Two teenagers walked into the room where Shep was now lying on the floor. One carried a leash while the other held a muzzle in his gloved hand. One looked to the other with a confused look on his face. “Is he dead?” he asked with a bit of fear reflecting from his eyes.

The second teenage boy glanced at him with a slight shrug. “I don’t know. We thought he was dead when he was brought in, but look at what happened to Joanne. Obviously he wasn’t.”

The first boy still had a look of doubt and stooped to get a closer look at the german shepherd. He pulled the empty syringe from his torn shoulder. “This is used to put down animals. I think he’s dead.” He stood and placed the empty syringe onto the counter beside him. “You should poke him or something…y’know, just to make sure.”

The second person looked to the first. “I should,” he said blankly. He placed his leash onto the table and studied Shep. He poked the bloody side with the tip of his shoe and brought it back in disgust. “Ahh, he got blood on my shoe. Stupid dog!” he said with a violent kick in the ribs.

The first teenager who had jumped back with the kick began to laugh. “Yeah, I think he is dead now. We should clean up this mess I guess,” he continued as he motioned to the bloodstained tile.

Shep lay on the floor with no soul in his body. His heart was still, as was his lungs. There was no life in him…

Suddenly, the first teenager jumped back with a yelp as a low growl emitted from the dog. There was no movement, not even the chest for air. Shep felt awakened, as life seemed to return to him. He opened his glaring eyes and gasped as sweet oxygen returned to his empty lungs. He could feel his heart begin to re-pump his poisoned blood, as the thud grew stronger and stronger. The poison seemed to have no effect on his strong will. He felt a new sense of life return to him, and he felt strong and powerful. He was fresh, he was new, and he was angry.

Before stopping to think, Shep jumped to his feet and charged at the frightened teenagers, however they quickly escaped through the door. Charging at the closed portal, Shep felt the common, deep rage boil within his blood. Resentment was deep in his heart and gave him immense power. Then, it was suddenly gone. With the humans out of the small, white room, he felt control return to him. He stopped himself as he looked himself over. How was this possible? Why wasn’t he dead? How was he living? He quickly realized that he had to escape this place and scanned the room once more with his dark eyes. He discovered a window on the back wall that he hadn’t noticed before and quickly decided to escape through it. Instinctively, he pounced onto the table and crashed through the glass.

Shep landed on the hard concrete of the city floor outside the window. Ignoring the new cuts that appeared on his body, he tossed the pain to the back of his mind and quickly sprinted into the alleys, escaping as far as he could. Is great strength brought him great speed as he quickly dashed over fences and around trash bags and dumpsters. As he panted heavily through the messy back streets of the city, questions from his strange dream returned. Glancing over his blood-covered shoulder, he noticed that there was no one nearby and stopped to catch his breath. He pondered over what he would do now. Lilly came across his mind, yet he knew that he would never be able to find her again.

With sorrow now replacing the anger in his heart, Shep continued through the busy city until he reached his old, quiet neighborhood. Ignoring the fact that his was scarred and scraped up, he trudged down the tree-lined street, his head hung low. He looked up when he came across a small, pleasant park and stopped beside a large oak tree to observe the happiness. Children laughed and played in the warm glow of the sun’s light and brought a new pain to Shep’s heart. This pain was unlike that of his wounds. It was depression and it bore down on him like a heavy weight. Shep sat in the soft grass as he continued to watch the young children play. It reminded him of when Lilly and he would play here. He then spotted a boy and his dalmation playing Frisbee together. There was a bright look of bliss in the blue of the dalmation’s eyes as he chased the flying green saucer through the air. He pounced to catch the toy within his teeth and joyfully returned it to his owner with his tail constantly wagging behind him. Shep longed to be in the dog’s place and once again play with Lilly in the park. He longed to run and pounce through the breezy air and to feel tranquility return to him.

A slight sense of hope rose in him as he thought of his past life of happiness. A small sliver of chance came across him as he thought of Lilly causing him to leave the park and dart down the street. He still remembered the way to his past house and turned each corner accordingly until he saw the house in the distance. His hope rose as he drew closer to the building. He stopped to a walk at the foot of the driveway and slowly continued to the window.

The emptiness in the house crushed his spirit as his eyes met the bare walls and the few cardboard boxes thrown about. Lilly was gone. Gone from this place, and gone from his life. She was gone forever.


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