Monday, March 30, 2009

Sugar - Sweetest Dog in Town (Almost happy with it)

So, the deadline for the contest looms near....thankfully because without a concrete end date for this I could keep editing, fussing and generally making myself crazy until the cows come home....speaking of cows, I'd like a cow someday, or maybe two so they could keep each other company and then I could write stories about my moo-cows.

Anyhoo, focusing on any piece of my own writing for an extended period of time makes me a little loopy (read crazy).

Feedback would be much appreciated, especially if anyone out there's got kids.

And before we begin, for your viewing muses:

Sugar – The Sweetest Dog in Town

Whenever Sugar caught a glimpse of herself in one of the mirrors, or in the window where she sat to wait for her humans returning home from wherever they went without her, she was always surprised at what she saw. So surprised that she sometimes “woofed” loudly thinking that the beautiful white dog in the reflection was a stranger on her property. But no, that pretty dog in the glass was always just her, Sugar-dog, with silky white fur, soft floppy ears, and a smiley face. Sugar knew herself to be a beautiful animal.
That’s why she was so confused when stranger humans and stranger dogs were afraid of her. Sugar was the breed of dog humans call, “Pit Bull”. This name strikes fear in humans everywhere, and dogs that Sugar met in her travels were not fond of it either. At first Sugar was pleased that humans and dogs thought she was tough and scary. She was never bullied the way some other dogs were. Dogs in the dog park avoided Sugar. But after a while Sugar found this lonely and sad. Humans wouldn’t pet her; they kept their little human pups, called children, far away from her. Sometimes when they saw Sugar out walking they would get angry and use their loud voices to express their fear. Even Sugar’s own humans, who knew her sweetness and goodness, had started to react to the fears of the strangers. They kept Sugar inside or on her leash. They never let her wander too far. They kept her away from the human pups, even though they knew that Sugar loved them best. She loved playing with them and hugging and kissing them. All of this made Sugar very sad. She didn’t understand why all the humans and even the dogs would be so afraid of her because of the “Pit Bull” label. She didn’t think it was fair. So, Sugar decided to do something about it. She would prove to everyone what a good dog she really was. Sugar was usually very obedient. She didn’t enjoy disobeying her humans. But, Sugar was so tired of everyone being afraid of her that she was willing to risk the consequences. So, Sugar came up with a plan. She would sneak away from home just long enough to do a good deed in the neighbourhood. Sneaking was not hard. The hard part was not feeling guilty about it. Sugar simply walked out of her yard one afternoon when she heard the sound of a human pup crying. She followed the sound until she found the child lying on the sidewalk with his bicycle beside him. Sugar knew this boy, his name was Sammy. Sammy was crying so hard that he didn’t even notice Sugar until she was right next to him. Sugar gently nudged Sammy with her nose and he looked up into her brown eyes. He was so scared from falling off his bike that he forgot to be afraid of Sugar. She sniffed him all over. Sugar was a very sensitive, smart dog and could tell someone was hurt just by smelling them. Her nose told her that the bone in Sammy’s arm was very hurt. Sugar knew where he lived and thought she could help by getting Sammy’s mother and bringing her to him. So Sugar gently licked the tears from Sammy’s face, making him forget he was hurt and then she ran as fast as she could to his house. Sugar couldn’t knock or reach the doorbell like a person, so she used her paws to scratch at the door until Sammy’s mom opened it. “What are you doing here? Where’s your leash? Where are your owners? You’re not supposed to be out alone! You’re dangerous!” Sugar wasn’t sure if Sammy’s mother was going to keep yelling or shut the door in her face so she tugged on Sammy’s mom’s pants with her mouth, being careful not to use her teeth. Now, the lady was sure that Sugar was trying to bite her, so, she screamed! Sugar knew that if she could get the woman to follow her she would understand. So, Sugar decided that she had to break a big rule -- go inside the house without an invitation and, even worse, she would take something from the house and carry it outside so that Sammy’s mother would follow her. With her sensitive nose, and her love of food, Sugar had smelled something yummy inside even before the door opened. Now she dashed past the woman, following her sniffer into the kitchen where a tasty looking sandwich sat on the table, probably waiting for the Sammy. Sugar thought back to when she was a puppy and stole food from the table. What trouble she got in! Then she remembered Sammy lying on the road and she did it! She put her front paws up on the tabletop and grabbed the pb&j sandwich from the plate. Sugar ran back out the front door with the sandwich in her mouth. Sammy’s mother stood for a second, totally shocked. Sugar was afraid that she wouldn’t follow her. What would Sugar do then? Just then the lady called out “Hey! Bad dog, what do you think you’re doing?” So Sugar headed down the lawn, making sure the lady was following her. Sugar stopped and turned towards the woman, gently laid the sandwich on the ground and sat down next to it, thumping her whip-like tail in a show of good faith. She turned her big brown up eyes up. They were filled with the hope that the woman would hear Sammy crying in the distance, now that it was quiet. As they stood at the bottom of the yard, a cry could be clearly heard. Sugar could see that the woman heard it and knew it was Sammy. Now Sugar saw a different kind of fear in her eyes, fear for Sammy. Sugar tugged the pant leg again and ”woofed” softly. When she got the woman’s attention she started down the street, stopping every few feet and barking again. Sammy’s mom followed slowly, she was confused about the idea of following this mean Pit Bull to her crying son. When the woman reached Sugar’s side Sugar reached up and licked her hand softly. This time the woman did look into the brown eyes and saw that she could trust Sugar. Together they ran down the street to Sammy. “Sammy! What happened? How long have you been lying here?” Sammy tried to reach for his mother but the pain in his arm stopped him. “Ouch Mommy! I think something’s wrong with my arm.” “Honey, do you think you’ll be okay here while Mommy gets the car to take you to the doctor?” Sammy looked very frightened until Sugar stepped up, licked his tear-stained face and sat right next to him. She looked up at Sammy’s mom and thumped her tail. Sammy said, “I think I’ll be okay with Sugar here.” Sammy’s mom looked into Sugar’s soft eyes and knew it would be fine. She ran home to get the car. Sammy reached for Sugar with his good arm and together they sat and waited. When Sammy’s mother returned Sugar waited until Sammy was safely in the car. The lady knelt down and gave Sugar a hug before Sugar ran home. Sugar was in BIG trouble when she got back home. Her humans had been looking for her all over. They gave Sugar a lecture. Sugar felt guilty and walked into the house with her tail between her legs and her head hung low. But, the happy warm feelings of having done a good deed were stronger than anything else. She wished she could speak to tell them what she had been doing. Later that evening Sammy and his mother came to Sugar’s house. They had a basket of treats and toys for Sugar. Sugar’s parents opened the door and looked confused, “Hi Linda, what’s all this?” Then Sammy stepped out from behind his mother and Sugar’s owner exclaimed, “Sammy! What happened to you?” Sugar sat listening. When Sammy’s mother explained what had happened Sugar came to the door. She was so happy to see that Sammy was okay that it was very hard not to jump all over him. But, she stopped herself and waited for Sammy to bend down and hug her. Sugar’s humans were at first confused and then pleased to hear about Sugar’s activities. Sammy and his mother called Sugar a hero. It made Sugar feel embarrassed but also very happy, and proud! After that day a lot of things changed for Sugar and her humans. The neighbours came to see her often and they brought their children to play. Sugar was invited for play dates with the neighbourhood dogs. Sugar and her humans were very proud of how Sugar had managed to change the way people and animals thought of her and the label of “Pit Bull.”


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