Monday, 6 October 2008

Chapter Two

I awoke in the middle of the night and I was scared. I did not recognize where I was. Where was my mother? Where were my brothers and sisters. I was alone. I started to cry. Suddenly a bright light went on and Mrs. Boss appeared. She hugged me, put something warm into my box for me to cuddle up to and went away. This happened two or three times, my crying and her coming but she did not get angry or upset. Eventually I settled down to sleep.

The next day dawned and outside onto the green stuff I went again. I loved it. I was feeling braver and went off exploring, sticking my nose into everything. Strange coloured objects that Mrs. Boss grew and tended. There was water out there with strange creatures swimming in it but they did not come out to and do anything. They could not run around and I wondered why. There were all sorts of nooks and crannies to be explored and then Boss and Mrs. Boss came out and played with me.

A few minutes later, Boss disappeared inside and came out with another dog. I had seen this dog briefly the previous day but not for long. I think the humans felt I had experienced enough in one go. They left us alone together and she, for it was a bitch, ran up to me and examined me all over. She wagged her tail in joyous greeting. She told me that her name was Bonnie and that she had lived here happily for many years. She had been very sad because not long before she had lost her life-long companion and had been very lonely ever since. She was a cross-bred Border Collie, mainly white but with lots of black on her face and patches and spots of back on her body. She told me her friend had been Brandy, a brown Lhasa Apso. She was getting on in years and definitely feeling her age, but within minutes I had her running around chasing me and we heard Boss and Mrs. Boss laughing.

We were great friends from that first moment. She adopted me and taught me everything a dog should know. I made her feel young again and she soon regained lots of her energy and lust for life. She was like a second mother to me and we cuddled up together when we got tired of playing.

Then it was out in the car again. I did not know whether I was coming or going. We went into this strange building. I did not like the smell very much and we had to sit waiting with other people and their animals, but the humans all smiled at me. Then into another room and a man with a white coat on. I was put on a kind of table and this man looked into my eyes and my ears and down my throat and listened to my chest, felt all my joints and then ruffled my fur and said I was an excellent dog. I did not like it much when he stuck something sharp into me and presented Mr. Boss with a little card to show he had done it, but then back we went outside and into the car and home where Bonnie was waiting.
Bonnie was not alone. She had a couple of strange creatures with her. Much smaller than either she or I. They made strange mewing sounds. When I bounded in they were very surprised and very wary. They surveyed me with suspicious eyes and kept their distance at first. But, one by one, they eventually came up to me and began to rub their heads against mine in acceptance and friendship. There were five of them in all, Peanut, Flicky, Muffin, Jasper and Tinker. They were all ages, all sizes and all different colours. They did not join in our games. They were much too haughty for that. They had their own games which were not much fun for us dogs who liked to tear round and around the garden as it was called until we were exhausted. So there were the seven of us, we all ate at the same time and all had our separate feeding bowls. I used to hear Mrs. Boss laugh and say it was like a zoo whatever a zoo was. I came to know these other creatures as cats and they became mine. I decided I was going to be their guardian and see they came to no harm. I recognized each one and herded them up at mealtimes. However, if any other cat came onto our piece of ground, our personal turf, I knew it for a stranger and soon chased it off although I would never harm them.

This was all so different. Every experience was new and different, exciting and interesting. I thought of my mother and my siblings. I longed to tell them of the adventures I was having but then I remembered how I had been told that we would have to be parted one day, that we had our own lives to lead and that I must be brave and strong and make her proud of me and because I was having so much fun, I did not dwell on memories for long.

I soon learned that there were times of the day for exercise, times of the day for playing, times to eat and times to be quiet. The being quiet times were mostly in the evenings when Mrs. Boss (Mr. Boss was out at work) sat in front of a box and watched moving pictures. There was talking and music and regular things seemed to appear on it, I learned to recognise the tunes. One day another box came into the house. That also had pictures appear on it but it was different because Mrs. Boss sat much closer to it and her fingers would tap away at something. I hear the word keyboard mentioned but it did not mean much to me.

My enjoyment came from other things. I soon learned that the world was a big big place. There were fields to run and chase in, woods that had so many trees it made my mind reel. I was taken to run on something called “the beach” and the stuff under my feet was completely different, firm but wet - and there was water. I enjoyed walking in it but I did not like the sound of it much and I refused to go into is properly. There were other homes we visited as well and I was always made welcome. I learned the different weather. Sometimes I would go out and get soaking wet, others time something blew against me with such a force that it raised all my fur and sent my ears flapping. Sometimes it was misty and hard to see. The most amazing thing of all was one morning when I flew out into the garden to suddenly find I was standing in white stuff that came halfway up my legs! It was cold white stuff as well and more of it was falling out of the sky. It was a mystery to me. Mrs. Boss came out with me, gathered some of this white stuff into her hands and formed a ball shape which she threw at me to catch. I did, of course, and it melted in my mouth and became water.

Watch a strange but wonderful place this world was.

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