Take Care of Me

by Anushka Dalal, age 11
Take Care of Me Anushka Dalal is 11 years old and a sixth grader. She likes reading books about Greek Mythology, mostly by Rick Riordan. She chose to make a puppy/dog as the main character because she loves puppies, dogs, and babies (as an example, she added the character Sara). Anushka really hopes that she is not put in the same situation as Alexandra when she gets her future puppy.

“Her heart was beating really fast. Her stomach had butterflies in it. She wanted to know who her new owner would be. You must be wondering how she came to know, right? Well, Lucy is a smart cockapoo puppy, and believe it or not, she can read.”

       

Prologue

 

Her heart was beating really fast. Her stomach had butterflies in it. She wanted to know who her new owner would be. You must be wondering how she came to know, right? Well, Lucy is a smart cockapoo puppy, and believe it or not, she can read. I know, it’s a bit unusual, right?

Lucy’s breeder taped a paper to her cage that said, “Lucy is officially bought.”

Lucy really hoped that she would get a wonderful family as owners, and she did. A family walked into the house and made themselves comfortable on the couch. It was a family of four. Lucy played with them for a while. But as the Johnson family played with her, they were talking to the breeder, and Lucy heard and understood everything they said. The father’s name was Bob, the mother’s name was Emma, the oldest child was David, who was seventeen at the time, and there was Alexandra, who was nine.

Alexandra was going to be taking care of Lucy the most.

***

It has been three years since Lucy moved into the Johnson’s house. The parents work full-time and have to take care of Sara, (who is one and a half), the newest addition to the family. David is busy at college and only comes home on the weekends. Last but not least, there is Alexandra. Well, lots have changed between her and Lucy since the day Lucy was bought. Lots.

 

Part 1: LUCY

I was taking a walk with Alexandra. Her family really needs to get a new leash for me. This one keeps scratching me on my neck. A short while after, there was an adorable puppy walking towards us with her mother, and their owner Stephanie, who was Alexandra’s best friend. So, we all stopped to say hi. While Alexandra and Stephanie began to talk about school,  the puppy and her mother walked up to me. That was when I realized that the puppy’s mom was a good friend of mine. We used to play in the garden together. But that was only a year ago. I am three years old, and so is she. The only difference is that she has a mate and a five-week puppy, and I don’t. For me, finding a male is very hard considering that the Johnson family only wants me to mate with a pure bred.  

The puppy’s mom’s name is Feila, and her daughter’s name is Chloe. When Feila saw me, she said, “Oh my! Is that really you, Lucy? You look as if you haven’t taken a bath in a year.”

Poodles are so annoying these days. I, on the other hand, am a mix of a poodle, but I’m not as rude.

I just said, “Yes, it is really me. And my grooming schedule is none of your business.” Okay, maybe I went too rough on her that time.

All I was trying to do was change the subject. “Chloe is an adorable puppy!” I was trying to tell Feila.

But she pushed me away and said, “Stay away from my daughter! I do not want her to be around people who do not have a mate.” Unfortunately, Alexandra didn’t notice.

Then Feila chased me across the street. She is really threatening! I just wish Alexandra would stop talking to her friend for just one minute. She and her friend both let go of all the leashes! Chloe stayed behind, as her mother chased me. Once we got to the other side of the road, Feila toppled me over, and scratched me on my back, leaving a big scar.

The brat left me there to try and get up myself. I was in major pain! Then, to come and “save” me, three men lifted me from the pavement. Then, they took a garbage bag and wrapped it around me as if it were a blanket. I just thought that they were poor people trying to help me. I was wrong!

Those people carried me to a car. That was when they began to torture me. First, they took this weird, black liquid which was in a tiny little bottle, and they forcefully opened my mouth and poured it in. It tasted horrible! Then I felt really dizzy and my whole body became really weak. All of a sudden, I fell. I didn’t just fall after standing on the floor, I fell after standing on a six-foot-tall platform. I felt like I just died.

