The Twelve Dogs of Christmas

Hope, Creative Narrative Writer

One joyful Christmas morning two little girls received one of the best gifts ever: a dog.  This dog was jumpy and fun, and that dog is me. The genuine thrill on their faces made up for all the sorrow and horror of my past. It was such honest happiness I couldn’t help but enjoy it. Well, as we all know, before you have the rainbow, there’s a storm. Obviously, the moment my new owners received me on Christmas was my rainbow, but my past was not so colorful.

Two years ago, on Christmas day, I had a very different story to tell. I had just been thrown out of my previous owner’s home. His name was Paul.  I was thrown into a dark, thin alley where it smelt of dead fish. My old owner did not like me at all – he bought me for his old girlfriend, who a few months after getting me, left him. After she left, Paul didn’t address me much. He rarely fed me, and if he did, it would be a few bites of food that he didn’t eat during his last meal.

I endured three months of this torture until finally Christmas rolled around. On Christmas day of that year Paul was especially angry; he was mad that he was all alone on Christmas. I would’ve been happy to have helped and been some comfort on this particularly dreary day, but before I could, I found myself in the wet, cold alley. Fear and relief were the emotions I felt that Christmas day.

I was terrified of the idea of having to find my own food and shelter – even though I didn’t get much at home before, it was still enough to stay alive. Now, I had to fend for myself. Despite these scary thoughts running through my brain, a weight had been lifted of my shoulders. No more Paul, no more barely eating, and no more neglect.

I knew not how or when, but I trusted that something big was going to happen in my future. That scary, but hopeful night I wandered the streets praying to find some sort of shelter, or at least something that could keep me out of the heavy snow. Well, after I searched and searched, I finally found a nice hole under someone’s porch and decided to snuggle myself inside.

After what seemed to be only seconds of sleep, I was rudely awoken. I felt myself being pulled, hard out of my little shelter. When I looked up at the person pulling me, I noticed how mean he looked. It was a tall, bald man. He looked me right in the eye with a grim look on his face. He carried me away from my little hole and walked me into the back of a truck. When I looked around the truck, I saw many other dogs; they were all locked up in cages. Then the mean man threw me into a cage as well. He locked me up in a crate then slammed the truck door.

When the door closed, the truck became pitch black and the hope I felt the day before was sucked out of me just like the light was sucked out of that truck. Slowly, as the truck began to move, my eyes began to droop and I fell asleep. Then, again I had a very rude awakening. My crate was being picked up by another man; he seemed to be talking to someone on the phone about where to place me. This made me very anxious because I didn’t know where I was going.

I didn’t have time to worry long though because soon, I was being picked up and brought to a small little room. It looked like a prison cell from one of Paul’s lego batman games. Little did I know,  I was going to be spending two years of my life in this cage. All I could think was “it could be worse” and tried to appreciate that I was healthy, with plenty of food. The only problem was that I was stuck.

The only human interactions I had was when a nice lady with purple hair and a red shirt would come and feed me. Then, one day when I was being fed by the nice lady with the purple hair, more people started to walk down the hall where twelve other dogs and I stayed. The hall filled with murmurs and whispers, but right by my cage I overheard a booming voice – the man who ripped me out of my hole under the porch. He was saying how he had never opened this part of the building to possible adoptions, and he sounded scared. The man he was talking to looked very angry with the man who snatched me. The angry man then started to yell.

“Nick, these dogs have been stuck in here for two years! Do you expect me not to worry about it?” The man who had snatched me whose name was apparently, Nick, took off his hat shoved it into the other man’s chest and stormed out.

The new man looked at the hat and uttered to himself “For two years, twelve dogs were stuck in this hall. I shall fire everyone who took care of this side of the pound.” I knew what the word fired meant. I remember Paul and his girlfriend got in a big fight about it when Paul got fired from his job. I felt sad for all the people who were about to be fired, but at the same time I knew it was the right thing to do.

Over the next few days, lots of people walked down the hall and and eventually the twelve dogs who were stuck in this prison were all adopted, except for me. There I was, feeling depressed and hopeless until the door to the hall opened once again. A man I had never seen before was shuffling down the hall with the purple-haired lady.  The man saw me and his face lit up. The purple-haired lady opened up my little cell and the man instantly grabbed me and hugged me. Then he whispered, “This is the one.” The purple-haired lady picked me up and carried me outside of the hall, and after talking with a few people the purple-haired lady wrapped me up in a blanket and put me into the friendly man’s arms.

“Hello, there puppy,” the man whispered with a big grin on his face. I stared at him as he carried me; I felt so excited to finally have a home! He walked me to his car and plopped me in the back seat – though this time it felt exciting and it didn’t feel like I was being locked up into a cage, which in the past… I WAS!

He talked to me on the way home, told me that tomorrow was Christmas and that I was a very special present for his two little girls. In the back of my mind I hoped they wouldn’t be so disgusted by me like Paul’s girlfriend. However, I didn’t have to worry about that long because the man told me that the girls adored dogs, so I perked up a bit. As the joyful man drove down the road, I looked out the window, observing the white, fluffy snow fall gently onto the grass outside. After a while of watching the snow, I drifted off to sleep.

When I woke up, I was in a little bed next to a bigger, white bed. I jumped up onto it and there I found the man sleeping alongside a lady – she was very pretty. I cuddled up in between them then dozed off again. When I woke up in the morning, the man was shuffling around his room; he was wrapping a bone! I ran up to him and made the “perfect puppy” eyes I’d been practicing. He whispered to me that he’ll give it to me later. The man then started to tap the women in the bed and she woke up. He started to whisper to her and she looked at me. She jumped up and hugged me, then she turned around.

“Dan, we need to get the new dog downstairs, so we can surprise the girls.” Next thing I knew, I’m being rushed downstairs, and then to my horror, I’m locked into a cage and a blanket was put over my crate. I started to whine, but the women slipped a treat into the cage, and I become occupied with the sweet treat. I munched on the bone-shaped treat until I heard loud screeches outside my cage. I popped up and tried to bust the door open.

“Daddy, that box has a present on it. May I open it?!” a little girl yells. Then I’m out of the crate and in two happy, little girls’ arms. I had never felt so happy.

Today I live with my family, and now I feel loved and cared about. It’s the best feeling ever, and I know eleven other dogs have the same feeling because eleven other dogs fought the battle I did. We all have made it through, and my rainbow is so bright and colorful even though my storm was a little ruff.

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