I wrote this Christmas special as a special for my series of 10 pg. stories about a girl named Kati, and her autismic friend, Forest. Here is the special:
I was in the back seat of the car. My dad was driving me to the shelter. The red and green colored collar was clutched in my hand. This was it, this was the day. By the time the shelter closed tonight, I would have a new best friend wearing this collar. Now I have to think of some names. How about Paws? No,no! That’s too boring. What about Lola? Yep, that’s nice, but I don’t even know what gender it’s going to be, or the color, or the type, or even the size. So many images flashed through my head. Big puppies, small puppies, brown, black, grey, white. Loud, quiet, cuddly, playful. So many things to choose from. I should just wait until I get there.
We pulled up to the parking lot of People Pets animal shelter. The outside of the building was decorated with red and green flashing icicles. When we opened the door, we were blasted with festive decorations, warm air, and the loud barking, yelping, and howling of numerous dogs. The sound of the dogs made me even more excited about taking one home. But which one would be the lucky one. Maybe a German sheperd, or a poodle, or possibly a golden retriever?
The woman at the counter ushered into the dog room. Everywhere I looked there was rows of kennels with every dog imaginable. The noises of them hurt my ears. I ran from one cage to another, looking for the one to go home with me. I was in a frenzy! Suddenly, I stopped. I turned around, and there, in the kennel behind me, was a golden lab puppy. Its head was pointed at the ceiling. He was howling and howling. His eyes were squeezed shut, and a scar across his muzzle wrinkled. He had his ear torn up to the middle, and one of his legs were twisted oddly. “Escuse me? Ma’am?” I asked. “What about that puppy over there?”
“Oh, him? That’s Wolfgang. He was an unwanted puppy of a champion show dog. See that crippled leg? That’s what got him thrown out. They didn’t understand why he was like that, his mother had had many litters, all fine. Are you considering him? He is scheduled to be euthenized tomorrow.”
I gasped. “Why?” I asked, disturbed.
“He’ll always have a limp, and no one wants a crippled dog. They want to get their children the perfect puppy, and charity seekers want to give older dogs a new home.” explained the lady.
“What about his ear, and that scar?” I inquired.
“A few months ago a dog therapist came and tried to fix his leg. But it didn’t work, and the therapist became angry and struck him across the nose, and created that scar. And the ear, he was running away from the man, and it caught on a fence, and instead of getting it unstuck, the man ripped it out and that is how he got the tear.” Said the Women.
I looked at the puppy. He had stopped howling and was looking straight at me. His warm brown eyes melted my heart. His moist nose shone dully in the shelter lights. “I’ll take him.” I said desicedly. The woman opened the kennel and picked him up. He shook and seemed to shrink, but when she handed him to me he stopped and laid his head on my shoulder and licked my face. I hugged him and walked out.
We stood at the counter and my dad was signing the adoption paper. I looked down at the warm heap in my arms. “Well then Wolfgang, had a tough life so far, huh. Now you forget all that meaness and you’ll have a good time at our house. Wolfgang, where did you get that name? That’s too tough and big for a puppy like you. What’s a good puppy name? Let’s see… I know! Why didn’t I think of it before? Jingle! It’s perfect for you.” I whispered, rubbing my cheek against his warm back. “Welcome to the family, Jingle.”
Change the life of an abused animal this Holiday Season. Donate to, or adopt from one of these shelters.
*Hoofs and Woofs animal shelter.
*Escondido Humane Society.
*Dogz In Need.