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Personal Narrative: The Homeless Dog Essay

It was a fiercely cold Christmas Eve night, somewhere around twenty degrees and from watching the weather it was likely to only get colder as the night progressed. Looking out the front window, the ground was covered in powdery white snow, sparkling, like it had glitter in it. I took in the brilliant sight right in front of me, it was, for lack of a better description, magical. Even the road that had not yet been driven on was covered in a perfect blanket of snow, but something else caught my eye.

From where I was standing, it looked like nothing more than a blob of color, but against the world of white in front of me, it initiated my curiosity. I then, stopped myself in front of a small dog lying still in the middle of the road, motionless, standing out amongst the deep bright white snow. Little did I know that the puppy that was on the near brink of death, would be my best friend in years to come. *** The air was cold, but with the strong wind that we are so used to in Ohio, it wasn’t that unbearable.

As I grew closer and closer to this spot of color, it became apparent that it was not a simple rock or a spot of cleared area on the road, it was indeed a dog. From her scruffy face to her weathered stare, you could clearly tell, without a doubt, that she was a stray dog right from the moment you laid eyes on her. Looking at her general appearance, all of her fur was matted together and where it wasn’t matted, small clumps of hair were missing from her coat. You could literally see every individual bone in her tiny, sickly, malnourished body.

Her left ear was nothing but tissue from the many infections she had gotten while living on the streets. I just couldn’t ignore her like so many others had been. Her and I both shivering profusely, I somehow managed to pick her up off of the glassy ice and out of the snow to bring her to the warmth inside. She was extremely fearful and timid of my mother and I at first, almost as if she had never seen a human being before in her life actually care for her. Walking was a struggle for her at first, considering how bony her legs were.

We made a small area just for her in the living room with food and water and covered her up with a blanket. My mother decided that in the morning after, we would call the vet and take her in. We were not quite sure whether or not she would make it through the night, but we hoped for the best. Attempting to get her into the car and on our way to the vet was our first priority. Every time we both tried to touch her, she would flinch and try to keep away from us. I wanted to help her, but she would not let me. After a bit, I finally managed to get her into the cage and put her in the car.

The ride there was complete torture, for my mother and I, and the dog. In spite of the yelping, crying, and barking, we had finally made it to the vet. Walking up to the front doors, there was an unreasonable amount of noise coming from the inside of the building. From cats crying to dogs barking piercingly, this shy dog was even more fearful and panicked than she already was to begin with. Just sitting there, the wait felt like it lasted hours, but was really only about ten or fifteen minutes long. We found this fifteen pound homeless dog to be around a little less than a year old, still a puppy yet.

From the looks of her, we were not sure if she would make a full recovery or not looking at the condition she was in. You could easily tell right off the bat, the doctor was not completely sure about this dog yet from just looking at her. She was utterly amazed at how this dog, given her circumstances, would still be alive. Sitting in the waiting room with my mother, one minute felt as if it was five minutes, waiting for the doctor to come back. Finally, she had come back out and asked to speak to just my mother privately. My heart started racing. Every possible worst case scenario that could happen, ran through my mind.

Maybe if I would have noticed her outside earlier than I did, she would be in a better condition. Maybe if I would have done something different, she would still be alive. I somewhat overheard my mother and the doctor talking in the room right across from where I had been sitting. Trying to avoid eavesdropping on their conversation, I looked at all of the other animals that were waiting to be checked out with their families. As a younger girl was walking by with her dog that was very young as well, I noticed how excited she was to get her dog back and take it home.

She had the biggest smile on her face. Looking at her I then came to realize I wanted what she had. From what I had heard from my mother, she was in very poor condition. She was severely underweight for her type and had numerous infected wounds all around her body. All of that I had already known, I just wanted to find out whether or not she could come home. But home did not mean home to her. We were not completely certain whether she had belonged to someone or not, which all in all left me completely devastated.

Instantly, I felt guilt take over every single part of my body for no apparent reason as if I could have prevented this whole thing from happening. I felt as if this all was my fault. Yet, she was not my dog. It was entirely impossible to undo what had happened. It was not my wrong doing to leave this dog in these bitter temperatures, lifeless on the side of the road to die. A couple days of dreadful worrying about whether or not she would recover later, my mother finally received “the call”. This was the call I was cringing about. The call that was a make it or break it for me.

As my mother was talking on the phone, I did not know what to feel at that point. Feelings and thoughts were crowding my mind. In a matter of minutes, I could either be absolutely crushed or extremely grateful. The anticipation was indescribable. I then knew, from the moment she looked at me, with the most intense smile on her face, that she did indeed make it. I did my best to try and find her owner due to the fact that if I had lost something this important to me, I would want someone to do the same for me. But even if she did have an owner, why would they do something so cruel and inhumane to this innocent and helpless puppy?

However, about a week into trying to find her owner, nobody had came forth to claim her. For that reason, we decided on keeping her and making her a permanent addition to our family. Very often, more than we would like to think, it is the tiniest of creatures who are in the biggest need of a helping hand from someone who cares. It took some time to get her healthy again, but in the end it was all very much worth it, every single minute of it. Saving one dog will not change the entire world, but for that dog the world changes forever. Anyone can make a difference, you just have to try.

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