Well, I promised to put out an episode on Tuesday each week, and I’m already a day late! Oops. I’ll set a reminder and do better next week, I promise!
To recap, Imagine: Life on a Chain is a novella I’m writing that will be featured here with a new chapter each week. There are 14 chapters to date, but more will be added until the story is finished.
Don’t miss the first episode here.
Here we go with week two!
Imagine…Life on a Chain
His First Home
The force of the assault surprised the dog. He struggled to his feet, refusing to be bowed by the loss and the accompanying bile that crawled its way up into his mouth.
How long had it been since he’d remembered? Too long . . . and yet never long enough.
The memories played like a well-worn movie, and—having nothing else to occupy his time—he sank back to watch them unwind.
She was warm, and her milk gushed down his throat. The puppy snuggled closer, lulled into sleep by a full belly and the safety of family. His brothers and sisters released their hold as well, good-naturedly jockeying into favorite spots for an afternoon nap.
The memories were blurry with time, but the yearning for that sense of belonging, of peace, had never faded.
He felt the pile stir as his mother pulled away. She barked and ran to the front door, tail wagging. Curious, Imagine and his sister Dream stumbled after her, playing and biting at one another. At eight weeks, they were mobile enough to indulge their natural curiosity, but still clumsy and rotund, tummies bulging.
At the sound of human voices, the pups skid to a halt, slamming into their mother’s rear end and entangling into an inelegant ball.
“Well, we were puppies after all,” Imagine grumbled to himself, basking in the warmth of that long ago moment in time.
“Welcome…come on in. You’re the couple wanting to adopt a puppy—Val and Dennis—right?” asked Becky, ushering a man and woman inside the foyer. “I’m fostering for Freedom Chasers, a local organization rescuing dogs from chains. This is our newest momma,” she explained, bending over to plant a kiss on their mother’s head. “We call her Star, because of the adorable white patch on her forehead.”
The man and woman hunkered down, smiling and laughing as they scratched behind Star’s ears and rubbed her neck. She relished the attention, her tail flopping (and mopping!) the floor, and soon Imagine and Dream felt secure enough to venture out from behind her.
“Oh, my!” exclaimed Val, a tear rolling down her cheek. “This little guy looks just like our Khronos did, doesn’t he?” she asked Dennis, not bothering to wait for a response before turning back to scoop up the pups.
“They are just precious, aren’t they?” Becky grinned, introducing them. “This one we call Imagine—the one who looks like your dog—and the female here is Dream.”
By now, curiosity had gotten the better of the remaining drowsy pups, and they’d tumbled their way over to get in on the action, too. Soon, both newcomers were engulfed in puppies, while Becky regaled them with each pup’s name and personality traits. Clueless as to the coming changes, the pups chewed on, rolled over, and rumbled with each other and their new human friends, Star sitting indulgently in their midst.
Imagine would remember those last moments of family togetherness as among the happiest of his life.
“Our director called just before you got here to let me know your home visit and vet check are done, and you’ve passed with flying colors!” Becky informed the couple. “If you’d like, you may choose your favorite to take home with you tonight.”
The man and woman looked at one another. “Do you mind if we go outside and talk it over for a moment?”
Becky nodded. “Of course. Take your time. Luckily for you, you’re our first approved applicants, so pick of the litter is all yours! Just let me know.”
It wasn’t long before Val and Dennis were back, and Val was beaming, barely containing her excitement. “As you can imagine, Imagine is the boy for us. Even though I know he’ll be his own dog—and nothing like my Khronos—he has stolen my heart already.” She looked at Dennis, who, taking his cue, spoke up tentatively.
“Plus, we’d like to adopt Dream, too, since they seem bonded and we’d love for him to have a companion. Would that be alright?”
Don’t Miss the Next Episode: Imagine and Dream Go Home. Coming December 7th!