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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A family moves to another city, but decides to leave their little dog behind to fend for itself. This is the dog's story.

Submitted: October 16, 2006

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Submitted: October 16, 2006



By Donald H Sullivan

Amy peered through the window at Joey and Whiskers, who were playing together in the back yard.  Her eyes blurred with tears and a lump formed in her throat as she watched the boy and dog romping.  She turned and faced her husband.

“Larry, I honestly wish I could find a way to make you change your mind.”  Her voice choked. 

“We’ve had Whiskers since he was a small puppy.  Don’t you feel even a little attached to him?”

“Forget it, Hon.  Sorry, but my mind’s made up.  Can’t you remember the problems we had the last time I got transferred?  Always looking for motels that would accept dogs.  Making all those stops at rest areas and then waiting for the dog to do his business.  And finding a place to rent was a hassle because of him.  I could go on.”

“What about Joey?  He’ll be broken hearted when he learns that we’re not taking Whiskers along.  And to be honest, I will, too.  I think of him almost as a family member.”

“Joey’ll get over it in a few days, and so will you.  Just be glad I’m not having the dog put to sleep.  Look, Hon, I promise that I’ll find a nice neighborhood to leave him.  A small, part Pomeranian like Whiskers will be picked  up for sure.  He’ll have a new home in no time.”


Whiskers stood beside the road, bewildered as he watched the car pull away.  The family head, the one the boy Joey called “Dad,” had left him before, but never in a place like this.  He had always been left in the place where they prodded, poked, and stuck sharp things in him.  Sensing that these things were for his own good, he had always submitted without protest.  But his family always came back for him.  
Whiskers was certain that the family must have had a good reason for leaving him here.  People were always doing things that he did not understand, but he had learned to accept and to live with their ways, mysterious though they were.

 It was simply beyond his comprehension that they would not come back for him.  He was part of the family, and as such he would protect them and look out for them as best he could--even to laying down his life.  He knew, too, that the family would take care of him.  And he loved them all, even the man who seldom showed him any affection.  And so, Whiskers waited.

He waited the rest of the day, watching hopefully as each car passed.  And he was always disappointed.  He waited through the night, enduring a crashing thunderstorm.  But he never strayed far from the spot, for he wanted to be there when they came back for him.

When morning came, he felt a need to relieve himself.  He moved a short distance away from the road, near a house, and made his toilet.  He had no sooner finished than a man came running from the house, yelling at him.  Terrified, Whiskers ran.  He stopped and looked back just in time to see the man throw something at him.  He dodged the object and kept going.

He knew that it was time to move on.  Something was wrong, for his family wasn’t coming back for him this time.  He decided that it was time to find his way back home.  Something in his brain, he didn’t know what, pointed him toward the general direction of home.  He set out.

 There were many obstacles that caused him to stray from his course.  There were buildings, fences, and houses that he had to skirt.  There were streets that he had to cross, and once he narrowly escaped death as a car, tires screeching, nearly hit him.  From that experience he learned to watch for the big machines.

He slept wherever he could find a secluded spot, and when he became hungry, he ate whatever discarded scraps he could find.  Once he ate part of a road kill, later becoming ill and throwing it up.


Three days later, the sun was setting when a weary, hungry Whiskers found his home.  He made his way up the steps and scratched on the door.  No one answered, and he went around to the fenced back yard.  He peered through the fence, hoping to see Joey there.  But he saw an empty, deathly quiet yard.  He lay down in front of the gate and waited.  Darkness came and he fell asleep.

When morning came, Whiskers decided that he could wait no longer.  He was hungry, and left the house in search of food.  Later in the morning, he came across a place with strong smells of food.  The enticing smells drew him closer.  There were many people at the place.

 A man came out of the place carrying a bag.  Whiskers approached the man cautiously, tail wagging.  The man looked at him, hesitated for a moment, and then reached in the bag.  He threw a hunk of meat and bread on the ground in front of Whiskers.  Whiskers wagged his tail furiously as he gulped down the food.  When he looked up, the man was gone.

Sated, he returned to the empty house.  Later in the day, he endured another thunderstorm.  But the rain left puddles, and the thirsty Whiskers drank his fill.

Finally, Whiskers gave up.  He sensed that his family was gone, never to return.  Forlornly, he left the house in search of more food.  He returned to the place of good smells.  This time, however, his begging was ignored.

As he wandered around the place, he watched as two dogs approached.  They were both larger than Whiskers, but he cautiously approached the pair.  After some sniffing, wetting shrubbery, and tail-wagging, the pair accepted him.  He followed them as they went around to the rear of the place, where there was a bin filled with many items, some of them edible.


He stayed with them, and the pair became a trio.  The pair seemed to know all the places to find food and water, although on occasion angry people chased them away.

Weeks passed, and Whiskers began to regard the dogs as family, although he’d never found the love and companionship that he’d enjoyed with Joey.

Whiskers was dirty, and he grew sickly and emaciated. But he survived--until the day the man in the truck came.

 When the man jumped from the truck, Whiskers’ companions fled.  But his short legs were not fast enough, and he suddenly felt a loop around his neck.  The man threw the shocked and bewildered Whiskers in the back of the truck.

The man took him to a place where there were many other dogs.  He knew that this was a bad place.  The atmosphere here filled him with despair.

 He was placed in a cage, where he remained for days.  They fed and watered him, but otherwise he was ignored.  He watched as new dogs were brought in, and other dogs were taken out.  He had a sense of foreboding; he sensed that he was destined to die here in this place of evil.  There was no hope.  No escape.  He lay in the cage day after day and waited.


Stan Woodson, recently retired postal clerk, finished his yard work.  He put his tools away and went in the house to wash up for dinner.  The smells wafting out from the kitchen whetted his appetite.
“Dinner’s on the table.” Louise called.

 He joined Louise at the table, and the two began eating  quietly.  Louise was the first to speak.  “The house sure seems quiet now that Queenie’s gone.”

“Yeah,” Stan agreed.  “It’s been over a month, and I still miss her something awful.”

“Stan, I know that we agreed that we wouldn’t get another dog, but I’ve been thinking...”  Her voice choked.

“Sweetheart,” he said, “so have I.”


Whiskers watched as the man approached with the couple.  They were stopping  to look at dogs in other cages.  When they reached his cage, the woman seemed to perk up.  She said something to the man as they stopped in front of Whiskers’ cage.  Whiskers became excited when the woman crouched, looked directly into his cage, and spoke soothingly to him.  He whined pleadingly and wagged his tail.


Time passed, and Whiskers knew that he had found a loving family.  He knew that the couple loved him, and he grew to love them with all his heart.  He was contented, and secure in the knowledge that he had a permanent home now.

Sometimes the couple would watch him as he moved his legs in his sleep, and wonder what he might be dreaming about.
If Whiskers could talk, he would tell them that now and then he dreamed of romping with Joey.

***THE END***


© Copyright 2018 Donald H Sullivan. All rights reserved.

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