The Daddy kept his distance. He almost never had a good word to say, but he was the pack leader and I loved him, too.
One day he said, “Get up, boy! Get up, there!”
I wanted to prove I was a good boy. I wanted to show him I knew what to do. I wanted him to call me good and love me, so I jumped up and went into the kennel.
He shut the door and I waited, but there was no treat. Then they all got inside the car, and it started to move.
I began to cry. I didn’t want to be alone, but I wasn’t scared at first. Then the car started to move very fast. The wind felt like thorns against my skin. My eyes teared up and hurt. It was hard to breath. Then I was scared, and I got the sick.
The car slowed down, and finally it stopped, and I was happy. They got out. I thought they would let me come down, but the Daddy looked at me sternly. He had a hose and started spraying me with water. I think he was trying to drown me. I barked and barked but nobody helped me. The boys were laughing.
It felt very cold when the car started to move again and I was still wet. I stayed in a corner, making myself small. I couldn’t stop crying, but now I was afraid they would hear me and punish me for making trouble.
I wish I knew what I did wrong.
Then we stopped again. The daddy was looking at me. He reached up and opened the kennel door. I was sure he was going to kill me, and so I ran.
I heard the boys shouting my name. Yelling for me to come back. But they were also laughing and I knew they wouldn’t protect me from the Daddy, so I kept going until I couldn’t go anymore.
I was hungry and thirsty. I was lost and alone. I lay down to die. I saw the lights come toward me, but I couldn’t move.
The car stopped right next to me. The grill was so close I could feel its heat.
The stranger got out. I barked to scare her away, but she came right up to me. She wasn’t afraid. She wasn’t angry. She talked to me softly, and said, “C’mon. C’mon boy.” So I followed her. She opened up the door of her car and let me inside.
That was when I knew I was home.