By: Connie Bae
It smelled faintly of hot dogs. However, the strong stench of rotting food and unknown liquids made my eyes water. Everything around me was filthy. I was sitting in a pool of what seemed to be leachate that escaped the plethora of food scraps loosely wrapped in plastic bags. In front of me, I could see a banana peel that had started to grow multicolored mold. Each time the ground shook from the passing cars, a cloud of flies rose from the sea of garbage and then settled back down. My right paw was a horrid brown-green color, which flies seemed to be attracted to, or perhaps it was the repulsive smell coming from my body.
I tried to move, but the sharp pain in my paw prevented me from doing so. It felt as if it was deteriorating as I sat there, it probably was. Everything was so wrong, I was cold, hungry, and alone. None of this would have happened if she hadn’t left him. We were all so happy together, like a family. Then, one day she left and the man changed. He was no longer loving and kind, but cold and cruel. Who would have thought someone who once cared so much about me could just throw me away.
There was a sound of yet another car passing by, except this time it grew closer and then stopped. Then I heard foot steps.
“Darn. This is a lot of crap. Why do I always get assigned the dirtiest places,” a voice complained. I tried to bark, but only a whimper escaped. Suddenly it was dark and I looked up to see a face looking down at me.
“Jesus Christ, who would do this? Hang in there buddy. I’ll get you out of there.” He disappeared.
“Hello? Yes, I’m in an alley right by the Walmart on 3rd and Peach. Someone threw a dog in the garbage and it looks like it’s been here for a while. It’s in bad shape, what do I do?”.
I closed my eyes and dreamt of eating hot dogs while sitting on a pile of blankets.
It smelled faintly of hot dogs. “Hey buddy, you awake?” I opened my eyes to see a man walking towards me holding something in his hand. I tried to stand, but something was wrong and I tumbled forward. “Woah there little dude! Take it easy. It’ll take you awhile to get use to that.”
What did he mean ‘that’? I looked down to see a chunk of plastic strapped to where my paw used to be. It was uncomfortable but it didn’t hurt.
“Are you hungry? I made hot dogs.” he said.
I couldn’t believe my ears! Was he asking me if I wanted hot dogs? Of course I did! I wagged my tail and looked back at him, licking my lips.
The man chuckled as he set the glorious pinkish meat down in front of me. I am proud to say that I gobbled the whole thing down in less than five seconds.
“So what do you think of your new home?”
Home? I had almost forgotten what it was like to have a home. I looked around once again to take it all in. Home was like freshly cooked hot dogs, but better. It was warm, soft, and everything I ever dreamed of.