When I woke up, I found myself in a tiny cage with no water or food. I was starving, in pain, and I was weak.

Then, this young woman walked up to me, and she sat down with a baby bottle full of greenish-black liquid. “Hi there… let me see… oh hi there Lucy. My name is Mary, and I am 19-years-old and a volunteer at this rescue shelter. I know you have no idea what I am saying, but I don’t care because I am a loner,” she said.

That was when it hit me. I was brought to a rescue shelter!

But why? I was fine and healthy. I thought for a moment. Oh yeah! I was resting my body, so it didn’t hurt as much. I didn’t think Alexandra was going to be very happy, and neither were her parents.

Mary then took me out of my cage, and she made a baby face at me.

In my head, I said, “Um…hello? I am 3 and a half years old. Show me some respect!”

Then she put me on her lap and stuck the bottle in my mouth. It was very uncomfortable. I just wish that Alexandra included my age along with my name and phone number on my collar.

I have no idea what that liquid was, but I just couldn’t drink that everyday! I needed to get out of there! There were two tiny rooms. I have seen the first room before, and it was filled with about 15 dogs, all squirming. Those poor dogs had no place to breathe. The second room was the room I was in. This room had five other dogs. They all looked old, weak, and ugly. No offense.

The only good thing about being away from home was that I didn’t have to lie around the house all day doing nothing except playing with Alexandra for about five to ten minutes, and taking a walk around the block three times a week. Sara was only about to turn two, so I couldn’t blame her. David was busy with his college applications. Their parents weren’t the best at all. They gave me the most un-free life! I couldn’t go outside to do my business when I had to, and I was always locked in a tiny room with little food and water for about three hours whenever they had guests. That was almost everyday.

The Johnson family is nice and all, but it was almost as if they were tired of me. I had lived with them for three years, and the amount of eagerness they had to play and spend time with me had decreased, while I cared about them the same as I always did, which is a lot. Now, they all just said hi, good morning, good night, they wished a happy holidays, and all of them gave me a hug once in awhile. The hardest part is that I am a sensitive dog, and these things really bug me.

 

Part 2: ALEXANDRA

After a one-hour conversation with Stephanie, we both found out that we would soon be in big trouble. We were so deep into our conversation that we had let go of the dog leashes. Feila and Chloe had sat down beside Stephanie, wagging their tails happily. The problem was that Lucy was nowhere to be seen!

I think she ran away. Why would Lucy do such a thing? She usually cares about me and my family so much! After looking everywhere for another hour, I went back home, ready to face my parents.

On my way back home, I began to think back to when I had a lot of homework, and I pushed Lucy away when she wanted to play. I got it! Lucy ran away because she wanted to go somewhere where she would get more attention. I was annoyed at Lucy for running away, but at the same time, I just wish that I had spent more time with her. At this point, I was a block away from my house, and I had one minute to think of what I was going to say to them.

As I walked through the door, I saw David on the couch watching TV, and Sara crawling in circles. Then I said, “David, where’s mom and dad?”

He stared at me for a while and then replied, “They haven’t come home from New York yet. Why are you so eager?” Then his jaw dropped when he saw an empty leash in my hand. “Where is Lucy?! I knew you would lose her! You’re so untrustworthy! Keep your shoes on. We are going to look for her until we find her. And go call mom and dad!” He was furious.

This was the total opposite of what I thought his reaction would be. He never cares about Lucy! I know that sounds weird coming from me, but it’s true! When he yelled at me, I said sorry, and then I began to cry. I knew that this was mostly all my fault, but I still missed her. I took the phone and dialed my parents’ number, still having a million tears coming down my face at a time.

“Hello?” I said into the phone.

“Yes, Alexandra, what’s wrong?”

That was when I told them the whole story. I could tell that my parents were going to blow up.

“Alexandra Rose Johnson! When we got Lucy, you promised us that you would take care of her 100%! We are coming there right now!”

“Fine,” I said. “Bye.”

When they came home, we had a long discussion about responsibility. As my parents were deciding on my punishment, I felt a surge of anger at them.

