Happy Easter

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Colorful plastic eggs were being filled with hot dog bits and other delicious smelling treats. We all sat patiently watching as our parents put something into each one and then snapped it shut. Sammy of course couldn’t contain his excitement over food being out. He was jumping all over the counter tops and so our parents kept calling him by his full name “Sammy! Bad dog! No!! Get down!” He finally sat down next to me. He gave me a panicked and starved look. He is the type that of puppy where even after he eats, he still wants more. Mom sometimes calls him “pudgie puppy.” I tried to reassure him and give him a lick on the snout. Sorry, little dude, this is part of the process. Mom and Dad will be done soon, then they will hide these and then we get to find them. You’ll get a reward for each find.

There was a clicking sound of the last egg closing. They put the eggs into a small box and then Dad began heading to the back door. Sammy was determined to jump up and steal the box from him. Such a greedy little fella. Luckily, Mom grabbed his collar and Dad was able to slip out the door. Once the door had closed, we all followed mom over the rest of the way to the sliding glass door. We could now watch as Dad placed the plastic eggs sporadically around the yard. He seemed to be placing this batch down in pretty obvious spots. Then he headed back to the door. “Cesear,” mom called, “you’re going to go first old guy.” She opened the door and he tried to go out quickly. A turtle could probably out run him. Mom reassured us that they’d be back and we’d have our own turn. Sammy didn’t approve. He began barking and occasionally jumping on the door. Dad yelled “Sammy! Bad dog! No!! Get down!!” I decided to help and barked at Sammy as well.

We watched as Cesear walked throughout the yard. He seemed to be having some difficulties finding some. Mom would stand near and give him an idea where the eggs were. He had a different way of telling Mom of his find. I’m required to do a command called “show me.” It’s where I have to find the egg and then lay beside it. Mom then walks over, picks it up and then gives me the reward inside. Cesear on the other hand, he is pawing at the eggs on the ground and occasionally it pops open for him. Mom and Dad were smiling and laughing at how excited Cesear was getting. An eternity passed by but, they finally brought him inside with the empty egg shells.

Mom took me into a different room and closed the door behind us. My hunts are more challenging and I’m not allowed to watch as they are hidden. I heard the invisible lady that lives in our home announce that the “living room door” had opened. I’m not sure who she is but, she talks every time a door or window opens. She also makes a horrible high pitch beeping noise if my parents forget to hit some buttons on the box on the wall. Anyway, her talking meant that Dad must have gone back outside.
“Valkyrie, it’s your turn next pretty girl. Let’s see if you remember how to do this.”
Seriously? I barked at her. Did you just doubt my intelligence? I just explained the game to Sammy like 10 minutes ago. You do remember that I’m a malinois and I’m born for this type of stuff right? Mom started to laugh at my barking. “Calm down Valley girl. Daddy is almost done and then you can go.”
I considered barking at her but, that nice lady chimed in to say the door had opened. Mom opened the door to the room we had been waiting in. I ran out as fast as I could! It was my time to shine. To prove to my parents that I am an egg hunting pro. In my attempt to get out quick I forgot to hit the brakes while I turned the hall corner. The collision with the wall was not pretty. There were eggs to hunt though. I got up and gave my parents my best “I meant to do that” face and kept going. Mom made me stop and looked me over. She laughed and said “such a Mali.” Dad held the other two dogs back and Mom let me outside.

It was time to announce my excitement to the world. It’s hunting time! I began running in circles barking. Mom gave the “go find them” command. I ran through the yard and began sniffing. The smell of dirt, grass, fresh air, other animals, neighbors and other things began to fill my nose. I did a lap around the yard just to get the scent of things. Running around the back side of the shed there was a different smell in the air. I doubled back and put my nose to the ground. Slowly, I began watching the ground and sniffing every few steps. The smell was getting stronger. I pushed my nose in the dirt and took a whiff. Bingo! I laid down and pointed my nose at the spot. Mom walked over and checked out where I was indication. She pulled a purple egg from the ground and opened it. She gave me the delicious hot dog inside and then told me to go find more. I gladly got up and bolted.

There were some on top of the fence, under leaves, on the base of the tree trunk, in the grass and hidden under things as well. Each time I made sure to indicate my find. Mom would walk over and give me the delicious morsels inside. My parents seemed very proud of me. Once they said that we were “all done”, I pranced my way back into the patio area. This was the type of thing that I loved to do. Mom always mentions how she wants to get me into search and rescue. She has tried to get me in it a few times but, we’ve had some set backs with timing or just life in general. Perhaps one day this will become a fun job for me to do.

