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Adventures of Cookie the Stray, Chapter 2

Updated on October 12, 2017
PegCole17 profile image

Peg lives on ten acres northeast of Dallas with her husband, their two dogs, stray cats and the occasional opossum.

Through Rain and Sleet and Dark of Night

Cookie's winter fur was thickening with the onslaught of the cold weather.
Cookie's winter fur was thickening with the onslaught of the cold weather.

The four dogs stood in the woodsy clearing eyes locked on each other. Buddy broke the standoff by taking a few steps forward and extending a gesture of welcome. He lowered his upper body in a stretching motion, almost a bow, followed by a yawn of indifference. Then he rose up and plodded heavily across the clearing and sat down with his back to the group. Cookie’s jaw stopped twitching but Nicole stayed behind Cookie’s flank hidden from view.

Rover made a bold approach and attempted to sniff Cookie's hind quarters. That resulted in an explosion of high-pitched shrieking and barks from both Nicole and Cookie that took the larger dogs by surprise. Rover backed away at once and cocked his head to one side surprised by the ferocity of the tiny girl dogs.

Encounters of the Canine Kind

Ignoring the newcomer was the best option.
Ignoring the newcomer was the best option.

Rover found a spot next to the remains of an old campfire, a reminder of the time they had shared with the hot dog man. From there he pretended to ignore the new guests gazing down the dark path in search of anyone who might be approaching. He hoped the kind man would return with more food.

With the tension brought on by the arrival of the two girls now dissipated, all four dogs lay quietly in the shared comfort of the shady clearing, settling down in their respective areas. They took turns napping each left to their own thoughts and dreams.

Cookie drifted into a deep sleep, reassured for the time being that her sister was safe and relieved of the constant pressure of leadership by the company of the other larger dogs. Still her sleep was disturbed by the ever-present hunger that left her feeling slightly nauseated and empty.

Buddy dreamed of the cookouts he'd shared with his master and in particular, of the food.
Buddy dreamed of the cookouts he'd shared with his master and in particular, of the food.

Life had not been easy for Cookie since it began that hot summer day early in the morning. The first thing she remembered was the stifling pressure. She felt constrained, struggling for air as she pushed her way through a long tunnel. Exiting at last, she took her first breath of clean fresh air. Her mom gave her a good licking all over to clean her and that felt good in a wet tickly way. Then her mom’s attention turned toward the whimpering others. There were so many of them, crying and squirming. She wished at once for the return of her mother’s soft tongue and that she could be the only one.

Dreams Filled with Food

Cookie dreamed of having her own bowl of kibble all to herself.
Cookie dreamed of having her own bowl of kibble all to herself.

For a short time life seemed good; she felt safe and cozy with the others of her litter. A standard routine developed that left little time for worry: wake up; drink of the warm milk; play a little with her mates; then sleep again. All was well. And life continued this way for a few weeks as the young family grew.

Then one day something changed. Her mom wasn’t in the box when the puppies woke up. There was a lot of crying and pushing from the hungry pups. A plastic bowl had been placed in their box and although it had once contained water, it now lay on its side, the wet contents spilling onto the blanket where the puppies slept. They all missed their Mom and the warm comfort of her soft fur. They each hoped she would return soon. But that was not to be.

The puppies had been placed in the back seat of a car in their cardboard box. As the vehicle traveled, Cookie swayed with the motion when they came to a stop or turned a corner. Some of her brothers and sisters slept, but not Cookie. She sensed a change in things and it felt all wrong. Cookie kept a watchful eye on the others as they traveled along in the hot car.

Sometime later, the hatch snapped open with a loud click and woke the group of puppies sleeping in their damp box. The movement of the car had stopped and now it rested under the shade of a tree. Cookie wondered again where her mother had gone and why she hadn’t come along for their ride in the car.