“You guys think I’m untrustworthy, but you are terrible owners! All you care about is if her mate is a pure bred! Why don’t you ever think of her health, her needs, or her feelings!” I suddenly yelled. I waited for them to say something, but since they were so surprised that words actually came out of my mouth in that tone, I stormed out of my house to go look for my dog.

                                            

Part 3: LUCY

Yuck! That milk tasted like puke! I was forced to finish it, but I don’t even think it was white! Dogs are color-blind, but that milk was more on the dark gray side. Mary picked me up and mumbled something to me. I couldn’t understand her very well, but I just heard, “Lucy,” “Take,” and “Home.” Yay! From what I understood, Mary was going to take me home with her! I’m no longer going to have to stay in this stupid dumpster-like shelter… Turns out, I was 100% correct about what Mary was telling me. I’m going home with her this exact afternoon!

Finally, after a 30 minute car ride, we were finally home! Wow. I just found out that Mary is still in college. That’s probably why she always brought  homework with her. Mary lived in a small house with her two friends, Bella and Riley, who were very nice to me. They had a big yard with dog toys scattered around, a big dog house, and a huge fenced wall. I guess they have had other dogs come over. Good. Then maybe they’ll be different from the Johnsons,and know that dogs have feelings too.

***

One night later, everything changed. I feel like I might still have a part in my heart for Alexandra, but it’s a small part. I have now moved on to Mary. Yesterday, all four of us went to a dog park. There, I could run around playing with other dogs, but I still was not allowed out of Mary’s, Bella’s, or Riley’s sight. They wanted me to be happy. I could tell. But, I could also tell that they had fear in their eyes that my owners would come soon. When I first arrived at the shelter, a lady called the number on my leash about 10 times. Then, the shelter’s boss called and left a voicemail saying that I am going to be taken to Mary’s house. Mary and her friends didn’t call, because they didn’t want me to leave.

I think Mary is a much better owner than Alexandra. When we take a walk, she never starts a conversation with anyone in our way. She always wants to keep me in her sight. I just wish Alexandra would be more like her. I used to have a bond with Alex, but that wore off as she got older. My bond with Mary just keeps getting stronger. I don’t know if I really want Alexandra to come back for me.

Part 4: ALEXANDRA

I have knocked on doors, which didn’t work, and I have called several shelters. Now, here I am, looking down at the very last shelter that we are going to call for today. I am so nervous that I’m sweating! Why do phones have to take such a long time to ring?… Yes! They finally picked up!

“Hello?” said a young woman.

“Hi! I’m Alexandra Johnson, and I was wondering if you have my dog, Lucy, in your shelter.”

“Um, hold on one sec. I’m gonna have to check the files.”

“Okay,” I said, sounding hopeful. That lady took five minutes — that felt like five hours — finding those files!

“You’re in some sort of luck. Your dog was brought to our shelter, but was taken home by one of our volunteers.”

“Oh… what is this volunteer’s name, and where does she live?” I sounded like I was in a hurry.

“Well, her name is Mary Burke.” As the lady told me her address, I wrote it down.

Then, the whole family jumped in the car, and Dad drove over the speed limit. All of us wanted to make sure that Lucy was okay. Even Sara was whining and kept screaming the word “doggy.”

After a ten minute drive, we reached a small house with a huge yard. Then, we all got out and walked to the front door like a pack. I rang the doorbell, and out came a young, pretty woman holding my dog. My mom explained why we were there to her. Then, Mary put Lucy down and let me hug my dog. She then let us in, apologizing for taking our dog home, not knowing Lucy had owners.

A short while later, I put the leash on Lucy, and said goodbye and thank you to Mary and her friend. As we were walking out the door, Lucy barked loudly and ran back to Mary. That was a big back-stabbing moment.

Mary crouched down to Lucy and whispered, “I promise that I will come and visit you.” After that, she looked up at us, and we nodded. Then she hugged Lucy real tight.

 

***

“You guys can drive home. I think I’m gonna walk Lucy. I’ll see you there.”

