The cold winter wind rushed in through the opening in my doghouse, slicing through my mottled fur coat like a scream in scilence. I shivered and shrank back as far as I could in the corner yet it made little difference. I shifted around until i was almost in a partly comfortable position when the chain around my neck suddenly went taut, squeezing the life out of me. If only.
For a very long time I lay there, shivering in the freezing night until the bright sun rose over the horizon.
"Tamara! You have three seconds to get out here before I cause your sorry self some real pain!" I jumped up, and bolted outside, hurrying to escape getting hit. "There you are." James, My owner, spoke sweetly, but I knew better than to get my hopes up about him changing. "I decided we would do something different, Today we will get you to the groomers and get you looking prettier than you really are. We are having visitors today. Oh and by the way, don't even think about misbehaving like I know you have more than tendency to do." Just for effect, he threw a stick at me. Pain exploded and the bottom part of my back to my back legs started tingling. The good part was I got to get rid of all my mats in my fur and I wouldn't have to be hit for part of today. Plus there was a small chance I could get some food. The bad part was I would get hit more later today when his visitors were gone and he was still drunk.
He took the chain collar off my neck which felt really good because it was so heavy and tight, but slipped a normal collar around my neck, to which he attached a leather leash. He jerked the leash tightly, pulling me roughly to him, practically falling on him.
"Get off of me you dumb dog! You have four good legs, use them," he hissed. I jogged to keep up with him, but tried to make it effortless for the other pedestrians. I saw other dogs toss me sympathetic glances, seeing through my 'happy' exterior. After a few steps, they looked back ahead, as if they had better things to do, like getting back home to thier nice warm beds.
At last, we arrived at the groomers and he signed me in, gave my leash to a woman with very high heels and left, mumbling about groceries or something. Finally he was gone. I was lead to a room with boring walls and a hose, soap, a bucket and a sponge in the corner. My eyes followed the hose to where it ended right by a bathtub. She took my leash off and I willingly climbed the lowered part of the wall to the bathtub floor. The woman turned the hose on, and soaked me with the water. Then she rubbed the soap into my fur and rinsed it off, down the drain. She grabbed a towel and rubbed my long fur until I was almost dry. I shook my fur, which felt really good to do without all the mats in my fur. She slipped the collar back on and I followed her back to the waiting room where James was waiting, twiddling his thumbs impatiently.
He jumped up, dropped a few bills on the counter and took me back to the house. Pulling the collar off, James replaced it with the chain one I was wearing this morning.
For the rest of the day, I lay lazily in the weak sunlight, like an average dog, soaking up the last few rays of the day. The doorbell rang noisily throughout the house and I ran to the door, as expected. From now on, I was an ordinary dog. A few more of James' friends came and I greeted them at the door and let them rub my head, like a good dog would. At dinnertime, as I hoped, James dumped a few scraps from the dinner he had last night into my almost clean food bowl. I wolfed down the few bits of food I got, afraid he would take them back.
Then the beer came out.
I spent the night lying out in my doghouse, relishing the few peaceful moments. One by one, the visitors left and James hollered for me. Once again, I scurried over to where he stood. I stared in horror at the whip he held in his hand. Judging by the way he couldn't walk a straight line, he was still very drunk.
"Oh, don't worry l'il dog, thiss will hurt jus' a tiiiiny bit. We're um... gonna hhave aaaalot of fun." He ended his lie like it was a question, which was probably just because of all the alchohol he consumed. He brought the whip back over his head and swung it down on my back. He repeated that alot of times, and one time he hit my head. Hard. I fell down, my legs unable to keep me standing.
"Get up you s-s-stupid dog!" When I refused, he hit me even more and harder and slowly I stopped feeling the pain. Now when the whip touched my back, I only felt a slight tingling. I closed my eyes and my breathing became shallower and shallower. Was I dying? Well wherever I went, it would be better than where I am now. I took one last breath before everything slipped away.