In Good Faith
Left on the roadside...
She always had good faith in people. There was no other reason for them to exist without good hearts and gentle pats, right?
So why did she feel so abandoned? Her people had left her there in the middle of nowhere, alone. They did not even offer her a 'car car ride' as they drove away.
She sat perfectly still, attempting to organize her confusion. It took time, but her mind began to conclude that the only explination was that this must be a test. What if her people wanted to make sure she always found her way home? That would be very considerate of them.
It would have been better if her people had at least thought about leaving hints behind. She had no idea where she was, and knowledge of where home was remained far beyond her limits
With a huff, she got comfortable. She did not know how long it would take her people to realize that she was hopelessly lost, but eventually they had to. Then they would come back for her. It would be disheartening to disappoint them, but she was stumped.
No matter how long she waited, her people never showed up. She began to worry. What if her people were lost as well?
As she began to pace and fret, a much larger 'car-car' pulled to a stop. A strange man from within peered down at her. He smiled. The smile lacked all notion of happiness, instead filling her with a moment of suspicion and unease. That moment vanished as she realized that, regardless of her feelings... it was still a smile!
‘Is he here to help me?’ she thought to herself. Her tail gave a small wag.
He got out, and took a couple slow and mellow strides until he stood in front of her. The man knelt down to her level.
She gave a small jump towards him, which almost caused him to retreat until he realized that she was just licking his chin to show some affection.
One of his large hands ran through her long, soft fur. He gave one glance around and spoke in a cheerful tone.
She could not understand a single word he said, but nonetheless her body shook with excitement. He seemed nice and friendly, just like her people were.
That was when he said one of the few words she understood that filled her with more excitement than she ever though was possible. "Car-car ride?"
She gave a happy bark, and spun in an energetic circle. He motioned happily, and proceeded to open the door.
She jumped in without hesitation, filled with trust. The man was right behind her, and soon they were on their way.
For the most part, they drove in silence as the sun began to set behind them.
By the time they reached their destination, it was dark. This place did not feel like home, and in an instant she began to regret following this stranger so easily. It was far too late to turn back, so she allowed him to loop a rope around her neck and followed him out.
The moment her paws hit the ground, the overpowering scent of other dogs hit her nose. "Friends?" She thought, trying to ignore the smell of fear and anger that also lingered.
She could see the outline of a barn in the distance. The man gave her temporary leash a gentle tug as he walked towards it.
Nervous, she planted her feet and stood her ground.
The man gave her a threatening glare, and pulled the leash with a much more powerful tug. When she still tried to resist, he continued until she was forced to follow him.
"I-I'll follow you because you were nice to me before. I trust you. I believe that you are made to be good, because you are human. Please, be nice to me. The scents around here are scary," she began to whimper.
A howl erupted from the barn, followed by aggressive snarls and barking.
She gave one last attempt to escape before he dragged her into the barn.
Inside, there were countless dogs in many cages that surrounded a pit in the middle. The air was thick with negative emotions, which made her very uncomfortable and terrified. So many dogs were speaking at once, that it was difficult to distinguish them from one another. Some pleaded for help, while others chanted murder.
Despite her sudden dislike for this man, she kept close to his feet for whatever safety he could offer.
He opened an empty cage, and gave her a gentle nudge with his leg.
In response, she moved to the back of the cage and pressed herself against it whilst giving him a pleading stare.
The man took the rope off of her, and slammed the cage door shut. Then he was gone.
Pressed as close as she could get to the floor, she closed her eyes and began to shiver. This place reeked of blood and anger, and she knew that she would not sleep that night.
The night had passed, slow and unsteady. She had tried to stay as still as possible, even when daylight shone through the barn's many cracks.
Before she knew it, the man was back. She did not even hear him walk in, but she could smell him.
He stopped in front of her cage. She offeed him a nervous wag of her tail, knowing that he was up to no good at this point. Maybe, just maybe he was here to take her back to her family.
As he reached into his pocket, and took out a muzzle, her tail drooped. All hope was lost.
With an open cage, she thought about trying to escape but knew that there was nowhere to run as he placed the muzzle on her. She could of fought back, but what was the use?
After the muzzle was in place, he proceeded to grab her scruff and drag her out.
‘That’s too rough,’ she said. Her whimpers grew more desperate.
There was a small struggle as she tried to paw her muzzle free, but he was eventually able to toss her into the pit.
She was relentless in her attempts to pull the awful man made object off her snout, but a thud behind her caused her attention to change. A young dog 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 cage 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 turned towards the cages now, 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 once again, 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 opened the woman gently laid her hand down to keep her from getting up.
They seemed worried and concerned over her. They kept tossing the words bait dog around, although she did not know what their words meant.
One of the helpers 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, and soon she felt 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. Except that was all it was. Her past. She was a brand new dog now, with a brand new family.
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 hope.
“Gracie,” her owner stated. She stood still, preparing herself to begin her test of endurance. “Go.”
© 2017 Alexis Chantel