Welcome, Friends, to today’s FREE EPISODE of Imagine’s Story, a fiction tale based on true rescue pups. Need to catch up? I got you!
Here are the links to the first three:
Imagine…Life on a Chain
Episode Four: The Dream is Lost
Mom is Sick
Imagine knew something was wrong with Mom, just knew it. But how could he communicate with her? He felt an urgency take hold and he paced, whining with anxiety. He heard Mom and Dad talking to Dream and him every day, but he only understood a handful of the human words they used: breakfast, dinner, treat, ball, toy, walk, RV, and swim were his all-time favorites…
Those words had always elicited a tail wag and a happy “woof.”
Early on, Imagine and Dream learned to communicate their needs for bathroom breaks by poking Mom and Dad with their noses, and it seemed to work. Eventually Dad installed a doggie door from the rec room to the fenced backyard, and the two dogs spent part of the day chasing each other in and out, in and out, never again having to ask to do their business.
“Well, unless we were camping,” Imagine remembered. “Mom hated to take us out of the RV for potty breaks at night, and always made Dad do it; he grumbled under his breath the whole time.” The memory was bittersweet.
Mom and Dad didn’t understand most of what he and Dream tried to communicate, either. It was generally acknowledged by all that they didn’t speak the same language, yet they muddled through to the best of their abilities—as families did.
With little choice in the matter, Imagine tried the only thing he knew: he poked Mom with his nose, then sat back on his haunches and looked at her expectantly.
“What is it, boy?” Mom asked, baffled. She yelled downstairs: “Honey, is the doggie door open? Imagine’s acting like he has to pee.”
“Yeah, everything’s a go down here, Hon,” he yelled back, muting the TV for a moment to make sure she could hear him.
Mom patted Imagine on the head. “Dad says it’s fine down there, sweetie. Run along and let yourself out if you need to go.” She made shooing motions and Imagine ruefully headed downstairs and out into the backyard, lost as to how to make her understand him.
As Mom’s scent grew more pungent and overpowering to Imagine’s sensitive nose, even Dream began to detect it. “Oh, now I get it, Brother,” she told him one day. “That is a bad smell! It reminds me of the animals we see on the road sometimes on our trips, or along the trails we hike. Do you think Mom could be dying, too?”
“It’s the only thing that makes sense to me, Dream,” Imagine sighed. “I keep poking her with my nose to try to tell her, but she just thinks I have to go to the bathroom. It’s so frustrating!” He paced back and forth, not even his pile of tennis balls bringing him much comfort these days.
Imagine became Mom’s shadow, always worried she was going to fall; or worse, leave them when he wasn’t looking and never come back.
One day Mom sipped her afternoon tea at the kitchen table, lost in her own little world. Dad was mowing the lawn in the back, the hum of the tractor and scent of cut grass enveloping the house in a cozy familiarity. Imagine lay at Mom’s feet, keeping an ever-watchful eye on her as he fell in and out of slumber.
Mom crossed her legs, kicking her dozing “shadow” by accident. He yelped. “Imagine!” she cried in exasperation. “What is wrong with you? Why are you constantly underfoot? Get out of there! I need some space to think. Geez, buddy. I mean, I love you, but…”
Imagine slunk from under the table and down the steps, flopping beside his sister, who raised an eyebrow at her now-always-moody brother. “Bro, I know it’s sad, but what can we do? I don’t think she’s getting your message…you’re just annoying her now. Want to play ball? It’s your favorite…” Her voice trailed off hopefully, and she jumped up, wagging her tail and play-bowing.
But Imagine just didn’t have the heart for it.
Suddenly there came a “thud” from upstairs. Imagine looked at his sister wildly, and tore up the steps…
Tamira Thayne is the author of It Went to the Dogs: How Michael Vick’s Dogfighting Compound Became a Haven for Rescue Pups. She’s also written other books for adults and children, including these for adults: Capitol in Chains, Foster Doggie Insanity, The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, The Knights Chain, and The Curse of Cur. For kids of all ages she’s published No Guppy Puppy, Raffy Calfy’s Rescue, Spittin’ Kitten’s Speed-Away, Squirmy Hermie’s Heroics, Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament, Happy Dog Coloring Book. She is the editor of More Rescue Smiles, and co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles.