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Friendship in a Kennel

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7/10/2008 13:02:40   

Alright, this is the original version of the story; the modified version will be found in one of my stories that I haven't posted (well, not that part, anyway) called United Hope.

I have known nothing but abuse in my life…it was what I was born to take. My mother died shortly after giving me life and my twin brothers and sisters were killed, so I have no family. I was barely raised, forced to live off of the little piece of land that I was living in. The tree, the ‘house’—meant more as a joke than a place for me to live—the cracks forming a ditch, the grass, all within a very small radius. I was locked up in this ‘kennel’, and I hated it. My masters were called ‘humans’ and I hated them. I was skinny, in bad condition, and by the time I was full grown, I had learned to hate ‘man’. ‘Woman’ was less than nice, but at least they didn’t beat me with metal sticks. That’s right, ‘men’ beat me up with their ‘tools’, as if me starving slowly to death wasn’t enough. But one day, my masters left. I now had nothing left and my prison still bound me. I would die there—howling my heart out—with not a soul to listen to my screams. The person that ‘man’ called ‘dog’ would die in here alone, without a companion. My hatred for man had grown to a boiling point. I growled when any by chance approached and if they even got within a head’s reach of my kennel, then I would attempt to bite them. And I would bark as well. I would do whatever it took to keep my oppressors away; my chain keeping me away from them as much as the walls causing pain in the form of shock throughout my body upon contact.

That had been the fate I had accepted. Until—that is—one day another man came. But he did not shrivel away in fear; instead he glowed with the aura of happiness. Another was with him—perhaps an old friend—who he was speaking to in their tongue. I didn’t and still do not understand what they said, but I can tell you. His friend commented “You know, you’re giving their continence too much credit; they are domesticated beasts, not capable of higher thought.” However, this man seemed to strike back at his comrade’s comment with “You’re wrong! They feel what we do, pain, fear, shock, hunger, thirst, anger, and many higher thoughts.” The tone—though I couldn’t understand the words—seemed like none I had heard before…it seemed to be one defending me as who I was. How could it have been that this man was so different? I will not know. But the fact is he feared me not. I growled at him; he still approached. I barked; he was unfazed. He bent over onto his knees just out of biting range, and then extended his arm in what appeared to be friendship. But from man, I thought this impossible, so I bit him and did not let go. Yet he merely winced at the pain and stared at me with those hazel eyes. It was like he had gone though a similar experience and sympathized with me. I didn’t know such emotions existed, yet I was feeling them and seeing him feel them as well. He extended his other arm and actually brushed my fur briefly, before snapping the chain that had held me for so long. I released my grip and bit his other arm, this time releasing after only a few seconds. I heard his friend shout “You idiot! That thing could be rabid!” But this man’s emotions surprised me again as he replied “I don’t care! I’m going to help this poor friend now; you can’t change my mind. He has experienced too much pain for him to accept, but I must try.”

How could it be that this man was like this? He pressed a little box on the side, and then showed how the fence would no longer shock me. But he wasn’t done yet. He left the door to the kennel open, hoping for me to escape. But it must have been a trick—I thought—so I stayed exactly where I had been. He left me the best food I could ever imagine; I ignored it and went hungry in the hopes of scavenging my own. He left me the purest, richest water available; I drank murky water from a puddle. Yet every day, he would come back, refill the supplies I never used, come up to me—despite the fact that I always bit him—and brush my fur in a show of respect. Respect for what I was. My growling, my barking, my biting still did not care him, and what else could I do to resist? One day, however, he came, yet his hands were in bandages and he was extremely weak. My constant biting had finally taken effect; he very well could have been dying. Then I finally understood why he had done it…compassion. Not all men were bad; I had just seen the worst. Here was the kindest man imaginable, so when he came that day, I followed. I followed him home as a companion; an equal. No more was I to be a threat. No more would I be nothing but scum. I would be an equal and I could tell this man—who appeared to be the human equivalent of my age—would cherish me until he would perish. I shall never forget the face of this man. I shall never forget the face of kindness that awoke my heart.
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