We went back inside and I jumped up on the couch. Sammy’s turn was next. It’s his first egg hunt so, it should be entertaining. Dad went back outside and began hiding the eggs again. Cesear was fast asleep on his dog bed beside the couch. Suddenly, a wave of exhaustion hit me as well. It’s been a good day. I think I’ll follow his lead and take a nap as well. I glanced at Sammy who was impatiently waiting for his turn to hunt eggs. Good luck little one. My eye lids were starting to feel heavy. Little black dots started dancing before my eyes. Mom kissed me on the head. “Happy Easter, Valkyrie! Get some rest. You did good.” Time to go dream about finding more of those colorful eggs and the delicious goods inside.

Doggy confessional

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The warden escorted me over to solitary confinement. I haven’t been on this earth very long and yet my rap sheet is pretty lengthy. I’ve done my time for most of my crimes. There are still some things that I have done that are yet to be discovered. I’m sure in time they will find out it was me.

I was placed into my dark holding cell. My previous experience had taught me that it was pointless to try and fight this. There was no escaping. I turned around and watched as the metal door was closed. Then there was the sound of the latch clicking into place. The door was now locked. I could hear the sound of the wardens boots. He was leaving the area. The lights went out. I heard him mumble “Night night Sammy.” In the distance, there was the sound of a door opening and then closing.

The floor of my cell felt cool underneath my feet. I laid down and let out a loud sigh. It was dark, cold and I was alone. Suddenly, I began to regret the things I did to be placed into this position. Theft, destruction of property, assault, unruly behavior – these were but, a few small things on my rap sheet.
I guess the only thing left to do is to confess my sins and hope to start with a new clean slate.

Here goes nothing. Dear Merciful Masters, please forgive me for the sins that I have committed against you. For I am young and I don’t fully understand the ways of life yet. Although, I promise I am trying to learn. Please forgive me for jumping on the furniture oh, and for peeing on it. Forgive me for ripping up the pillows that were on the couch as well. I couldn’t help myself. There was a paper attached to it and I wanted to play with it. I didn’t realize it would rip. Furthermore, I was unaware that the fluff inside would explode out of it while I was shaking it. Had it not have been for that fluff getting stuck to my face, I probably would have got away with this crime. Oh well.

Please also forgive me for counter surfing and for stealing the food out of Dad’s hands today. In all fairness, It had been a whole 2 hours since I last ate. That’s an eternity! I know it was wrong but, I was desperate. It also smelled delicious and I even sat politely for 2 seconds before I committed the crime. That has to count for something right?

Let’s not also forget the murder of my sister’s beloved plush toys. Yes, I know they belonged to Valkyrie and that she loved them. The toys had it coming though. Who doesn’t want to rip to shreds those high pitched squeaking plushies? You’ll thank me some day!

There was also the socks, blankets, boxes, papers, of course other odds and ends that I stole and destroyed. I do regret the destruction of the blanket. Since that is gone, I no longer have something comfy in this cell with me. It would have been nice to have that to lay on or even to chew on. Oh well. What’s done is done.

Oh, there was also that time where Cesear’s orthopedic dog bed was a ticking time bomb. It exploded all around the bedroom. I at least brought some of the foam to my parents to let them know that the crisis was over and that I had survived. You’d think they’d be happy that I alone saved the day. Nope, it also resulted me being locked up in the slammer.

I must apologize for my nightly “zoomies”. I know I shouldn’t run from room to room, jumping on top of and off of everything in sight. I can’t help it though. Something comes over me and I just get the urge to live life in the fast lane. I saw Valkyrie do this cool trick where she jumped from the back side of the sofa to the front cushions. I’ve added this to my nightly zoomie run. I should probably add into this apology jumping on top of Dad in the process of landing on the cushions. I didn’t realize he was laying there until I landed. I did however, attempt to help him look for the balls he yelped about but, was unable to locate them. I hope he finds them. He sounded kind of miserable for a bit there.

