Shady- The miraculous story of a dogs heart.

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Shady- The miraculous story of a dogs heart.

Post by Spritz on Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:04 pm

(Please take time to read. I know it is alot, and I'm not even half finished yet. But take you're time! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give me COMMENTS!!!)

She stood high on the hill, ears perked, eyes focused on something far away. A rumbling growl rose low in her throat. She started down the slope, feet delicately avoiding the ruts and sharp rocks.

“Argh!” the collie barked franticly in warning. The sheep heard her and started bleating in alarm.

She ran behind them, herding them into a tight group. They knew the danger and tried their best to get organized, but alas, they were just sheep.

Finally, the sheep were under control, but the sun had started to set. Was danger still around? She lifted her snout and sniffed the air. The smell of wolves reeked in the cool evening breeze. The hair on her back stood on end as she crept nearer to the woods. They stood dark and ominous, towering above her. Fighting back the urge to turn and run, she surveyed the area. Two green eyes glowed in the fast fading light. Growling, she slithered towards them.

As she went nearer, she could see that the eyes belonged to her fearful enemy. The wolf. Snarling, he burst out in a full out run, racing towards her.

She also started running, racing over the barren ground. Closer and closer they came, and CLASH! The fight began. I can’t say what exactly happened that night, but the moonlit fight ended with the mighty silver wolf limping away, his tail between his legs.

She stood triumphant, bathed in the moonlight. But the bleating of her sheep called her home. They were waiting for her.

She started to trudge back, feet heavy, eyelids drooping. Her victory had worn off, and now she was as tired as ever. Rising over the hill, she saw Amos tending her sheep, making sure they had food and water for the night. Amos! She yelped and raced towards him. He stood up laughing, his old weathered face reflecting her joy. Racing around him, she yapped excitedly, trying to warn him about the wolves. He regarded her excitement as just enthusiasm to see him. She eventually gave up, laying her tired head down on the cool barn floor. She watched Amos finish with the sheep with tired eyes. He finished, and patted her on the head. “Night shady.” He left.

She closed her eyes and dozed. Strange dreams played in her head that night, dreams about wolves, sheep, and Amos. The usual characters, but these dreams were different somehow.

Amos came early the next morning and did the usual chores rather quickly. Shady noticed that he seemed rushed and unfocused, and he almost forgot to feed her. When he had finished, he strode to the truck and jumped in. The engine puttered to life, and he took off down the drive. Shady could sense that something was wrong. He always walked with her in the mornings- and talked to her while he worked. She stretched and yawned, getting the last bit of sleepiness out.

Amos came back in about an hour, the bed of the truck filled with sweet smelling lumber. Shady happily ran up to meet him, and watched with interest as he started hauling out the boards. He stacked them neatly on the side of the barn, then he strode into the barn and looked at the patched roof.

Rays of sunlight peeked through the ragged holes. He shook his head. “It won’t do Shady. I’ve gotta get this fixed.” He pulled out the ladder, stirring up dust as he did. Shady sneezed, and he laughed. “Its due time. Due time.” Despite his smile, there was sadness lurking in his hazel green eyes.

He stood up and dragged the dusty ladder outside. the collie followed him out, wordily pacing around.

Taking a rope out of the bed of the truck, he secured the wood to the end of it, then gingerly climbed up the ladder, the loose end of the rope in hand.

On the roof safely, Amos struggled and pulled up the wood. He crept towards the holes-“Amos!” A commanding voice rang through the air. ”what are you doing up there!” Amos rolled his eyes and turned around. A large man slammed the door of his truck and strode over.

“Ah, Carson…” “You can just do that anymore! What would happen if the roof caved in!” “ The roofs not gonna cave in-“ “What would happen if you fell down one of the holes” “Im not gonna fall down any holes-“ “ What would happen if you fell off the side-the ladder would break-“”Im not-“”Or you got hit by lightning. What would happen if the ladder fell and you were stuck?” “I would use the rope-“ “What if the rope broke?” “OK! I GIVE UP!” Amos started down the ladder and glanced regretfully at shady. “But, good to see ya man! But not on the roof! You go lie down, and ill get the roof fixed.” Amos sputtered. “I aint no old buzzard yet! And I don’t take naps!” “Whoa, easy there-“ Carson placed his large hands on Amos’s not so large shoulders. The old man shook off the weight and started up towards the house, muttering.