Dog tag from years past
Dog tag from years past

All the puppies were hungry and had begun to whimper and moan. They were slightly dizzy from the motion of the car and missed the comfort of their mom’s warm fur and convenient food supply. It had only been a short time ago they all nestled close to her warmth, searching her belly for their favorite spigot where the nourishing milk flowed. Once again the plastic bowl had been placed upright and was refilled with water. Cookie was the first to sniff it out and take a tentative drink. The others soon crowded around, clumsily stepping on each other and pawing into the bowl. The clear liquid was no substitute for Mother but they all thirstily drank. Two of the bigger pups pushed Cookie away from the bowl and began to wrestle. With a splash, one puppy fell against the side of the bowl, once again tipping it over.

Breakfast Time with Mom

Cookie ran to the dry area of the box, followed closely by her sister Nicole. The others continued to wrestle and nip each other playfully while she and Nicole lay side by side on the alert. They heard another car drive up and a door slam, but the sides of the box were too tall for them to see much until a hand reached once again toward the wrestling pups.

“I’ll take this one,” the booming voice announced. It wasn’t the voice of the woman who had always taken their soiled papers away. The large hand grabbed up the biggest puppy while exhaling a stream of cigarette smoke into the box. Cookie sneezed and so did Nicole, who shook her beautiful blonde fur from her head to the tip of her curled tail. Tears welled up in Nicole’s golden eyes spilling over the black outlines that looked as if someone had drawn them on with an eye liner. Cookie was glad the hand had not taken her or her little sister. They'd hoped to stay together when the time came to go to their new homes. Now that the time was near it was frightening.

She and Nicole had comforted one another during the long nights after their Mom was no longer allowed in their box. After the withdrawal of their mother’s feedings they had been given a bowl of mush called puppy food. She and Nicole often remained hungry as the larger, more aggressive pups pushed them aside. They made a pact to stick together during the weaning and vowed to look after each other.

Safe in the Bed by the Sofa

Sleeping and dreaming her legs twitched in an imaginary chase.
Sleeping and dreaming her legs twitched in an imaginary chase.

As the day wore slowly on more hands reached in the box, their litter mates disappearing one by one until the only ones left were Nicole and Cookie. The strong odor of the soiled box began to make them both feel queasy. The spilled water had soaked their papers and some of the puppies had soiled the box in places, adding to the smell of the box’s original contents. Was it mangoes or bananas? Cookie felt weak, tired and deeply thirsty. She and Nicole lay side by side in an area of the box that wasn’t too wet, hoping soon that they would go home and be reunited with their mom. It had been a long hot day in the back of the car trunk. Soon they dozed.

Puppy Food

When she and Nicole awoke it was dark and they were still in the smelly box. Night had fallen around them. They could no longer see the underside of the car’s hatch back lid. In fact, they heard no sounds beside the crickets chirping and the distant call of an owl calling from a tree.

“I’m frightened,” whispered Nicole in a squeaky voice.

“Don’t worry.” Cookie reassured her sister. “They’ve probably just gone to bring Mom here and to get us some food.” But she lacked confidence in her own words as the night sounds grew louder and the darkness grew deeper.

On My Own

Cookie awoke to find herself in a strange place with Mom nowhere in sight.
Cookie awoke to find herself in a strange place with Mom nowhere in sight.

© 2017 Peg Cole

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    • PegCole17 profile image
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      Peg Cole 2 days ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Shyron, It's sad to think about splitting up a litter of pups, each going to a different place. I really appreciate your "amazing" comment and your visits to read this story. Thank you.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 days ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Chris, Yes, a dog's life indeed. Not as easy as one would think if they have no home. I do appreciate your visit and keen insight. Thank you.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 days ago from Texas

      How sad for the pups. I hope the get adopted by the same person. This is an amazing hub, you describe the situation so well.

      Blessings always.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 10 days ago from Maple City, Michigan

      What do they say? It's a dog's life? Doesn't look so easy to me. Interesting and entertaining, Peg. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 10 days ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Linda, The next chapter is in the works introducing a few new characters. Hope you will follow along for the happy chapters, too. Thanks so much for the visit and kind words.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 11 days ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This chapter is both sad and interesting. The photos in your story are interesting, too. They match the tale very well. I hope the dogs have some happy moments in their adventures.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 11 days ago from Dallas, Texas

      Sorry about that Glenis. Hope you will stick around for the happy parts. I appreciate your visit.

