Adventures of Cookie the Stray, Chapter 3

Updated on October 12, 2017
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Peg is an avid dog lover whose collection of rescued strays spans decades. Her dogs live in the house as members of the family.

Sweet Dreams

Baby Dolly sleeping with her rag surrounded by toys.
Baby Dolly sleeping with her rag surrounded by toys.

Living the Dream

In contrast with Cookie's humble beginnings, Dolly’s early days were rich in splendor. She slept in a fluffy bed with clean, soft linens changed every day. She loved the smell of fresh new sheets on the cushioned bed she shared with her brother, Jeff, the smaller of the two beautiful blonde Chow mix pups.

Their mother, Queenie, took extraordinarily good care of them, washing them, feeding them, allowing them to snuggle close when they were tired. As they basked in luxurious comfort, their mother appeared as a queen to them in her diamond studded necklace with her trimmed and painted toenails. Her tongue was soft and wet and completely black except for one spot of pink underneath. A certified champion, her trophies took up most of the mantle above the fireplace in the lavish area where their bed rested. Soft music played in the room and the air was comfortably cool. Queenie was known to crawl onto the sofa and curl up for a nap when the people were gone. Life was good.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Carrying around a tennis ball nearly as big as her mouth
Carrying around a tennis ball nearly as big as her mouth

Every day except Sunday the postman would bring mail and slide it into the metal slot in the front door. The clanking noise would wake the dogs sending their mom charging to the door in a frenzy of barking and growling. The two pups ran to their bed and hid waiting for Queenie’s signal that it was safe to come out.

Dolly soon noticed that the mailman came at nearly the same time every day. As she grew accustomed to the delivery, she grew curious and would peek out over the edge of the box. Her brother Jeff remained, fearful cowering in the corner while their Mom barked and chased the mailman away. In no time Dolly was joining her Mom yipping along in her tiny soprano voice.

Dog Toys Were Plentiful

Dolly with her hedge hog stuffed toy
Dolly with her hedge hog stuffed toy

This routine went on for a time. In the morning fresh sheets replaced the soiled ones, the newspapers lining the box were changed out and fresh food and water were placed in a nearby bowl for their Mom. Sometimes the pink hands of the woman would reach down and scoop her up, holding little Dolly against the woman’s warm body while she spoke softly to her.

The woman’s voice was soothing and kind while the man’s voice was harsh and loud and made Dolly tremble. When he did on rare occasions pick her up, he was rough, holding her too tightly sometimes balancing her in just one hand.

One morning Dolly heard the footsteps of the people approaching their box. She knew immediately that something was not right. Her brother Jeff awoke and began to tremble. They all heard the angry voice of the man yelling at their kind mistress.

Dolly stood up against the side of the box and listened as the voices drew closer. She heard something slam down hard on the coffee table, shattering as it hit the surface which made her flinch and jump down. Both puppies burrowed under the folds of their soft bed as the footsteps grew closer and the voices grew progressively louder. Queenie’s low growl came out in a deep rumble.

The Good Life

Dolly relaxing in air-conditioned comfort indoors.
Dolly relaxing in air-conditioned comfort indoors.

The dogs knew it was Sunday because the people were still wearing their night clothes and hadn’t left for work, nor had the mailman come. Sections of the Sunday paper were stacked neatly on the coffee table in front of the sofa. Sunlight streamed in the living room window as the dogs watched and waited.

“We can’t go on like this Connie,” the man’s gruff voice boomed. “I’m tired of your constant fussing over these dogs. I don’t know why I let you talk me into breeding that dog in the first place.”

“But I thought you liked dogs,” she answered. “It’s what brought us together, at that Kennel Club event in...”

“You pay more attention to them than anything else around here including me,” he interrupted. “Look at this place,” he cast a mean glance around the immaculate room. “It’s a pig’s sty!”

The woman sniffed loudly, trying to hold back tears.

“And these stinking dogs have to go,” he said, gesturing to where the puppies stood peering over the edge of the box. Their mother, Queenie, lay at the woman’s feet, resting her chin on one of Connie’s house slippers. Queenie’s hackles rose as the man hovered over the woman, his arms flailing in the air. She tensed, ready to pounce. He dropped his arms and stormed out of the room toward the back bedroom.

