Shep wandered around the city aimlessly as he felt that his very heart had been violently ripped from him. As his wounds slowly healed and scabbed over, they brought him great pain as he traveled. Growling and occasionally yelping, he despised the world around him.
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.
There was a sweet giggle as Shep rested on the cold floor. He could hear it in the back of his mind as his sight of the world faded away. It was a child’s laugh, a young girl’s laugh. He recognized it all too well. It was Lilly. There was a splash of pink across the dark backdrop of his mind as Lilly came into view. He could see her peacefully running through the park beside him with the beautiful budding spring trees glowing with joy. Her bright face was red, her eyes tightly closed, and a smile spread from ear to ear. She ran with her dog, laughing with her soft, bubbly laugh.
Shep recognized this dream. It was a memory, a memory from his past. A memory…of what his life used to be like. Happiness seemed so far from reach now.
“How did it go?”
“Well the dog is dead.”
“Dead? Oh, you mean the other dog.”
“Yes, Shep is fine. A little scratched, but fine.”
“So, what happened?”
“I just let the dog in, and Shep went straight for his neck. There was a bit of fighting, but with his sheer power he had no trouble bringing it down. He killed the dog just as we hoped.”
“Wow, this might have worked better than we were expecting.”
“Yes, a little too well.”
“What is wrong?”
“Well after he killed the dog, he went straight for me. He has no respect for us and he doesn’t fear us.”
“That could be a problem, but we can work it out. Just a minor…complication.”
It was one of those times. Lilly’s parents were caught in another argument that had driven the small child to the comfort of her corner. Her face was wet with tears and her eyes were red from continuous crying. She grasped the fur from Shep’s neck and buried her face in it. Shep did not mind this childish act, as he loved Lilly with all of his heart and he did not like to see her saddened. He was there to bring comfort to her, and to help her through the troublesome times. He felt a strange disturbance within her parents’ fights recently however. They had lasted longer, were much louder, and had sent her father storming out of the house on many occasions. Why was this, Shep thought to himself. Why did humans have to fill others with hatred and anger? He didn’t see the point.
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.
Shep sat in his lonely cage with thoughts rolling in his head. He stared at his brown paws, finally tired of tearing at the door of his cage and continued to wonder why he was unable to control the anger that burned within him. What was happening to him? He observed the other dogs at all times. When alone, some dogs would sleep; some think, and others play within their confined space. During feeding time, most would sit and wait until the man was finished and had relocked their cage before eating, some would immediately rush to their food bowl and start eating from it before it was even full, while the more aggressive ones would try to make the man’s hand a part of their meal.
“They are coming…Just wait.”
“Oh, I just can’t wait!”
“I know. To see if all our hard work has paid off. This is just too exciting!”
“Not quite. Almost…”
“I am getting goose bumps all-”
“What? Really? Let me see!”
Shep tugged at the collar that was wrapped tightly around his neck. He tried to remember anything of his life, but nothing came to him. Who had put this annoying collar on him? Without claws, he was unable to tear it off and gave up with a sigh. The sun had just hit the horizon casting a pink and purple glow over the sky. Hunger quickly nagged at his mind, urging him to travel to the city and away from the forest. For some reason though, there was a strange feeling that passed over him when he entered the woods. He felt…home almost. Ignoring the feeling, he rose to his feet and looked behind to the forest once more.
Looking up at the bright full moon looming overhead, Shep tried to remember as far back as he could. Resting all four of his tired paws, he sat on the vast, grassy hill that overlooked the bustling city below. He wasn’t sure why, but there was nothing there. Part of his mind was missing…gone…lost. Why couldn’t he recall anything? Small pieces of his memory seemed to float by his mind, just out of reach, the same as how a dream taunts its waker throughout the day, feeding enough images to catch your interest, then snatching them away. What happened to him, and why was he here?