    • Glenis Rix profile image

      Glenis Rix 11 days ago from UK

      Poor puppies. You tell their story so well that it’s ade me quite sad.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 11 days ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello dear Snakeslane, Thanks for the encouraging comments and for liking the pups. Hopefully the omniscient narrator POV will fly in this case of speaking on behalf of the little ones that are mute. I'm working on Part 3 and wondering how to title it since "they" altered my title for this episode. Hmmm.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 11 days ago from Canada

      Holy mackerel Peg! You are the doggy and the doggy's omniscient narrator too...such empathy. Those hot dogs on the grill look mighty fine. I hope Cookie and Nicole get some soon! Seriously though, all the photos are great. You've captured their charms, and captured me too. Poor puppies, all tired and hungry and missing their Mom.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 12 days ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank you, Dora. I'm thrilled to have you read this and like the characters. I appreciate your comments so much.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 12 days ago from The Caribbean

      Your details of the dogs' thoughts and feelings pull the reader into knowing and liking them. Great story telling!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 12 days ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Gypsy Rose Lee, So glad to have you following along on this evolving story. Hope to see you again on the next release coming soon.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 12 days ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank you for staying with the story, Chitrangada. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 12 days ago from Riga, Latvia

      A most heartfelt and loving tale of these dogs. Enjoyed the photos and video. Love that last photo of Cookie.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 12 days ago from New Delhi, India

      This is again very touching and a wonderful effort to draw attention and create awareness about these stray dogs.

      Beautiful series! Thanks for sharing!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 13 days ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Paula, Thank you for stopping by and for enjoying the story. It's easy to tell you're an animal lover. You've already figured out what's ahead. I'm so glad you like it. Smiling.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 13 days ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Awwww, Poor babies. Wet, hungry, thirsty and confused. Missing their Mom, these precious pups discover they're at the mercy of human whims. We can see this all play out from Cookie's instincts.

      I'm loving this story already, Peg. These babies have stolen my heart. Cookie is becoming a hero.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 13 days ago from Dallas, Texas

      Good morning, Maria. Your two beautiful pups have a wonderful life, a home, food and loving humans to look after their needs. Not all pups are as lucky. I'm grateful for your readership although sorry for the tears. Hope you have a blessed day with your students. I'm hearing verses from CSNY that sang, "Teach your parents (students) well..." Hugs and love. Thanks for dropping in and for the wonderful comment.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 13 days ago from Jeffersonville PA

      So this is not a good idea to read before heading out to class - I'm looking into Andy and Zoey's eyes and tearing up.

      You have a gentle and beautiful ability to write from Cookie's POV... I want to read much more.

      Love you, Peg, and love this series too, Maria

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Jackie, Thanks for the visit and thoughtful comment. Glad to see you here on this second installment.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 weeks ago from The Beautiful South

      I love stories told from the animal point of view. Look forward to more!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Flourish, We've lived out here in the country for nearly 30 years and have seen dozens (really) of strays pass through. Some we kept. Some were adopted by friends. Some went to the shelter. There have been Great Danes, Dalmations, Chow Chows, Golden Retrievers, a family of 6 Labradors, along with many more mixed breeds, most malnourished and confused. I hope I can convey the need for responsible pet ownership and donate some of the proceeds of the book (if it sells) to appropriate organizations. Thanks for your kind reaction. It's exactly what I hope to achieve.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 weeks ago from USA

      Aww, so sad. Makes me want to give even more money to spay neuter causes to reduce the suffering of unwanted animals. Breaks my heart.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Mike, I'll try to add some good stuff in with the challenges and sad parts. I promise there will be a happily ever after (eventually). Thanks for sharing this and for coming by so quickly.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg - This is a story that is going to call for kleenex. Cookie and Nicole have a long way to go.