Reading Perseus' post about the dog reminded me of one I'd read a while back. While this one is a story, it happens all too often, and I really wish there was something I could do about it. But as they say- you can't save the entire world.
The Christmas Puppy
- Author Unknown -
It seemed like such a good idea in the beginning. There I was, in my cage at the pet store with my brother and sister. I could tell by the crowds in the store everyday that Christmas was drawing near. My brother, sister, and I all hoped each morning that today would be the day we would go to a new home, one filled with loving, caring people.
First it was the beagle in the cage next to us. I saw the excited gleam in his eye as his new family prepared to take him home. I hoped one day that Iwould feel the same excitement. Then the cute little bunny from one aisle over was picked. When the ferret with the bad case of psoriasis found a newhome, I began to think I would stay a pet store puppy forever! Finally, it happened.
I had seen the couple in the store the week before, talking about bringing home a Christmas puppy for their son Billy. You see, Billy was eight years old, and had been pestering his folks for a puppy for some time now.
Although they were busy people, they had decided that a new puppy would make the ideal Christmas present for Billy. The car ride home was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. It seemed so cold outside, and I was very glad that Billy would keep me inside.
I stayed at Billy's aunt's house until the night before Christmas, so as not to ruin the surprise. That night, Billy's dad put me in a small, dark box with a couple of holes punched in the side for air. I could see through the holes the pretty green bow they had tied around my box.
Finally, it came time for Billy to open his presents. There was a GI Joe figure, some new slippers, and a big truck or two. At last, I felt my box being picked up and heard Billy's mom say, "OK, Billy, one more present. We saved the best for last". I felt like I was going to turn inside out with anticipation, when suddenly the box was flooded with light and there was my new boy, Billy. He shrieked so loud when he saw me that it was a little bit scary! "A puppy, a puppy!"
The first few days with Billy were puppy heaven! He was out of school you see, and had lots of time to take care of me. We played all day, and I slept in his bed at night. Things just couldn't have been better.
After a week or so, Billy's mom took me to my new doctor. By then, Billy's holiday vacation was over and he was back in school. The doctor told Mom all about how to keep me healthy and happy. Mom did seem a little distracted though, especially when the nurse from school called on her cell phone to say that Billy had a bloody nose.
I didn't even mind the shot I had to get, because like the doctor told me it was better than getting sick! As Mom and I left, the doctor reminded us that I needed more than just one shot to be protected, and I should come back in a month for another check-up. I never saw the doctor again.
As time went by, I really started to grow! I suppose that I wasn't quite as cute as before, because Billy and I didn't spend as much time together. He seemed to have a lot of things to do beside take me for walks and fill my food bowl.
Billy and his friends sat in front of a strange box filled with moving pictures every afternoon, playing some game I suppose. Heck, I couldn't even pronounce Nintendo, much less play those kind of games. I started to get confused about what my real name was.
At first, everyone called me Petey, which I thought was a great name. A funny thing started to happen when I got to be about six months old. Mom and Dad stopped calling me Petey, and started calling me "the dog". I guess that was OK, I am a dog after all. A few weeks later though, they changed my name again. Now I was "that darn dog". I wasn't sure, but I didn't think that was such a nice name.
Since my family didn't have much time for me anymore, I had to think of things to do on my own. I liked to chew, and so I did! Remember that GI Joe, Billy got for Christmas? Well somehow I managed to chew off his left leg, which Billy seemed mad about. After a couple more incidents like that, Billy's dad decided I should live outside.
Well, spring had come, and the weather was nice so I figured, why not? I thought they would build me one of those nice doghouses like I had seen in the pet store. Maybe it would have carpeting and a soft blanket to sleep on. Well, they must have forgotten to build it, because I spent most of the time tied to a tree in the yard.
That was OK for a while, but I began to get pretty bored. I found some nice soft dirt to dig in, but that made Mom mad. Something about flower bulbs and grass seed that I really didn't understand. There was a dog next door tied to a tree in his yard, so we spent most of the day talking. For some reason, that made Dad mad too! I just couldn't seem to do anything right.
Finally, one day I heard Dad say to Mom, "I don't care how you do it, just get rid of that darn dog!" I figured Billy would convince them I should stay, but he didn't much care one way or the other. Mom came outside and unhooked me from the chain. She put an old belt of Dad's through my collar and we went out to the car.
At first I thought it was time to go to the doctor's for a checkup. Once we drove off though, we headed in the opposite direction. I could hear all the dogs talking inside the building as soon as we turned into the driveway.
Mom and I went inside, and she handed the belt to the lady at the counter. Then she patted my head, and walked away, without me. The lady at the desk took me in the back and put me in a cage like the one I had in the pet store, only colder and dirtier. The room was filled with dogs, I even saw that cute Beagle I had known at the pet store.
That was five days ago. I guess that I must have a new home now, because a man came by this morning and put a red sticker on my cage door. Here comes the lady who feeds me, and she is carrying a thing to give shots with, just like my doctor did. As she walks me into another room, I see some of the friends I have made in this new place. Funny, they all seem to be asleep on the floor.
Oh well, the lady just told me not to worry, everything would be all right. She seems sad though, and I don't really understand why. Maybe being a Christmas puppy wasn't so great after all.