Today is the Day
Today is the day.
I just know it. Oh boy, do I know it. I’ve been here for quite a while now, but I can feel it all the way down in my tail that today is my day.
The building is dark, everyone else is still sleeping before the people come to let us out. But me? I’m ready. I sit here by the door of my kennel waiting patiently. Humans don’t like it when you jump around a lot, so I just sit quietly so they know I won’t hurt them. I’m ready for my day.
I perk my ears up as I hear the building’s door unlock, then open, before the lights are turned on. Suddenly everybody was awake, and it became very loud. There was always so much excitement in the mornings. Everybody shouting for different reasons.
“Outside! Outside! Lemme outside!”
“Food! Food! Food!”
“Gotta go potty! Gotta go potty!”
But I just sit here quietly. I know the Kind Man will let me out as soon as he can, I just have to be patient.
The Kind Man greets us with his usual “Good morning boys and girls,” and sets about his morning routine. The doors to the outdoor enclosures open and close as he made them ready for the day. He is a very nice man. He always makes sure there is cool, clean water to drink and there is always plenty of food- even though sometimes the others didn’t like to share. He always puts out the most wonderful toys to play with and when it’s hot, he even fills these big plastic things with water and we spend hours splashing around in them.
This is a nice place, but it is not a home.
I had a home before this, with my boy. He was a nice boy, but I guess I wasn’t. I remember the day he was packing all this stuff in his car. There was lots of stuff like boxes and bags and funny plastic things that smelled like food and that nasty brown water humans drink every morning. I told my boy countless times I didn’t think it was clean, but he never seemed to listen.
My boy and his parents came and went all day, always taking more stuff. I just watched, confused. What was going on? Were we going somewhere?
Finally, they came back, but this time I got to go too! I was so excited. I love car rides, you see, so I was the first one to the car. My boy let me into the passenger seat, my designated spot. I watched him hug his parents and saw his mother wipe away tears. I didn’t understand why. We’d be coming back soon anyways.
At the end of the car ride, though, we got to a different place I’d never seen before. It smelled so strange. I spent a lot of my first day there sniffing all around. I was excited by this new place. There were two other boys there as well to keep us company.
We were there for a couple weeks before things started changing. My boy started staying away longer. I was worried, so I stayed right by the door until he came home so I could make sure he was okay as soon as he got there. But when he did come home, he smelled funny. I had never smelled a smell so odd and not in a pleasant way. The first whiff I got, I sneezed and shook my head trying to get it out of my nose. He acted strangely too. He became so clumsy he was knocking things over and falling against the walls of our new house. I leaned up against his leg to help him get to his nice soft bed. Humans always have such nice beds. He would pet me very roughly and poked me in the eye several times, but it was okay, I knew he didn’t mean it. He was probably just sick. His nose was dry and warm, so that must have been it. On nights like these I would stay by his bed just in case he needed me.
It wasn’t long before things got worse though. Soon it would be a very, very long time before he came home. Sometimes I had to go outside so badly, but nobody was there to let me out, so I couldn’t help myself. I would have an accident and when my boy came home, he would yell at me and spank me. It’s okay though, I know it was my fault for going in the house. Other times, he would forget about dinner and I would be so hungry. All I would hear that day would be my tummy growling. At one point I was so hungry, I went looking in the trash and found some tasty leftovers he had thrown away. Humans always throw away such good food. I tried not to make a mess, but the big can toppled over. When my boy came home, he wasn’t happy. It’s okay though, I know I shouldn’t have done it and it was my fault.
The next day, he brought me here. It was very scary at first. I didn’t want to leave the car, but he gave the leash a tug and I knew I had to follow. I walked with him inside and heard him talking to a lady at a desk. I was so distracted by all the new smells and noises that I only heard a few phrases.
“No time… trouble… hassle…”
I didn’t quite understand it all. But then a man came and took the leash from my boy. He gave me a gentle tug toward the hallway. What? I had planted my feet and leaned against the leash. No, this was my boy, he needed me. I looked up to him, but he was already walking away, out the doors. I remember whining and crying all night long. The man who brought me back to the kennels was very gentle with me though. He sat with me for a while and pet me while I laid on a blanket wondering where my boy was and if he was okay. This stranger was so nice to me, I decided to name him the Kind Man.
It’s been some time since I had arrived in this place. I’ve lost count of the days. But here is the Kind Man now, smiling at me and ready to let me out for the day.
“Hey ole boy, how are you today?” He says to me.
I just wag my tail and give him the best smile I can. He laughs a bit then opens the door of my kennel. I never give him any trouble, he’s too nice for me to be a bother to. When he lets me out into the outdoor enclosure, I trot my way up to a full bowl of food. The Kind Man always lets me out first, so I can eat in peace before the younger ones come out and run me off. I eat my fill, then wash it down with crisp clean water right as the others are let out. They run around and chase each other, full of energy. I pick up a squeaky tennis ball and carry it to the front of the pen with me. I lie down in my usual spot and take to squeezing the ball between my teeth repeatedly. I love that sound. Squeak-squeak!
Soon people begin to walk through the outdoor pen area. I sit up straight, perk my ears, and make eye contact with every human. Today is the day. Humans love cuteness, so every now and then I raise my front paws in front of my chest and sit as still as possible when one stops by my pen.
“Please pick me,” I say to them.
But throughout the day, I see people picking others to go for walks. I wish I could go for a walk, or maybe even go to the dog park if I got a really nice human. Oh, that would be fun. I resume my cute sitting position, waiting patiently for one of the humans to choose me. Across the concrete yard, I see humans picking out babies and talking about how cute they are. That makes sense. Humans love babies. They’re soft and cuddly and very clumsy. I lick a spot on my leg that was rough and dirty. I would be soft with a good bath. And I’m just as cuddly as a puppy. In fact, I have more of myself to cuddle a human with. Surely a human wants something big to cuddle.
No matter how excited I get I sit still at the front of the pen. Remember- humans don’t like jumpiness. So, patience is key. Patience and cuteness. I try to give them my cutest facial expressions, but they don’t seem to work too well. Everyone else goes crazy when the humans come up to the pens. They shout and jump and barrel into one another. I have been knocked over several times, but I never let it bother me. They’re excited, and rightfully so. So, I let them have their fun.
As the day winds down and the humans start to leave, I let out a heavy sigh and look around. Many babies that were here this morning were no longer with their siblings. Even some of the older ones in the pens with me had left. They had very good days. Today was their day.
The Kind Man begins to bring us all back inside for the night. I stay put where I am, just in case a stray human is walking around in search of their new best friend.
Once all the others are in their kennels, the Kind Man comes back out for me. He kneels next to me and scratches the back of my neck.
“Still here, huh big guy?” He says to me.
I look over at him and lean into his frame. He is very warm and always gives me wonderful pets and scratches.
“I’m sorry ole boy, but its time to go back in,” The Kind Man continues.
I stand and stretch before shaking out my fur. I really would love a bath, but I’ll get one when I get a home. I follow the Kind Man into the building and he opens the door to my kennel.
He had put down my favorite blanket, as usual. He made sure every day that it was clean and fresh for me. He was such a nice human. He bends down and strokes my cheek.
“Maybe tomorrow, huh?” He says before closing my kennel door.
I make three circles before lying down on my blanket with a huff.
Today was not my day.
Tomorrow will be the day.
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