Humble Beginnings

>> Monday, September 24, 2012

I finally have a chance to participate in Patty Wysong's A2Z meme.

This week's meme letter is  H and I decided to share my first published work outside of FaithWriters... my Humble author debut...

It appeared in the 2009 November/December of  Dog Living Magazine and is based on the inmate/dog rescue program at the prison where I work. For more information on this special program, check out Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan.

A Second Chance
Shaking from fear and weariness, the scruffy dog crouches in the back of the crate seeking safety. Dirt cakes his face as fearful eyes dart back and forth.

It had been a bad day. 
The “nice people” kept him tied him up in a garage. At least there was food and warmth. 

Yet here he was, shoved in a cage that suddenly lifts from the ground, throwing him off balance.

He scrambles to stay on his feet. Anxious voices escalate, doors slam, and engines roar to life as his sensitive ears scream for relief. The motion makes his stomach lurch as the cage slides back and forth across the seat. The scene would be almost comical except for the sinking sensation in the pit of his stomach:

Fear.

The vehicle stops unexpectedly and there is momentary quiet. It doesn’t last long as the cage is abruptly hauled into the blinding sunlight, causing its occupant to blink and shrink back. The cage lands on the ground with a bump and the door swings open. A man peers in. 

“Hey, Buddy, come on out,”comes a soft whisper.

They gaze at one another as a hand slowly slips in, gentle fingers patting his paw. Tension seeps out of the weary little body and he relaxes ever so slightly.

Craving an act of kindness, he leans forward, hope replacing apprehension. He wonders if it is worth the risk even while slowly inching toward the compassionate voice.

“Hi Buddy. My name is Joe. Doesn't it feel good to get out of there?”

The dog cautiously draws near and greets his benefactor with a tentative lick on the hand.  Momentarily tensing when Joe scoops him up, he soon calms under gentle crooning.

“Don't worry, Buddy,” Joe whispers in his ear, “We're going to be friends. I know you're scared right now--so was I when I first got here--but soon enough you'll realize this place isn't so bad--for a prison.”

As Buddy curls up in welcoming arms, Joe continues in soothing tones.

“I don't know what you've been through, but I'm guessin' much the same as me: unwanted, always scrapin' by. And trust? No way. I'm a lifer, locked up forever, so I know what I'm talkin' about. Trust is hard, but I got yer back. I won't let you down and I promise to take good care of you. Over the next few months, I'll always be here. Then when our time is done and you go to yer 'forever' home, you'll remember today: the beginning of your second chance--something we all deserve....” 

Joe's wistful voice trails off as he stands. Nodding to the guard, he heads back to his cell as Buddy trots along.   

The bad day just got better.

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