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.