A New Friend

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”.

56 thoughts on “A New Friend

  1. There are several nasty human beings abroad (and at home…) but, fortunately they are outweighed by the goodies, and long may that be the case, Pete. Ah, a tear in my eye to be sure. Thank you. Best wishes. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Joy. Sadly, many dogs are still abandoned like this every year, especially in industrial locations like former scrap-yards and closed-down businesses.
      Luckily, we have lots of good rescue organisations.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  2. You set us up again, Pete. I was expecting the gruesome ending that you like to spring on us, but instead, it was kind and gentle. Have a pleasant day!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful story Pete. This brought back so many memories of my pup Whitney. She was a free to good home type of find. When I went to get her the owner said wait here , shes outside. So when she came in the size of a Shepard Lab mix I thought wow this dog is huge. She came right to my left side and sat down looking up at me with eyes that spoke volumes, Get me outta here ! I said I’d take her and off to the vet we went. The vet told me this poor animal was near death, and needed surgery and also removal of back teeth due to being chained up all the time, she had tried to bite through the chains and broke the teeth, which were in bad shape. After a year of vet appointments she was back to perfect health and she had the heart of an angel. It always amazes me how an animal can be treated so badly and still have such a big heart. Thank you for these cherished memories of my Whitney…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Nicely done Pete, things are changing here in Poland, but its still all too common to see dogs chained up, I have to stop myself from rescuing them or we would have a barn full by now and no money to feed them. I think the law changed in the last few years so it will filter through soon I hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay that two comments mixed in one. I was saying I never thought I would be soo glad to see a thief. And for some reason, I never realised it was not a human we were talking about until the last para. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Pete. I would blame my ignorance on the fact that there no dog rescue employees in India. At least I have never seen any. I still maintain, it is a great story.

        Liked by 1 person

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