Crufts: The World's Largest Dog Competition

When he came back out he had on a faded shirt and a pair of old jeans and penny loafers. They heard the door to the garage slam and the car fire up. It pealed out of the driveway with tires squealing down their quiet neighborhood street.

Connie collapsed onto the sofa and cried into a soggy handkerchief. Queenie tentatively placed her front feet on the couch and licked the woman’s hand as the room grew eerily silent.

~~~~

They heard the car pull back into the driveway and the garage door creak as it moved up along its overhead track. The car pulled forward into the crowded space and the engine noise stopped. The man cursed as he entered the house through the kitchen door. Tossing the car keys on the kitchen table, he sent a look of disdain toward the three dogs.

“Worthless mutts,” he sneered, heading out of the sliding glass door to the back porch. Queenie’s keen ears picked up the click of his lighter. She could smell the cigarette smoke through the patio door.

Kiss My Grits

Young Dolly, daughter of Queenie
Young Dolly, daughter of Queenie

Queenie lay close to her two puppies keeping a watchful eye on the living room. Connie came out of the back bedroom carrying a pillowcase stuffed with some of their bedclothes, her purse and a pair of tennis shoes. She sat down on the floor by their box and quickly pulled on her socks and shoes. Queenie edged closer as her master tied the laces.

The woman gathered dog toys and put them in the box with the puppies. Dolly wagged her fluffy tail and ran to the edge to lick the hand as it reached in. Jeff woke with a start and looked around with sleep-filled eyes. He whimpered, not bothering to get up. They both sensed something out of the ordinary.

“Today’s the day,” the woman said to Queenie whose ears moved to their full alert position. She cocked her head posing an unasked question. Then Connie slipped out of the door into the garage and stashed the pillowcase and her purse in the car.

“It’s okay,” she reassured the three dogs. “We’re just going for a ride.” The puppies danced around excitedly in their box, watching as she left the room again. When she came back, she spoke in soft, quiet tones to Queenie.

“We need to find homes for the young ones. They’re getting too old to stay with their mom,” she explained. “They need families of their own.” Queenie put her head against her master's leg, her big golden eyes searching for meaning in the words.

End of the Line

Her mistress reentered the kitchen and picked the keys up off the table. Queenie’s leash in her hand, she tiptoed past the glass patio door where her husband sat with his back to the house. Connie slipped into the garage and pulled an old hard side suitcase from under a pile of discarded rags. She clicked a button on the key set and opened the trunk of the car, loaded the suitcase inside and quietly closed the lid. Tiptoeing into the living room she picked up the box with the puppies and carried it out to the car. She gently set it on the back seat balancing the front edge on the pillowcase. Queenie followed close behind, jumping into the car when her mistress opened the passenger’s side door.

Without hesitation, she turned the key to start the engine and backed out of the open garage door. When the car reached the curb, she shifted into drive and hit the gas. The car sped away just as her husband came running down the driveway. She caught a glimpse of his angry face in the rear view mirror as they moved steadily out of sight.

© 2017 Peg Cole

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    • PegCole17 profile image
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      Peg Cole 7 days ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Lawrence, Senior dogs are so cool. We had one live to be 16 years old. Her name was Bucky. I've known a Barney, too, when I lived in the rural outskirts of Miami. I'm glad you two found each other. Cheers, and thanks for coming by.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 8 days ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Peg

      This reminded me of when Barney came to us, he was three weeks old, and came from the RSPCA who took him and his litter off a breeder who'd gotten too old to care for him.

      He's eleven now!

    • PegCole17 profile image
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      Peg Cole 4 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thanks, Peggy. They are definitely moving on but unfortunately, toward more dangerous situations. I appreciate you finding these early chapters.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      The way this story was headed I am happy to know that Connie and Queenie and the pups are making an escape. Looking forward to the next episode.

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

      Thanks, Ms. Dora, for the kind reaction to the events in this story. I appreciate you taking the time to leave such a rich comment.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Maria,

      The story has been a long time in the making but I'm glad to be working on it again. I truly appreciate your encouragement and intuitive comments. Thanks for following along with Queenie and the gang. Love and hugs to you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 months ago from The Caribbean

      Just as I was beginning to think of the rich life of these dogs, I was unpleasantly interrupted as I guess they were too. Connie to the rescue! Mutual love here.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 2 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Peg,

