Shep watched as the fluffy clouds rolled by in the sky. He was sitting in the back seat of a small car, driving down the large highway, watching the passing scenery. Lilly sat beside him, grasping his collar tightly in her hand as she stared out the other window. Shep thought of what this new life was to be like. He had escaped his prison, but he was not sure of where he was going to next.
He might be heading for a new prison.
For some reason, the burning hatred of humans did not exist when he was around Lilly. It seemed as if she would cage the beast every time he felt it come. He had control over the feeling when she was around him, and he could sense that. He was starting to like this child, and he hoped that he would lead a happy life with her. Maybe he would finally find a place in this world to call “home”.
The car came to a stop as it pulled into a driveway. Shep hopped out of the car as Lilly’s mother opened the door for him. He glanced around at his surroundings before passing through the front door. He was in an average neighborhood with an average house. It was not too big, yet it wasn’t too small either. There was a decent homey-styled living room with a nice dining room area around the corner. Shep nervously explored the new area as his shoulders hunched next to his ears and his tail lay stiff by the ground. Two bedrooms were located upstairs with beds and dressers. It was a nice place, and the people looked very friendly.
That was of course, until “he” stepped in.
A tall man with a strong looking figure walked into the cozy living room where the family sat, playing with their new pet. “You got her a dog?” he asked the mother.
“Yes, I bought Lilly a dog. Do you have a problem with that?” she questioned.
“No, it’s fine. It will take her mind off of things,” he grumbled. Shep could instantly tell that these two did not get along very well together.
“Daddy!” burst out Lilly with her bright eyes glowing with her pink cheeks. “Look, look, look! We got a new puppy! His name is Shep,” she proclaimed as she pranced over to where her father had seated himself on the couch.
He equipped a remote in his hand, creating a flash of light as the television across the room came to life. “Well, that’s nice, Dear.” he said to her with no excitement in his voice. Shep had jumped when the new light had appeared into the room, casting a cold, blue glow on the family’s faces. He paced to the new object and stared at it. What was this? He would have to get used to some of the things around here, he realized, as he thought of all the new things he was to learn of humans.
After a few months, Shep had accustomed to the unusual flow of things in his new house. He didn’t have to do anything to receive fresh food and water everyday and nothing was expected of him. He could sense that he was made to work for his food earlier in his life, but it was missing from his memories. The people loved him and he loved them back. Or at least he loved Lilly in return.
Shep had realized why the mother had purchased him after just a few days of living with them. Lilly’s mother and father were having difficulties in their lives and argued and fought with each other constantly. Many times, Lilly would snatch Shep’s collar and drag him to her room. With tears streaming down her face, she would slam her door and run into a small corner. Burying her head into her knees she would cry and tell the world of her sadness. Shep would see the life taken from her eyes and would come closer to her, enough to allow the small child to grasp him and hug him like a teddy bear. She felt comfort in him and it calmed her to bury her face within the fur of his mane. It was at these moments that Shep felt the child needed him and appreciated him greatly. It was in these moments that Lilly would whimper and cry softly in her corner, making her dog feel the pain and sorrow that she was feeling. He would lay his head down in her lap and quietly wait for the screaming to cease downstairs. They would wish for better together. They would hope together.
Whenever yells did not flood throughout the house, Lilly and her dog would never be separated. On bright sunny days, neighbors could look forward to seeing Lilly strolling down the brick wall of the park with her dog following behind, or watching them play Catch and Frisbee in the meadows. They would sniff flowers and watch birds together, always with the other by their side. On gloomy days, the two would stay indoors and create castles made of boxes. Lilly found joy in “slaying the evil dragon, Shep” and he enjoyed every bit of it also. Whenever the vulnerable child would be sick, she could always count on her pet to lay on her bed with her. It comforted her knowing that he would be with her, and that she could depend on him forever.
Shep enjoyed his newly found life. He hadn’t felt the violent feeling within him since his days at the pound, and he sensed that it had disappeared completely. His instincts had settled, and his senses had even dulled down a bit as he grew to love his home. Lilly was the joy in his life, and he hoped that they would never be separated for as long as he lived. He no longer felt alone and confused anymore. He still could not recall the thoughts that lay dormant within his mind, but he was making new memories, and he was enjoying them. Happiness was all around him, and he could always be found with his long, bushy tail wagging frantically and his slimy tongue hanging out of the side of his long snout.
As time went on, the two friends’ love for each other grew stronger. Shep experienced his first snow with Lilly and he had fun sliding down snow-covered hills with her, or rolling and making snow-angels. They experienced Christmas together and confused Shep when the father brought a large pine tree into the house. He was puzzled at the weird and unusual things that humans did, but he did feel the joy when Lilly saw the tree all decorated in garland and glass ornaments. He loved to see her eyes light up with delight and to see her cheeks glow a soft red. On New Year’s Shep was brought to a park with the family as they watched fireworks in the sky. Once again he was confused with the bright lights, but he enjoyed it, because Lilly enjoyed it. Shep was for once, happy in his life, and he never wanted it to end.
He was filled with the bubbly feeling of joy until Lilly was harshly taken away from him…