Suddenly, a light shown brightly into the room. I heard what sounded like the voice of an angel. “Sammy”, she called out my name. I slowly lifted my head and glanced through the bars of my cell. Sweet mother of Dog! The power of prayer and forgiveness really does work. The door to my cell opened and I heard the sweetest of voices say “you can come back out now little one.” I stepped out of my cell, the light was so bright and I felt the warm embrace of the angel that freed me. It was in this moment that I began to feel like a brand new puppy. From this point on I’m going to live the good life. Start fresh and be the best dog that I can be.

I heard the sound of the warden’s boots heading toward the back door. I could already imagine the smell of fresh air and the feel of dirt between my toes. I gave my angel a kiss and then bolted through the house. The door was opened and my siblings were already in the yard without me. To get out there quickly I decided to take a shortcut. I jumped over the back of the sofa. As I was flying in the air I looked down and realized, Dad was laying on the couch again. Sorry Dad! I briefly heard him yell “balls” as I landed on him. I glanced back to reassure him that I would be back. After my run in the yard I would come back in and help him locate those. After all, I’m on a new track in life. I’m going to be a good boy from here on out.

Born to work…

The sound of my uncle’s phone radiated through the small apartment. It woke me from my rather peaceful slumber but, I didn’t mind. That sound was what I looked forward to hearing all day long. It meant that in 10 minutes or so my mom would walk through that door. I couldn’t contain my excitement so, I began doing what they called “zoomies” all throughout the place. I made sure to run in front of and also leap over my older brother Cesear a few times too. He loves when mom comes home as well but, shows his affection a little differently. He plays the calm and collect child, where as for me, well, I prefer to get all up in mom’s face. She needs to know how much I love her and that she shouldn’t leave me every day.

I heard the key slide into the lock. Oh boy! This is it!!! Any second now and I get to say hello!! The door opened and in came mom. She had grocery bags in her hands. I attempted to jump all over her but, something was holding me back. What is this sorcery? I glanced back to find it was my uncle. Just you wait sir, I will throw up all over your blankets for this later.

Mom entered the kitchen and placed the bags on the counter. Once I was free from my captors grasp, I ran over to mom. I jumped up on her and she laughed. I smelled some good stuff from the bags and tried to put my snout inside of it. “Akira! Stop shopping! That’s not for you.” Darn it. I got down and began rubbing up against mom. Oh how I love her scent and the sound of her voice. She was holding up her purse to me. I immediately knew what this meant. She was giving me a job. Working, this is what I live for. I gladly took the strap of her purse. She then gave me the command to take it to the bedroom for her. I heard her say good job as I entered the room.

I laid down in the living room beside Cesear as mom and my uncle talked for a little bit. I attempted to get Cesear to play some but, he kept turning his head away from me and made a few grumbling sounds. This made Mom looked over at me. “Hey Akira, do you want to go work?” This of course was a silly question. I was born to work! I jumped up in excitement. I ran around the apartment while she collected our training gear. Treat holder, hot dogs, string cheese, leash, and tug toy. She put my training collar on. Then she put a set of headphones in her ears and told my uncle we’d be back in a bit.

We went to the door and she told me to “sitz”. I obeyed immediately. The door opened and I was given another command “fuss” so, I walked nicely beside her. We went down the stairs and around the corner. We had a small grassy area in front of our apartment. This was where we did a lot of our training. When we reached the end of the sidewalk she told me to “sitz” again. She got out a piece of hot dog and then told me to watch her. The “fuss” command was given again. As we walked together I stared straight up into her eyes. I knew lots of other things were going on around us but, I wasn’t going to break my gaze. She said to walk beside her and look at her so, that’s what I was going to do. She did an abrupt turn around which I knew meant I was to do the same thing but, while she turned one way I went an opposite way around her. This ended up putting me back on her left side. She was pleased with this because I was given a piece of hotdog.
She then began to change her pace. Sometimes we would run and other times we would walk at a slow daunting pace. She laughed and called me “little miss prancy pants” because of how I was walking. We did pivot turns, jumps, sitz and platz in motion. We also worked on bleib and fuss here. This is where she would make me sit or lay down and then walk away. I had to wait there until she returned or until she called me to her. I always got a “jackpot” of treats for doing this.

Finally, mom grabbed the tug toy out of her pocket. She gave me another command “packen”. I jumped in the air and bit onto the tug. She made sure I had a good grip and then she spun me around in the air. I loved this part of training. After a few spins and tugs she then gave me the “aus” command. I let go and waited. We did this a bunch of times until mom said her shoulder was hurting.

