Editor’s note: this story is fiction, but our writer’s family had a puppy when she was young.

There was a golden collar with a small bell on the neck. “Come here my cute puppy,” the man said with his trembling voice.

I wagged my long tail and came closer to him. He put me on his lap and said, “My beautiful puppy, look at her white curly coat.”

“Pet me, pet me,” I said to him.

When he touched my head with his wrinkled hand, it made me feel so good. He took a small ball and threw it far from the place where we were sitting on a bench in the cloudy weather. I knew he wanted to play fetch with me. I watched his eyes,  telling me go and bring the ball for him. I jumped from his lap, ran and brought the ball for him with my mouth. He threw the ball several times and I brought it for him. Every time he gave me a piece of delicious fish. It was my favorite food; it was really good, sweet and crunchy!

Belly was really nice to me. He took care of me from as far as I can remember. He walked me outside two times during the day and played fetch with me. I really loved to walk in his big garden. There were lots of flowers around that smelled really good. Sometimes I tried to chase the birds, but not far because Belly did not let me go far from the house. I liked to run all over the garden and play with the ball and jump.

Belly threw the ball again. It went far from us near a big bush. The weather had gotten cold and rainy. Belly walked away from the bench and said, “Puppy, let’s go home. The rain started.” He went inside. I wanted to bring the ball for him so I ran fast to get the ball first and then rain started falling heavily. I could smell all the wet grass and flowers in the garden.

The ball was under a big bush near the wall. I tried to get the ball with my mouth, but it rolled behind the bushes. I went closer to the wall when suddenly I slid into a muddy hole.

“Oh, what should I do now? Help! Help!” I barked several times, but Belly could not hear me. I could not get out of that muddy hole; it was too slippery. The rain was pouring and I was really  cold. The sky darkened, then I fell sleep.

When I woke up the sun was shining. I could not move easily. The mud had covered all my body and then dried. My hands and legs looked ugly; my fingers stuck together and my nails turned grey. The hole was not slippery anymore, so I climbed out of it. I went to the house, but the door was closed. The bell on my collar did not ring with the mud stuck in it. I barked several times, but no one answered the door. I went near the window and saw Belly sleeping on the couch. I barked and he woke up and came to the door.

When he opened the door he looked carefully at me and said, “You are not my puppy. My puppy was beautiful. Where is my cute puppy?”

I looked at my reflection in the window. My wool was all gray and ugly. I looked at him innocently and tried to get near him, but he closed the door. I was sad and I went away and sat under a tree. The rain started again. After a while, a small puddle appeared in front of me. I tapped the water with my paws. Suddenly I saw my face and my long floppy ears in the puddle like a mirror.

“Wow, my face becomes white again with the drops of the rain,” I thought. I looked at my paws; they were white again and my bell tinkled again. I ran in front of the door and shook my bell. I saw Belly. When he saw me he came and petted me and said, “Where were you? I was looking for you.” I could see his smile behind his long moustache. His eyes were full of happiness.

I jumped into the mud then, and it covered all my body. After a while he realized that the dog that came to the door a while ago had been me. He took me back in and said, “Sorry, my beautiful puppy, I did not have my glasses on an hour ago.”

By Rahela

Photo by Polka Dot Shopping Bag