the day, Pippen's stomach had begun to growl. He hadn't had anything to eat or drink since before his act the day before. He sniffed the air and smelled the rain from a day or so ago. There should be a puddle somewhere. Nose to the ground, he followed it till he did find a small puddle. The water tasted muddy and nasty, but it was something.
The sun was setting again. Pippen was getting tired and extremely hungry. He found a building and hid behind it to sleep for a while. After only a couple of hours of sleep, he found a raccoon sniffing at him! The creature growled at him, so Pippen got up and walked away. He didn't want a fight.
He walked on. The traffic was slow; it was the middle of the night. He looked left and right, his eyes were so blurry, and it was hard to see. He began to cross the road, when a car suddenly swerved to miss him! He raced back to the sidewalk and crossed at the next intersection. His stomach grumbled, the muddy water wasn't settling well on his stomach, and he was ready to give up. Crossing the intersection, he heard a car coming. He tried to hurry across, but the car stopped.
A car door opened.
"Hey, little guy. I about ran over you twice."
A nice smelling guy was looking down at him, sympathetically. He didn't just smell nice… he smelled right. He smelled like yummy food, kids, and other animals. Pippen hopped into the guy's car and sat in the front seat smiling.
I am no longer a circus dog, Pippen thought to himself.