This is a story of gain, loss, love, confusion, and understanding.
My Life As It Is
My name is Abigail Rose. Better known as Abbie. I’m a dog, but it hasn’t always been like that. Before I tell you about that story, though, I’d like to tell you more about myself, since this story is about me. I’m a brownish-red Standard Poodle, but some people would say I’m more of a tan color. Either way, I’m still a Poodle. I live with four humans, though I originally only lived with two, and then… you know what? That happens later. Anyway, I live with four humans. There are two males and two females. Two, one male and one female, seem to have dominance. Two are younger, but the male seems to have more dominance, or ‘privileges’ as humans say, than the female. I assume the juvenile male is older than the juvenile female. I’ve learned many things. Some of the things are that the behavior of dogs, are similar to humans. We both make our beds, the humans putting blankets and pillows in place. Dogs scratch their beds and go in circles until we are comfortable. Dogs and humans both enjoy tasty treats. I also learned that sadly, 20 million Americans adopt pets, but only 30 percent of the owners keep them. Animals have different personalities, like humans. You can drop a new toy on the floor, and some cats will smell the new toy, but others will dismiss it. The same is with dogs and many other animals. That is all I have to say. On with the story.
When I was born, I was just like any average being. Specifically any average human being. My parents for some reason let me go, and I was at a place called an orphanage from the beginning. Then an elderly couple came and adopted me at age three. They named me Rose, because they didn’t like my previous name, Dheera. That’s when I started loving my life. I ventured around the house, played, and even had my own room. I began homeschooling as soon as I turned four. I learned, and everything went fine for a while. Then, I started using ‘strange’ words for humans, like above, when I said dominance, and instead of liking my previously loved foods, I strived for meat. At first they laughed and corrected me, but they became worried when I started scratching my ears with my foot, and ‘growling’ to strangers. They took me to a doctor, and she suggested to try socializing me more, and do something distracting to stop behaviors, which, if you ask me, wasn’t the solution even if it didn’t become worse. Days passed, and my days went like this:
“Rose! Could you get the mail for me? I’m busy.” Said my grandma. “Sure!” I replied. When the mailman came, though, it went crazy, or should my grandpa had said. I would bark and scratch at the door, and when he left, I would scratch my ear, with my foot, of course, and get the mail. My grandparents tried scolding, reasoning, and on bad days, pleading. Not too long after,I started getting an urge to run around the yard in circles. I got dog-like features, including long limbs, the ease to run around on all fours, and soft, furry ears. When my grandparents took me to the doctors, they said the same thing every time. I was healthy. So they accepted me.
Not long after my doctor’s appointment, grandpa got Alzheimer’s disease. I still don’t understand what it is, but I think it has something to do with memory loss. At first it was harmless, like losing his keys, or his phone. it didn’t take long for it to get worse. He forgot what he had for breakfast, and forgot the great park visit that we had yesterday. He even forgot me. We scheduled an appointment with a neurologist for him, and a therapist for me. A week before his appointment, however, he forgot. He forgot me, grandma, how to write, read, and even speak. He was hospitalized, and he never came out. I was, strangely, becoming more of a canine. In addition, people thought of me as a dog, too. The people I met at a park, my tutors, the mailman, and worst of all, grandma, forgot. Forgot like how my grandpa forgot everything, how he forgot me. They all thought I had been a dog all my life. I became sad, depressed, even. I cried through the night, all alone. A howl in my mind answered my lonely call. His call said “I live, I love, I depend on you, I remember you, Rose.” I knew that voice. I called again, but I only got the call of another lonely dog. That voice hadn’t left me. He never would. Grandpa loved me, knew me, praised me, and he seemed to fill the gap in my existence. I finally slept that night.
Not too long after my new dog days, a new family came along. They were cheery, the four of them. A little girl hugged and kissed me, and both the juveniles played with me. Bliss, I will say. I soon learned their names. “Ryan”, was grandma’s son, the female’s mate, the juveniles father. Ryan also went by “Daddy”. “Delia” was the older female’s name. She seemed to not be directly related to grandma, though she was the mate of Ryan, and the mother of the juveniles. She also went by “Mommy”. The juvenile male was called “Kian”, but the juvenile female usually called him “KIAN!” He was the grandson of grandma, the brother of the juvenile female, and the son of Ryan and Delia. Finally, there is “Brynn”, the juvenile female who typically, and to her annoyance, is called “Brinnie” or “Brinnitita” by Kian. I love them all! I didn’t realize how much more I would learn about that family. They took me to their house, which is a long drive. The juveniles watched a small rectangular box that had an image that I could not clearly see on it to pass time. When we made it, there was plenty of new sights and smells, and I didn’t hesitate to inspect them. They gave me a bed, but I preferred the couch. I found that I was, in dog years, 34 years old. This is because in the youth ages of dogs, we age faster than humans, and in our older years, we age slower. If I was a smaller dog, I would have been 32, and if I was a bigger dog, I would be the same age, and if I was a giant dog, I would be 35. The “One Human Year Equals Seven Dog Years” is incorrect. People started trying to figure out why we age “faster” than humans since the 1200’s. I also learned that dogs are not exactly color blind. We don’t see in black and white. We do have fewer cones than humans, the light receptors for colored vision. Dogs and cats are green-red color blind. If someone put a red ball on the green grass, the family dog might have a hard time noticing it.