Mom gathered up our stuff and then we went for a walk around the complex. We walked around the lake and said hello to the ducks. I watched all the people walking by and stuck close to mom’s side. It was getting dark and now I had another job. Keeping mom safe. She has many nicknames for me, prancy pants Akira, foxy lady because people think I look like a fox, her little shadow and her protector. Now that it is getting late it’s time for me to become the protector. I must have been doing something right because I could sense mom’s confidence in me.

We walked safely back home. My uncle was outside walking Cesear when we arrived back to the apartment. We all climbed back up the stairs together. As soon as we were back inside mom began to put our training supplies away. My uncle was getting our food ready. I gobbled up what he put in my bowl and forgave him for holding me back earlier. You have redeemed yourself tonight Uncle. I will no longer throw up on your stuff. Next time I might not be as forgiving though.

I went into mom’s room and hopped up on the bed. She came in and cuddled up with me. The best feeling in the world is being with her. She scooted me up onto the pillows with her. “Goodnight Princess Akira. I love you.” I watched as she began to fall asleep. Then I decided it was time to follow her lead. I pushed my snout up against her and took in her scent once more before sleep finally took hold.

Trapped in the woods

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The sun was draining out the last little bit of energy I had. I moved into the shade where I tried to rest. Although I was exhausted, I knew I needed to stay alert. It’s not safe out in the woods. Every single noise that I heard sent a shiver down my spine. Between humans and other animals, I wasn’t sure what was more terrifying. The only thing that I knew was that I needed to trust my instincts.

I curled up in a shady spot under a tree and watched as a squirrel jumped from branch to branch. Each time he jumped I couldn’t help but, wish that he would fall. My stomach growled reminding me of my hunger. It has been a few days since I had a good meal in my belly. This is what my life has come to. My life has become a place where I scavenge for food, hunt for shady places to sleep during the day and live in constant fear throughout the rest of my time. There has to be more to life than this. There just has to be. The heat was beginning to get to me again and I began to whimper. What I wouldn’t give for some water right about now.

I heard a strange noise off in the distance. I tried to be as still and silent as possible. I guess my whimper alerted something of my presence here. The leaves on the bushes beside me began to shake. My flight mode clicked in. I attempted to run but, couldn’t move. I was trapped. I cried out in fear and tried again to force myself to get up and run. Why can’t I move? Terror filled me and I tried frantically to kick my legs at whatever was near me.

I heard another sound in the distance. This time it was a familiar sound. There was a voice calling to me. I kept hearing someone saying “Valkyrie”. Everything began to go dark. The woods around me began to fade and I felt like I was coming out of a trance. I blinked my eyes a couple of times and there sitting before me was my mom. MOM! HOME! I was so happy my tail was wagging a mile a minute. It had just been a nightmare. A memory of a time and place before I was adopted.

Mom reached down to pet the top of my head. “It’s okay pretty girl. Were you having a bad dream?” I nuzzled her hand to let her know she was correct. “You’re alright now Valley girl. Whatever it was is over now and I’m here with you. You are safe.” She scratched behind my ears some and I began to relax again. She then gave me a kiss on the snout.

You see, a few years ago I was a stray. When I was rescued I was emaciated. A rescue group found me. They had seen that I had been abused in my past and they took me in. I bounced to a couple foster homes and found love with them. They nursed me back to health and taught me what love really was. I was told that my furever home was out there somewhere. I waited patiently. Occasionally being the mischievous Mali that I am. Lucky for me my foster family loved me. They were right though, my furever home eventually found me.

It’s has been 3 years since I was rescued from the streets. I now know what unconditional love is. I went from being only 28lbs to 68lbs. My parents have taught me how to be a well behaved dog. They have given me toys and siblings to play with. There is always plenty of food in my belly.  I also have a comfy dog bed to sleep on. Mom takes me for long walks every day. Occasionally, I spend time being Day boarded at the vet while my parents work. Most dogs that are there seem to hate it but, I love it. The staff there always says hi to me and they give me tons of treats.

My life has changed dramatically since the day I was rescued. Although the nightmares still occur from time to time, I know that the people in my life now are here to stay. They will protect me and I will protect them.

The first time I saw her…

As I laid on my bed, gazing out the window, I couldn’t help but realize that the days seemed longer than they used to. I’m old. My face has grayed and my bones ache. I can no longer run after the soccer ball or jump up on the furniture. I can no longer go for long walks without getting out of breath. Even going on short car rides can be exhausting these days.

