Dog eyes: what stories lie behind those sad eyes?
The stray dog that we found yesterday seemed so sad. So scared, and worried that we would hit her. I wondered where she came from and what will happen to her next. Obviously this is from my imagination but it could be true.
The Sparkle of Hope
What is going to happen to me now? Only a few months ago I’d spend the days out in the paddocks. I would help my master with the cows and when I finished that I’d go chasing after the kangaroos and rabbits. At night I would lie in my nice dry kennel outside the fence that my master lived inside.
Then some of the cows were taken away. One evening my master took some bottles out into the paddock, he drank them. They smelled foul. On the way home he yelled at me and gave me a kick when I came too close. Within a few weeks the rest of the cows were taken. My master took me away from the farm. There were no cows here, though somewhere in the distance I could smell and occasionally hear them, when the wind blew just right.
I lived inside his new fence other fences were all around each had its own dog in it. The clatter of bottles still came from this new house. The door banged and my master came stumbling out. I looked around to see if I could see anyone who had hurt him. There was no one. Something hit my side and booted me onto the grass, bottles smashed. The smell of those bottles hung in the air and clung to my masters clothes. I got to my feet.
A whimper escaped from my mouth and I cringed backwards as masters foot came towards me. Again I fell. It happened most nights. Whenever my master actually remembered to bring me any food he would give me a kick along with it. I worried about my master, something in him had changed. Then he brought out the gun. Memories of his praise when I caught a young rabbit stirred in my mind. I remembered the huge hare I had flushed out of the wild olive bushes and how he had shot it. This time the gun levelled at me. I just stood there, until the shot whipped past just over my back. If I’d leaped into the air sooner it would have hit me. Now I turned and ran tail between my legs.
Over the fence and along the road I streaked. Dogs in the other pens growled and barked. Through a gap between fences, I kept running, towards the smell of cows. I blundered through another fence. My feet slid from under me and I fell into the muddy bottom of a creek. I ran on. Around a small shed I came to a tangle of grass and bushes. Panting I slunk into them and lay down.
Sunlight tickled my eyelids. I woke. Footsteps came close and receded, I lay flat to the ground, still. Later I ventured out, but a door opened and a girl came out, she looked straight at me. I ran back into the grass. The girl followed me and brought a rope and another girl. They tied the rope around my neck, they didn’t hit or shout.
The rope tugged pulling me forwards. My collar started to slip forwards, they looped another end of rope around my neck. Another girl had a strange black thing hanging from her neck, which she had pointed at me, I tensed, I tried to hide behind the girl with the rope, nothing happened, except a clicking noise. More people appeared and we all set off walking up a road. I sensed we were heading away from the cows, towards my master. I kept my tail between my legs, glancing over my shoulder I wondered how far away the cows were. Where had our cows gone?
One of the bigger people occasionally went off the road and up smaller roads and through gates to more of the brick buildings. Then we turned and headed back, I jogged along in front of the girl who held the rope, instead of dawdling behind. Back through the gate and to a post where the big person put a loop of the rope around it. The girl with the black thing on her neck brought a container. I found she points the black thing at the people too. The rope girl filled it with water and placed it near me.
The sun grew hotter, I barked, my skin prickled in the heat. I continued barking. The big person moved me to a different post in the shade. The day wore on. I watched the people moving about two of them left and the other seven waved. Some of them left and came back again. The one with the black thing around her neck came towards me. She rubbed my ears. The also gave me some food, I waited for them to kick me. They didn’t. The girl with the black thing walked up the road and came back with a basket of oval objects that looked like eggs. She walked past me and into the building, as if I hadn’t been there. Maybe I wasn’t there. Maybe this is a dream; maybe my master really did beat me so much that I don’t know what is going on. Maybe he never beat me, but I can feel the pain in my ribs and the place on my back where the bullet grazed my fur.
The sky darkened, clouds crept up from the east. The sun sank below the horizon. Head on paws, I slept again buffeted by the winds of the night.
The sun rose on yet another day, slowly warming me, from the outside in. Footsteps, I looked up, the person with the black thing around her neck. She pointed it at me again. It clicked a few times then she scratched my ears. I rolled over her foot came towards me. To kick me, what had I done? I leaped up and backed away as far as the rope would allow. She didn’t kick though. The girl stretched out her hands to scratch me. She talked to me and rubbed my ears like my master used to do, a long time ago. More clicking of the black thing then with a final scratch she left.
A Ute came roaring down the road, a dog in the back barked. It had black fur with white markings, just like me and the Ute looked like my masters. I trembled all over, would he find me? But what was he doing with that other dog going towards the cows? Was that other dog me? Was I someone else, is that what had happened? I barked at the other dog, he barked back.
The girl came again and pointed the black thing at me, I wagged my tail. Later a car turned in the driveway and parked next to me. A lady got out. The people from the house came out and they talked. The lady ran a smooth round object with a handle over me and shook her head. Another cord around my neck, then the lady took the rope off. She led me to the back of her car. She motioned for me to jump up, just like my master used to, before his heart went bad.
I measured the distance with my paws, backed up and sprang into the air. I landed nicely. Then I noticed the cage, the lady pushed me in it smelt strange. I turned around, but the lady lifted me a bit and shoved me gently but firmly in. She slipped the cord from my neck and the cage door clanged shut.
“There has been one report of a missing dog, we will see if it is her, If not she will go to the pound. They should be able to find a home for her. She looks to be a very friendly dog when she is not so scared. Just a little while ago we had another kelpie cross and she got snapped up almost straight away.”
What would happen now? I do not know, but I hope it shall be something better. With a nice family or back out on a farm, with some cows. As I left I wondered if the girl with the black thing around her neck saw the sparkle in my eyes, the sparkle of hope.