The next day, questions flew into my mind. “Why did I become a dog?” “Does Grandpa know where I am?” “What is that wonderful smell?” I decided to try to answer all the questions. I concentrated on the smell, and I successfully identified it. Toast. I will go get some. I went to the kitchen, and Brynn poured me some pellets. TOAST TOAST TOAST TOAST TOAST. I pleaded and pleaded, but they sent me to my bed. Fine. We can play a game. If I win, you give me toast. If I lose, you give me toast. I got up from my bed and went back to the kitchen. I gave in, and I lost, but they still owe me toast!
Eww! Bad Girl!
Yesterday I went digging in the bathroom trash to uncover some secrets. I tried some toilet paper. YUCK! I dragged out some of Ryan’s clothes. No secrets here. I ripped up the trash and took some to my bed. I left it to go sit on the couch. Ryan, Kian, and Brynn went to go play on more rectangular devices. Delia read a rectangular device, except it didn’t have the glow. It had a picture on the front. One that didn’t move. A book. No one’s noticed my detectativity. Just then, Brynn, walked across and saw the toilet paper on my bed. She followed the trail to the bathroom. I heard a gasp and she walked to Delia. They exchanged words and the juvenile led her to the paper on my bed, the trail, and the detective site. I followed close behind, making sure they didn’t move anything from it’s organized spot. Okay, not organized, but spot. Delia seemed to grow mad. Brynn left, and Delia notified Ryan, and soon they were both angry. Brynn scurried upstairs, Kian following behind. I was scolded, but the worst punishment was one of two things, either vomiting or that everyone, including Brynn, who usually pours over me, ignored me. I slept with an uneasy stomach.
I Have A Feeling
I had a feeling. A good feeling, but unfortunately I also had a bad one. I don’t think that I should’ve eaten that trash. My good feeling comes from my heart. Perhapes grandpa is still with me. Maybe Ryan, Delia, Kian, and Brynn will forgive me. Maybe not. The feeling in my tummy tells me that I will have another vomiting fest. I need to go to the bathroom. Please take me out. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! BARK! Oops. That last one came out as a bark, the forbidden sound. I’m ashamed. URP! Sorry about that burp. I need to go or I will vomit in your house people. LET ME OUT!!!!!!
The sorrow I felt when I vomited all weekend. Bad was not the word. It was worse. I feel the need to rip something, but nothing here will make me feel any better. I would only get in more trouble. Perhaps one of these people will be kind and forgiving enough to play with me. Or let me outside. But I do the same thing every day. Run. Sleep. Eat. Nap. Be pet. Eat more. The past few days I vomited. That is all. My point of life has to be more. Either that or I was a mistake. Sorrow is my life. I was mistakenly born to my parents, who let me go. I mistakenly thought I had a place in life. I mistakenly became a dog. I had sorrow in all these places. Nothing can bring me back from this coma of nightmares. No one can make these dark colors I see in my head turn bright. No one can make the shadows that haunt me bring me, instead of sadness, joy. My girl is trying to rub my belly. This will not help me, Brynn. Use your time for something useful, because I’m not. Hang on. I detect sadness in her. She is sad I won’t let her give me a belly rub. Her sadness is my fault. I’m as worthless as the stuff humans chew and stick under tables. What’s the point? They don’t want me here. I must find a way to disappear.
Today Delia went to go get juveniles, as usual. This is the time I will use for investigating. First I will investigate that annoying smell that makes my nostrils sting. I have found the source, and I must eliminate it. I first must acquire it. How, though? I will put my front paws up and grab it with my mouth. Acquired! Now… I must eliminate it! I ran to the room with the small rectangle, and I noticed the big words on it that said something like TIC TACS. I cracked the box open and ate the things in it. It looked like white pills. They tasted very good. I will save this one for last. Wait, it already is last. I started to suck on it, but I heard a car park and running feet. I spit it out, there being no evidence of me eating them. My girl still seemed to be mad. Delia even more mad.They must be psychic. Or maybe they used that thing that made the clicking noise. “No, no, Abbie! Bad Abbie!” Brynn said. She got out the thing that makes the sucking noise and got all the crumbs. I unfortunately found no evidence.
I wandered, aimlessly, like my life. Aimlessly. My People all seem sad. I won’t let my boy pet me. I won’t let Ryan, either. Or Delia. Not even my girl. I want to be useful, but I’m not. No enjoyment. No pride. Nothing. Like my life. Hello, Brynn, Kian. My boy and girl still seem to want to pet me. Fine. This once, but it won’t make me feel any better. Wait. They seem happy. How? Is something cool behind me? No. Just a wall. Are they happy… because they like… petting me? This… I just realized something. I only completely changed to a dog after grandpa died. What if my purpose then was to make grandma and grandpa happy by being their child, and then make Ryan, Delia, Kian, and Brynn happy by being their dog? Is this my purpose? Do I really have two? Well, that makes me wag my tail. So does being petted, and having them being happy. Them being happy makes me happy. That means all I have to do to keep their happiness in check is let them pet me, and not destroy stuff. By keeping their happiness in check, I’ll be happy and won’t destroy stuff. I’ve discovered my true purpose, my true life, my true meaning.
That is my true meaning. That is what I learned. It wasn’t Ryan, Delia, Kian, and Brynn knocking on the door to grandma’s house. It was Fate, Truth, Opportunity, and Love. It was Hardship, Loyalty, Meaning, and Obstacles. I also learned that all these things can be masked. They can be masked and put into the world. They each have their own definition, but they all come into one big, beautiful bundle. We call them People.