Friday, January 29, 2016

Traveler - A Dog's Tale. Part Five

Popsy called me, and I came running over to him. He picked up some of the snow, and squeezed it between his hands until the snow became a ball. He threw the ball far off, and I flew after it at full speed. I reached the spot where the ball had made a deep hole in the snow. I used my muzzle to reach into the hole, but the ball had disappeared! I couldn’t understand it. I could smell the faint scent of Popsy's hands, so I knew the ball had to be there. I kept digging deeper and deeper into the snow with my head and my paws, but I couldn’t find the ball. Popsy called me back and threw another snowball for me - this time high up in the air. I jumped up and caught it between my jaws. To my delight, this ball exploded in my mouth, turning into small bits of cold, wet snow.

 Next, Momsy threw the squeaky ball for me to chase. I ran after it, and buried my head in the snow to find it. I could smell my scent on it, and grabbed it in my mouth, making it squeak. I brought it back, and we played fetch a few more times. Then Popsy put the leash back on my collar, and the three of us went for a walk together, the fresh snow making creaking sounds whenever Momsy or Popsy took a step. After we had walked for a while, my paws started to hurt, and I shook them each in turn. Momsy bent over to check my feet, and pulled some cold, hard stuff - she called them ‘ice balls’ - out from between my toes and my paw pads. That made my paws feel a bit better, but Popsy said that we should probably go back.

The next few days flew by. During the day, we played in the snow, went for walks, and had lots of fun together. In the evenings, we relaxed in front of the television set - another new experience for me. How did all those people and animals live in such a small box? And, why didn't any of them smell? I tried to walk around behind the box and find where everybody went when I couldn't see them anymore, but there was no one there. I don't know why, but it made Momsy and Popsy laugh when I looked for the missing people.

Then, one morning, something changed. “It doesn’t look as though anyone is going to call,” I overheard Popsy saying to Momsy after we had finished breakfast, “and tomorrow is the end of our holiday. We’ll have to take Traveler to the shelter.”

Momsy nodded with tears in her eyes. “I know,” she said. “When do you think we should go?”

“Now,” he replied with a sad voice. “There’s no point in prolonging it.”

Momsy swallowed so hard that I could hear her, and went to find my leash. “Want to go for a ride in the car, Traveler?” she whispered.

I looked uncertainly from Momsy to Popsy. For the first time since I’d met them, I hesitated before walking over to have my leash clipped on. We rode the elevator all the way down to the bottom of the building, and walked over to a car. Popsy opened the door and told me, “Jump in.” I leaped onto the car seat; Popsy got behind the wheel, just like The Mister used to, and Momsy took the seat beside him. I curled up in the back seat right behind Popsy, and the car started to move. It was a different feeling riding inside Popsy's car instead of in the back of The Mister's pick-up truck - softer, warmer, and more comfortable. I could get used to this, I told myself, as the gentle hum of the car put me to sleep.

I awoke when the car stopped moving. Popsy and Momsy both got out before Popsy opened my door and told me to jump out. I could hear lots of barking coming from inside a low, long building. It wasn’t happy barking, and the strong smell of dog was mixed with the scent of fear. I didn’t like this place, and I was afraid to get out of the car. But Popsy gave a gentle tug on my leash, and I jumped out. We walked into the building and up to a counter. A girl with a friendly face and a cheery voice greeted us, and asked us if she could help. Popsy talked with her for a while, and she kept nodding. Then she handed him a sheet of paper, and Popsy wrote something on it before giving it back to her. She held out her hand, and Popsy handed her my leash. “Come on, boy,” she said to me, giving me a pat on the head. “Come with me.”

I dug in my feet; I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to me, and I didn’t want to go. Momsy and Popsy crouched down beside me and gave me hugs. “Go with Sarah,” Momsy whispered to me before standing up and running out of the building. Popsy gave me a final pat before following Momsy.

I stared after them, and tried to follow them outside, but I felt a strong tug on my leash. “Come on, boy,” Sarah said. “Time to see your new home.” I had no choice. I walked very slowly as Sarah pulled me gently along after her. We passed through a door into a large room with rows of cages. Each cage had a dog inside. The dogs were all different shapes, sizes and colors, but they all had two things in common. They were all barking, and they were all scared. The smell of their fear was so strong that it flooded my brain. I cringed, and dragged on the leash until we came to an empty cage. Sarah opened the door, pushed me inside, and closed the door behind me; then she reached through the wires of the cage and removed my leash. As she walked away, I added my voice to the chorus of barking.

I don’t know how long I was there, but I had grown weary. I went to the far corner of the cage, circled around, and lay down in a tight curl, my nose tucked under my tail. I couldn’t sleep, though. I didn’t know what would happen next, but I had a bad feeling about this place. Dimly, I heard a door open in the distance, and then I heard someone open the door of my cage. Sarah came inside and clipped my leash onto my collar. “Come with me, boy,” she said. I didn’t care any more where she was taking me; I stood and went with her. She took me back the way we had come, past all the cages of barking dogs. We walked through a door into the front area of the building, and there they were. Momsy and Popsy were standing there, calling my name. Sarah let go of my leash, and I ran over to them, jumping up and covering their faces with my wet kisses.

They knelt and hugged me, laughing and crying at the same time. “We couldn’t do it, Traveler,” Popsy said. “We couldn’t leave you here. We’ll figure something out. Let’s go home.”

©2016 Phyllis Entis. All rights reserved.


  1. :) I'm a sucker for a dog story with a happy ending. Thanks!

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  3. Sweet story, Cuzzie. It would make a great kid's book with illustrations.. or photos..! ;)

  4. Yes, very sweet story. I too could see this as an illustrated children's book. Something to think about!

  5. thankful for the happy ending!

  6. We need more endings like this. Thanks for the good read!

  7. Thank you, everyone, for visiting Prompt Prose and for taking the time to read and comment on Traveler - A Dog's Tale.

  8. What a great story! I really enjoyed reading it and hope you will do more pieces on Traveler or other pooches.