There was a time that I wanted nothing more than to stay at home and be alone with the other dogs. I once hated going to work with mom. Now, I miss those days. Each morning before she leaves she gives me a long heartfelt hug goodbye and whispers that she loves me. I follow her to the door and wish that I could go with her. She’s been gone for what seems like forever today.

My siblings are locked up in their jail cells because they will destroy the place. In a way, it’s nice since they aren’t constantly running into me. Occasionally, I check on them but, I spend most of my time on my bed. Sometimes I watch squirrel T.V. but, mostly I just sleep.

The best part of the day is when my sister alerts us that mom is home. I make sure to greet her at the door or at least I try to. She usually gets inside before I’m even halfway there. Darn this old age! I still make sure to let her know I’m happy to see her. I throw my head straight up in the air and begin walking through her legs as she takes a step. This usually makes her laugh. Seeing her smile reminds me of the first time I saw her.

It was 10 years ago and we were both much younger then. It was late at night. There were lots of loud scary sounds happening and flashes of lights in the sky. People were saying “happy New Year’s” over and over again to each other. This happens every year and I’m still not a fan of it. Anyways, a blue nylon collar with a gold tag was placed around my neck that day. I was then passed off to a man. He placed me inside of a car and once he was inside he told me we were on our way to my new home. I had been adopted and apparently I was going to be a gift. The loud booms and flashing lights continued the entire ride. I just wanted to go back to the safety of my crate. I missed my siblings.

The car stopped and I was carried inside of the house. I smelled other animals and heard the sound of the T.V. in the bedroom along with more loud bangs from outside. Then I was handed off. I felt the excitement coming off this new person that was holding me. I looked her in the eyes and felt the love radiating off of her. I couldn’t help but, give her kisses. She glanced at the newly placed collar on my neck and mumbled something about my name being misspelled. After that she sat me on the ground. We played and she loved on me every chance she got. She kept repeating “Cesear.” Which I eventually learned was my name.

We played for what seemed like hours. She placed me inside an area called the bathroom. A wooden board was lowered down to block me from following her out. I didn’t understand what was happening. We were having so much fun and now she was gone. After a few attempts, I stretched my little body up to look over the board. I whimpered. She turned around and walked over to me. She picked me up and kissed me on the snout.

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“Now you be a good boy and go to sleep. Tomorrow is a big day for you. We have work in the morning. You are going to be such a good boy. Goodnight my sweet baby boy!” She put me back into the bathroom and turned out the light.

I cried for what felt like hours. Every now and then she would come into the room and attach something called a leash to my collar. We’d go outside and she’d repeat “go potty.” The wind was blowing strong that night and leaves were flying past us. I wanted to chase them. My new mom didn’t seem to be as thrilled though. She took me back inside. Once we were inside I had the strange urge to go to the bathroom. So, I created a rather large pool in the hallway. Mom didn’t seem happy at all about this. I was placed back into the bathroom and the light was turned out again. I tried to whimper for her to come back but, finally gave up in exhaustion.

In the morning, I learned that I was apparently going to be her demo dog for her dog training clients. I was placed into the car again. We arrived at her job and I was passed off to lots of people. I gave tons of kisses and in return people gave me these delicious things called treats. My new mom gave me a ton and taught me something called “Watch me” and “Sit”. She was so proud of me. This was just the beginning of my new life and all the neat things that would come. She would teach me so much over the next 10 years.

We did so many things together. I helped her teach lots of other dogs to be good boys and girls. I became a therapy dog and went to nursing homes. She tells me all the time that I brought so many smiles to those around me. The most important one though is hers. I have been there through all the tough times and joyful moments. She tells me every night now that I have given her the strength and motivation over the years to keep going. This is why I patiently wait for her to come home. I am forever and always her faithful companion. Like all things in life, my time on earth is nearing it’s end. However, I will always be by her side and in her heart. As for now, I’m going to continue to lay here until she comes smiling through that door again.

My first post…

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A few months ago, I decided to go back to college and pursue my education in Creative Writing for Entertainment. It’s an exciting new journey that I have been longing to do for quite some time now. I will be utilizing this site to post my short stories.

The stories that I will be posting will be geared toward the people of the dog world. They will be stories from the perspective of my own “fur children”. Their names are Cesear, Akira, Valkyrie, and Sammy.

I look forward to sharing with everyone.

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