This is a fictional short story, in 415 words.
It was still cold and wet, and he shivered as he squeezed into the side of the wall for protection from some of the north wind. There was puddle-water to drink at least, but no food in the metal bowl that he had licked to a shiny clean. The feeling in his stomach was more of an ache than a pain, and the last meal was just a memory.
But there was pain around his neck. Pain where the tight, rusty chain had worn away the skin as he struggled to get free of it. That hadn’t worked, but even if it had, there was the high fence and locked gate to deal with. It had been light and dark many times since he had last seen anyone in the yard. How long that was was a mystery, but his stomach was telling him it was too long.
No point making a noise anymore. That hadn’t made any difference. Nobody had responded to his cries and wails. It was time to turn around again, take the pressure off the sores on one side. The rough concrete was hard to rest on, and moving around too much caused chafing and more pain. At least he could lie down. Just about.
Sleep was the only release. But you could only sleep for so long.
A noise, sounds. Heavy footsteps, and a strange smell. He tried to get up, but the pain from the sores made it hard.
“This looks like the place. I can see it from the fence, chained up by the wall”. The man tried the old lock on the gate, rattling it hard.
“Get the cutter from the van, I can’t shift this”.
He could see him now. Big, all in black, and smelling of cats, and other dogs.
A loud clang.
Kind hands ruffled his neck. The snapping noise as the chain was cut free.
“Come on boy. We’re going to look after you. Clean you up, get some food inside you”.
He allowed the big man to scoop him up in strong arms.
Trusting, but why not? There was nothing to lose.
The cage inside the van was roomy, and there was a soft rug to curl up on.
The man closed the cage door. He was showing his teeth, in a good way.
“We will take care of you, boy”.
He closed the outer door, and it was dark and warm inside.
“With any luck, we will find you a new friend soon”.