I was hungry. I had been walking for hours on end but hadn't seen a single place to get a bite to eat. The night was serene and cool. Rainwater nestled in the pavement cracks and glistened against the streetlights. I had been quiet in hopes of not attracting any attention to myself, but perhaps that was my mistake.

rain, light, and city image

I decided Joe's Diner was a good place to sit down. My paws were worn and my eyes felt slightly strained too. People passing by me on the street, but not paying me a lick of attention. Grumbling like a bear my stomach reminded me that I had disappointed it yet again. Looking in the trash hadn't done me any good so I had to go without tonight. Turning onto my side and wrapping my tail around my paws I laid in defeat.

"Get out of here mutt!" I jumped to my feet to see a worker from the diner shooing me away. I was too weak to fight him so I scurried away. Evidently, it wasn't fast enough for the man, so he grabbed a rolled up newspaper and hit me with it. The smack sent a shiver down my spine and caused my legs to shake in fear. I had to stay somewhere for the time being. The alleys were cold, lifeless and I didn't care much for their dreary qualities. Shops that were warm and vibrant were closing for the night and it made me rather sad.

Sitting down at the corner of Elm and Brook-street I wanted to whimper. Where are you supposed to go when no one wants you? I raised my head to the darkening night sky and my howling filled the air. I paused shortly after to see if I had alerted anyone else who wanted to punish me for my racket. To my luck, no one appeared with a newspaper poised in hand.

"Hey," I stopped my howling to see a man in a trench coat approaching me. "Will you keep it down?" His voice was stern, sharp and made me nervous once more. "Where's your collar?" He tugged at the fur around my neck to inspect me, but I knew he would have no luck. I studied the man with my brown eyes and noticed he was very old. Wrinkles littered his face and pockets of skin sagged in multiple places. He was far from pleasant to the eye, but something about him stuck with me. Perhaps it was the pointed potato like nose that was in the middle of his face. The street cap that he was wearing did a poor job of hiding his snow-white hair, but I'm sure he wore it often. "Are you howling because you're all alone?" I remained quiet still unsure of his rising temper. Eventually, he removed a glove from his right hand and patted my head. Warmth spread through me at the small gesture. "C'mon why don't we stick together for now, huh?" I rose to my feet and decided that following the man would do me no harm. Worse came to worse I'd have a place for the night and maybe some scraps or two.

The walk to his home was tedious. My paws that were already hurting became even more blistered and dull. I trailed alongside him keeping up with a casual pace of sorts. Hands shoved in pockets and a gentle whistling of his lips told me that he had no hurry. Wish my stomach was a little more like him at times. Eventually after several turns and more street lamps than I could count he came to a stop. From his pocket was a set of dangling objects. I wanted to examine them, but he quickly put one into the door and opened it. He stammered inside and waited for me to follow suit. With a gentle click, the door was closed and I could feel the difference of temperature around me. "It's not much, but you can stay here tonight." His voice echoed as he switched on a lamp light that sat in the room. With a TV, couch, kitchen, and bedroom his set up was small yet complete.

I found myself wandering towards the kitchen and sniffing the air. "Hungry boy?" I sat down on the tiled floor and waited patiently to see his reaction. With a little more scuffling and the departure of his coat he offered me some old steak and mashed potatoes. I ate them quickly as he poured gravy into the ceramic bowl. "Haven't had food in a while Champ?" I didn't know why he questioned me if he couldn't understand my replies, but I continued my eating all the same. "Well, it's been a long day...probably for the both of us. There'll be no more howling tonight ya hear?" He patted my back and I wagged my tail to show a sign of understanding. After lapping up the last of my unexpected meal, I noticed that he had headed into his room and slumped into his bed. It was a massive bed for only one person so I took it as an invitation for myself to join him. I was cautious as I scrambled onto the sheets and pillows that floated above the surface. My claws scraped as I tried to reach the top of the mattress, but I soon found myself back on the floor once more. I sniffed the ground in dismay until I felt his arms wrap around me. With a short plop, he placed me to the right side of him and turned quickly back onto his side. I was embarrassed that I needed some assistance to reach the bed, but in my defense, it was quite high up and I wasn't quite the jumper I used to be.

Come morning I was prepared for him to give me the boot, or the newspaper, or the firm shout, or the hand, but I soon discovered a lack of all of them. When I woke and jumped from his bed he was gone and appeared to have left for the day. I wanted breakfast, but knew it wasn't proper of me to impose on his hospitality. Besides I hadn't discerned anything from the kitchen that I could reach without breaking a glass or two. So I decided my next step was to wait and see what was going to happen next. Be it the pound, or the street I was prepared to face it.

How long does it take for a man to come home? Beats me, but it was taking him a long time. I laid out in the floor and took a nap, but even so I awoke to find the home empty. I couldn't bark or howl as it would draw attention to me, but I wished that I could do something. When the door came bursting open I wagged my tail in delight to see him. In his hands was a bag and he had dawned his trench coat that I saw earlier. "Morning," he patted my head and moved forward into the apartment. I trailed behind him at a distance trying to conceal my joy of his return. "So I've got a deal for you," I sat down and watched as he raised the bag in the air. From it he removed a muzzle and a collar. My heart quickened at the sight of both items and I feared I should of escaped while he was gone. I blinked as he raised the muzzle to wrap it onto my face. Here's what I had been preparing myself for all along.

Closing my eyes I heard him unsnap the muzzle to attach it to my jaws. When I opened my eyes I saw in surprise that he had broken the muzzle clear in half. Reaching for the collar he wrapped it quickly around my neck and snapped it into place. "Alright, how about I fix you some breakfast?" I wagged my tail gleefully and ran my head into his right hand. He petted me before getting to his feet and heading to the kitchen. Inside of me was a joy that filled me to the brim and even made me overflow.

dog, cute, and puppy image

It wasn't until a few weeks later I saw that my collar had a tag in the middle of it. Etched in with fancy writing was the word "Sammy." While I didn't understand it at first he called me Champ, Sammy, and other names after that day. I remained at his side and often went on walks to spend time with him. I suppose I'll never forget the night that he gave me a home. Nor the morning in which nothing drove us apart. In fact, I'd say we only became closer with a little time.

"In the whole history of the world there is but one thing that money can not buy...to wit - the wag of a dog's tail." Josh Billings

Hey guys hope you enjoyed this short snippet that I wrote a long time ago. Thank you so much and hope that you have a great day!