“Okay. But stay safe and please don’t lose her again.” I kept calm when they said that.

I let them drive away. Then the talking began.

“I am so sorry Lucy! I know I should have never taken my eyes off of you! Now, I understand that you have feelings too! Please forgive me! I promise that from now on, I will play with you whenever you want to, and I will give you more attention.”

At that point, Stephanie was walking towards me with Feila. Then, I suddenly remembered that this was when Lucy was taken! So, I decided to do an experiment with my best friend and her dog. I started conversation with Stephanie, still keeping Feila and Lucy in the corner of my eye. Then Feila picked up her paw and was about to scratch Lucy, but I screamed to scare Feila. After my scream, she put her hand down.

“I knew it!” I yelled. “Last time you and I were talking, Feila must have scratched Lucy, making the people from the rescue shelter think that Lucy needed to be rescued.”

Stephanie just looked at me in disbelief. “How dare you accuse my sweet little Feila for doing such a thing! Your little, puny dog probably tripped over your big feet without you noticing, and fell onto the street.” I just looked at her with anger and tears in my eyes. “And if you want my dog to stay away from your disgusting dog, then I don’t want to be your friend at all!”

“Fine! That would be great!” I paused, waiting for her to say something, and she did.

“Luckily, I am moving out of the state for good!”

“Whatever,” I rolled my eyes, “I don’t want to see you ever again anyway. Bye Stephanie.” Then, I quickly walked past her and started sobbing.

“Lucy, I did that for you! I did that to prove to you that you are the best pet anyone could ever have. And you can mate with a mixed breed if you want.” I don’t think I have ever cried that much. “Bark three times if you forgive me.” Lucy barked three times and then I gave her a big hug and let her lick my face.

 

Part 5

When Alexandra and Lucy walked into the house, the whole family was waiting in an awkward circle formation.

“Alex, take Lucy’s leash off, and sit down. We have some talking to do.” Alex’s mom sounded a bit regretful. Alexandra let Lucy free and sat comfortably on the couch. As Lucy was freed from the leash, she ran to Sara, making sure she didn’t fall while attempting to stand up.

“I owe you all an apology,” Alex said. “I may have overreacted before, but that was only because I wanted to protect her and be a better owner. But, can you all please promise Lucy that she can mate with any dog she wants? Well, that is if she wants to mate at all.” Lucy shook her head trying to say no.

“Alex, we accept your apology. And Lucy, you don’t have to mate if you don’t want to.”

Suddenly, Sara shouted, “Yucy! Yucy! Yucy, come! Mommy! Doggy gone!” Sara’s lower lip stuck out, and she was about to cry. Lucy was out of sight.

“Wait, what? Did we lose Lucy again?” Alexandra panicked. “Sara, were you playing hide and seek?”

“Yeth.”

 

Alex sighed in relief. “Lucy, come out!” A tiny head poked out from under the couch. “Good girl!”

Then, the Johnsons laughed together as a family.

 

Epilogue

A few weeks after the reunion, the Johnson family was not expecting anyone. But, at 10 a.m. the doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it!” shouted David. When he opened the door, he said, “Oh, hey Mary. Come in. What’s up?” Then he shouted into the house, “Hey, Mom, come downstairs! It’s your only chance to meet my girlfriend! You too, Alexandra!” David’s mom came racing down the stairs with Alexandra beside her.

Alex and her mom’s mouths dropped. “This is your girlfriend? She’s the one that took Lucy home!” Their mom hugged Mary tightly.

After a couple of hours, Alex and Mary took Lucy for a walk. During the walk, Mary and Alexandra got to know each other.

“Mary, I don’t think I ever said thank you. So, thank you for taking good care of Lucy while she was gone.”

“No problem.” Then Mary gave Alexandra a big hug. At that exact moment, Stephanie, Feila, and Chloe drove by with their heads sticking out of the car.

“Say bye forever, Lucy.”

Then, Lucy, with a smirk on her face, barked.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.