      I'm thrilled to see in the comments that you are returning to this heartfelt story after starting it in 2005.

      Thank goodness Connie is getting out of Dodge with Queenie and the kids.

      Off to the next chapter - Love and hugs, Maria

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

      Thank you so much for dropping back in, Gypsy. Glad you're enjoying the tale so far. Not to worry. There may be some hard times ahead but things will turn out okay.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 2 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Great story hope everything works out alright.

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

      Ah, yes, Paula. A little trouble in Paradise, for sure. Connie will be doing a good thing for herself and the puppies to leave that one behind. Thanks so much for the visit and insight.

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

      Shyron, we had a dog named Chipper. Actually his real name was Charles Chips. Sometimes we called him horse! Glad to hear about your boy. The boys really do love their Mommies.

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

      Hi Verlie, Your comment really lifted my spirits and I'm so glad you liked the music video. I hadn't heard it in a long time but it did seem to fit. Thanks for enjoying it and for taking time to post. I saw a Pinterest suggestion from you that really was cool. Not sure if I can use their photos because of copyright issues, but thanks! The photo was great.

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

      Hello Mike, So nice of you to drop by and get caught up on the story. This one was handwritten in 2005 and I'm transcribing it now as I try to come up with a win-win ending. We'll see where it goes. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Hello Peg.....Hmmm, a bit of trouble in Paradise? The more we get to know some people, the more we love our dogs............Stay safe Connie & "kids."

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 months ago from Texas

      Peg, true words are often spoke in jest, but I know that hubby loves me and he loves Chipper. The truth is He wanted a dog just like Butch. I did not, but now Chipper is my little boy. It is a long story. But, no he has not come between us.

      Blessings my friend.

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

      Hello Linda Jo, Having a "Plan B" is a good idea when in a relationship like this. The suitcase was her Plan B. So glad to see that you care about the characters and thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

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

      Hi there Linda, Thanks for sticking with the story. Please know there will be no animals harmed in the text of this story. They may have a rough patch or two, but all will end well.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 2 months ago from Canada

      Oh Peg! What a story. What a ride. I love how Connie had a safety plan ahead of the inevitable. I hope all goes well at the end of the line...Gorgeous dogs. Great song choice, perfect.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

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

      Hello Peg - What a sad episode in the Adventures of Cookie the Stray series. Frustration at all levels. My guess is the author has the dogs best interest at heart. See, I have now caught up with the story, just like I said.

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

      Hi there Flourish, I'll try to be quick in posting more chapters so you will have an answer. I truly appreciate your comments and they serve as encouragement to keep on going. You've got that right about "Run Connie, Queenie and family," and don't look back. Thanks so much for the visit and great comment.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Shyron, Thanks for the great question. The answer is in a future chapter. I hope you're kidding about peeking in your window. I can remember a time in the distant past when someone I fell for... well...since then it's been Love Me, Love My Dog as a criteria.

      Glad you like the story and thanks again. Blessings to you, friend.

      BTW I read a good book that's a blessing during these times of loss in our lives. It's called "90 Minutes in Heaven." Wonderful.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 2 months ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Sad story! I hope that suitcase was her hidden stash for leaving the crazy man.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Jackie, Good to see you and thanks!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a dramatic chapter! I hope Connie, Queenie, and the puppies stay safe and happy for as long as possible.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA

      I’m with Shyron, wonder what is next. I hope she’s leaving him and taking her three babies with her. Anyone who is jealous of a mama dog and her babies isn’t worth arguing with. Run, Connie, Queenie and family!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 months ago from Texas

      Oh wow! Peg, have you been peeking in my window? Is she leaving her husband or just taking the puppies to find them homes?

      Can't wait for the next installment.

      Blessings my friend.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Getting interesting Peg!