Tails Tale

On my way to work, six months ago, there was a treacherous storm. I remember that day very vividly. I work in a quaint little bookstore tucked away amongst towering buildings. It sits next to an alley, which honestly, looks creepy to me. I hustled under the bookstore awning and tried to shake away the rain. I noticed movement in a box just inside the alley. I squinted for a better look. Three little puppies were jumping about trying to get away from the rain. I ran to them and scooped them up. As I made my way to the back room, my boss (Grandfather) shook his head and laughed. I heard his words trail after me, “don’t let them make a mess.” I dried them off, tossed the seat cushion in a box and sat them on it. My sister visited the day before and left behind a box of baby oatmeal. I mixed it with milk and positioned the bowl in front of the pups. They lapped it right up. Poor little guys were starving. They were very young. On a closer inspection, I discovered two girls and a peculiar boy. He had what appeared to be, two tails. It didn’t seem to affect his health. He didn’t yelp when I examined it. He licked my face and bounced around playfully. I took them up to the front with me. I worked a little then played with the pups a little. I never considered having a dog of my own. There’s a big world out there to explore and a dog would slow me down. Not to mention, I’m not certain that I could give him the love that he would need. A woman came in and purchased some books. She inquired about the pups. Within five minutes, the girls each had new families to love. An hour passed when a mom and boy came in. He picked up the pup and looked him over curiously. “What’s wrong with it?” “He’s unique,” I said, slightly offended. With a raised eyebrow he asked his mom if he could take it home. As the pup was carried out the door, his eyes met mine. There was something…and then he was gone. I’ve spent six months thinking about that day. Eight days ago, as I walked into the bookstore, I noticed movement in the alley. I moved closer and realized it was that pup. He was in bad shape. I scooped him up and took him to the animal hospital. His ear was sliced open but sutures corrected it. He had several bare spots over his body with open wounds but ointment would heal those. His left eye was bloody and infected. He’s blind in that eye but can see from the other. The pads of his feet were cracked and bleeding but they will heal in time. He cringes and it’s obvious that fear pulses through his veins every time someone makes a move around him. I’m not certain that will heal but I will try my best. Eight days ago, I was reunited with this special pup. I named him Tails. He hides under the sofa and watches as I move about the apartment. He comes when I put food down but won’t let me touch him. The past few days have been rough. This evening as I relaxed on the sofa, Tails jumped up, looked at me for a moment and then curled up against me. I lightly stroked his fur and hugged him gently.

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I remember feeling scared and alone. I jumped up and looked at my momma for a moment then I curled up against her. She licked my fur and pulled me close. Early the next morning, my sisters and I were put in a box. With a thud, we hit the ground. It was dark and cold. Water was falling on us. We yelled for help and tried to escape. A shadowy figure moved toward us. He took us inside, dried us and filled our bellies. He seemed very nice. I never considered having a human of my own. There’s a big world out there to explore and a human would slow me down. Not to mention, I’m not certain that I could give him the love that he would need. After some time, my sisters left and never returned.  A young boy picked me up and looked me over. I had a feeling that was unfamiliar wash over me. As the boy carried me out the door, my eyes met the guys who saved me. There was something…and then he was gone. A few weeks passed. The boy was bad about remembering to feed and water me. So, when he did…I was extremely happy. I didn’t like the way he played. He found it exciting to; put me in toy cars and roll me down slides, strap me to remote helicopters and make me fly, put me on remote boats and crash them, put me inside boxes with the lid closed for a day or two, and wrap tape around my paws so that I would walk funny. The boy had a friend come over to play sometimes. Those are the days that I hated most. They would tape firecrackers to me and laugh as I ran. When my fur caught on fire, they would toss me in the pool. One morning, they smeared hair removal crème around my left eye. I remember how bad it began to burn. My vision started to fade. An excruciating pain flooded my mind. At first, I was frozen with intense pain and then I lashed out. I bit the boy who was attempting to cut off my ear with scissors. I ran as fast as I could. I didn’t look back or stop. When there was a enough distance between us, I looked around. I knew this area. The bookstore. I hobbled just inside the alley in case the boys came past. I collapsed with exhaustion. I was weak and losing conscience. A shadow moved closer. I woke up and my wounds felt a little better. It was difficult to move. There were tubes attached to me, but they seemed to be helping. I didn’t feel as thirsty or hungry. A face leaned down to just inches away from me. He smiled and gently rubbed my paw. I pulled back. The next day, I went home with the guy from so long ago. He gave me a bed of my own. My bowl always had food and water in them. He talked to me a lot. He asked what happened and came up with his own logic. He told me about work and things he wanted to do when I healed. I just listened and watched him. Sometimes, he reached to me but I backed up. He didn’t push it. The pain on my body was almost gone. I felt alone and scared. I jumped up next to my human, looked at him for a moment and then curled up against him. He lightly stroked my fur and pulled me close.