In Good Faith - A Short Story
Left on the roadside...
She always had good faith in people. There had to be some good in them; why else would they exist? Still, she had to wonder why her family had left her here of all places. Maybe it was a test. What if they wanted to make sure she always found her way home? That would be very considerate of them.
It would have been nice if they had at least thought about leaving hints behind. She had no idea which way to go.
With a huff, she sat down. The only thing to do since she didn’t know which way to even go was to wait. Her family would realize she was lost, and they would pick her up. It would be disheartening to disappoint them, but she was stumped.
Yet no matter how long she waited, the family never showed up. She was starting to worry about them. What if her family was lost as well?
That was when a different, much larger thing pulled up. Her family usually called this thing a ‘car-car ride’. A strange man peered down at her as the car-car ride pulled to a stop. The man smiled. It wasn’t a happy smile, instead it was rather suspicious and made her feel uneasy… but it was still a smile!
‘Is he here to help?’ she thought to herself, giving her tail a small wag.
He got out, taking a slow walk until he stood in front of her. The man knelt to her level.
Happily, she lifted her front paws to rest on his knees before licking his chin.
One of his large hands ran through her long, soft fur. He was looking around and said something in a cheerful tone.
There was no way she could tell what he said, but nonetheless her body shook with excitement. He seemed nice enough, and she didn’t see any other choices around her that could possibly lead back to her family.
He motioned happily, and proceeded to give another weird smile as he rose to open a door to the car-car ride.
The moment he offered her a seat, she jumped in without hesitation.
Shutting the door, the man travelled around the car-car ride to get in on his own side.
For the most part, they drove in silence. It wasn’t until the car pulled up to a large barn that she realized that this didn’t quite look like home. It was dark by then though. ‘He must be waiting until morning,’ she thought, allowing him to loop a rope around her neck.
A small jump out of the car on his side was all that was left before a strong scent hit her nose. There were other dogs here, held within the barn. Friends?
Without a doubt, she was about to find out. He led her straight to the barn, opening a door to let her walk in first. The other dogs were in kennels, snarling, yelling and biting at the edges of their cages as she trotted in. ‘Kill. Kill. Kill.’ Most of them whispered, causing her to give an uncomfortable shift. They were not friends. In the middle of the cages laid a pit. The man led her around the pit, shoving her into a kennel of her own before removing the rope and slamming the door shut.
‘Okay, I’ll just wait here. We can go back to my family in the morning,’ she thought, not daring to watch him leave as she forced herself as low to the ground as she could. These dogs were terrifying, and she knew that without her family she would not sleep that night.
The night had passed, slow and unsteady. She had tried to stay as still as possible, realizing that there were many dogs around her.
Once sunlight shone in, the door opened again and the man walked in. She jumped to her feet, watching him as the others began to start yelling and snarling more words of death and murder at him. He didn’t seem to notice, coming straight to her cage.
She gave her tail a nervous wag.
He pulled a large item out of his pocket. It unrolled from itself. The man then opened the cage, grabbing her head to shove it against the side.
‘That’s too rough,’ she whimpered.
In a swift movement, he wrapped the strange substance around her muzzle. It stuck, causing her to panic as she realized she could no longer open her mouth. Her whimpers grew more desperate.
Then he proceeded to grab her scruff, dragging her out to shove her into the pit.
There was a small struggle as she tried to paw her muzzle free. The top of the substance was smooth, but underneath it stuck to her fur and skin refusing to budge.
A thud behind her caused her attention to change. A young one stood there, just barely able to be called an adult.
Panicked, she ran to one edge of the pit to attempt to climb the side. It was no use; too high to jump or climb.
Before she could turn, the other one was on top of her. He bit at her neck, leaving stains of crimson against her pelt.
Too much stress. Too much pain. She stood petrified, too terrified and unable to fight back.
By the time she came to her senses, she was on her side in her kennel again. A puddle of blood was beneath her, and she didn’t dare stand in fear that she might be attacked again.
She laid her head to peer out of the kennel. It was dark, but light illuminated around the pit. A ton of men were surrounding it, cheering. She didn’t want to know what they were cheering over, shivering at the thought.
No sooner had this thought occurred, sirens pierced above the cheers. More lights illuminated from outside, barely seen between the cracks of the barn’s sides.
A bunch of men and woman broke into the barn from all directions, all wearing the same uniforms.
Some of the people that had been cheering held their hands above their heads. Others dashed to the sides, stopping when they found there was no escape. She watched in surprise as the newcomers pounced, holding down the ones that had previously been cheering.
The newcomers then treated the men like prisoners, leading them out of the barn.
All the other dogs had become quiet. The barn was silent as they all watched the door, waiting.
Eventually more people walked in. Their attention was on the kennels though, careful with gathering each dog one by one.
It took a long time, but as the sun began to slide its way into the barn the people reached her kennel. She looked up, giving her tail a wag of greeting. If they were there to help her or not, she could no longer tell. That didn’t change the fact that they were still there for her, and she could not control that.
The first one took one look at her and yelled something, causing the other to rush out the door.
A kind young woman returned, approaching her cage slowly. This person was the first one to show that she meant no harm.
This caused her tail to wag happily, and her ears to perk up a bit in interest. She tried to get up to greet her, but instead as the kennel door open the woman gently laid her hand down to keep her from getting up.
They seemed worried and concerned looking her over with allot of commotion.
Someone else ran out, returning with a small, thin container that had a sharp point sticking out of it filled with a mysterious liquid.
The kind woman took it, bringing it close to her. She felt a small prick, suddenly feeling exhausted. She fell asleep.
A year had passed since the incident. She was healed now, with only a long scar along her neck leading to her shoulder remaining. A reminder of her past. She had learned much throughout the year.
For example, she learned that what she had been through was considered dog fighting. She had been a bait dog. She also learned that the people in the uniforms were called officers. The kind woman was a Veterinarian who had seen her through the healing process.
Afterwards, an officer ended up adopting her. She was now a part of doggie boot camp, learning every day how to assist her partner to prevent bad things from happening to others. He had given her a name; Gracie.
She still believed that everyone had good within them. Yet when the bad got out of hand, she now had the opportunity to stop them. As she prepared to run through the obstacle course that her new owner had created for her, the tail began to wag in anticipation.
Preventing the bad so only the good could remain. She had a new job. A new purpose. A new family.
“Gracie,” her owner stated. She stood still, preparing herself to begin her test of endurance. “Go.”