Carson patted shady on the head, and slung on his tool belt, chuckling. The young collie trotted up to the house and peeked through the screen door. Amos lay sprawled out on the couch, feet up, snoring. Shady lay down by the corner of the porch, the roof shading her from the bright hot sun.

‘Bang bang bang’ the rhythm of Carson’s hammer lulled her to sleep.

The collie woke up suddenly, and trotted stiffly out to the barn. Halfway there, a drop of water splashed on her nose. Surprised she looked up at the sky. The clouds rolled and twisted among themselves, and the color was a sickly gray green. A strong chill wind blew across her face, pushing dry leaves from last fall all over. The sun was completely covered. Everything looked dark and dreary. She shuttered and ran into the barn, and just in time. The clouds let loose, and everything was wet within seconds. Huge drops of rain splatted on the ground, collecting into puddles as soon as they collided with eachother. The noise was unbearable! But her ears could pick up the sound of Amos’s usually strong voice, now being overpowered by the wind and rain. “Shady! C’mon girl!” the light from the warm dry house was overpowering.

Amos held the door open for her, and she didn’t think twice about running out into the rain. She sprinted as fast as she could, her thick fur getting terribly wet. The small distance between the house and the barn seemed so long. She fought against the rain and wind, and got up to the porch, shivering and shaking in fright. BOOM! A huge crash of thunder shook the very wood beneath them. Shady yelped and ran into the house. Carson and Amos securely bolted the door shut. The poor dog lay huddled under the kitchen table, whimpering. CRASH! Lightning hit something very near. Amos and Carson ran around the house, closing flapping shutters and banging windows shut. Finally the house was as storm proof as they could make it, and they sat down at the table and turned on the weather radio. “Severe thunderstorm warning for all of southeastern Wyoming- everyone advised stays inside and get into your basement if you have one! Most severe storm I’ve seen in years. Tornado winds, STAY INSIDE!” Amos stood up and fetched a lantern. “C’mon guys, we’ve got a cellar”

Carson reached under the table and pulled out the shaking dog. He picked her up and carried her down the stairs to the cool dark cellar. The storm could not be heard so loud down here. Amos hung the old lantern on a rusty nail and looked around. Shaking out and old blanket, he laid it on the floor. They sat down, and the trio listened to the ongoing chatter of the radio for hours.

It was morning, but it was dark. The storm had finally moved on after who knows how much damage. The three climbed the old stairs up to the kitchen. Bright sunlight peeked through curtains. “Well, I guess I should go out there to see what the damage is…” Amos tugged on a pair of mucky rubber boots, and threw on a light jacket. “I’ll come with- I hope the sheep are Ok-” Carson shrugged and opened the door. Shady raced down to the barn. The men also raced after her, and swung the heavy door wide open. The sheep got up, startled. “Thank goodness their Ok.” Amos strode over to the sheep pen and opened the gate. The sheep had been startled during the night and some had broken out of the fence! Amos counted the sheep while shady ran around him, barking furiously.

More than a dozen were missing. “Im sorry shady.” Amos sadly started the chores. Shady watched him, knowing what had happened. Carson looked down at his feet. “I should have looked in the barn! I knew the fence was wearing down!” “No son. I should have had everything fixed before there was an emergency. I guess I just cant do it all…” “Dad- I would help you more if I could! But being in college- its really hard” Amos walked over and patted Carson on the back. “Its fine. I might have bitten off more than I can chew.” Meanwhile, Shady had slipped out of sight. She had waited until they hadn’t been paying attention to her, then raced off over the hill towards the dark woods. She had to find the sheep! Amos was too old to be running around looking for lost sheep, and Carson had to go back to college! “Shady! No!” Amos’s small figure stood far away by the barn. “Come back!” She stopped and thought about what she had to do. Giving one bark of farewell, She turned and sped away into the shadow of the forest. That day she traveled many miles, but the sheep were nowhere to be found. Her expedition had gotten bigger than she had planned. Thinking she would be home by nightfall, she not prepared for the long journey ahead of her.

That night she longed for home, for Amos and the sheep. The collie lay under the shadow of the trees, shivering. It was early spring, but still way to cold to be outside all night long. Her breath steamed in the chill air. Shivering, she crawled into a thicket and tried to sleep. But sleep wouldn’t come, and she lay awake, watching the dark night turn into dawn. As soon as it was light enough to see, she got up and continued on her way, not thinking about food or anything else. Looking around on both sides of her, she noticed a scraggly bush with something caught on it- it turned out to be sheep wool. She yelped and sniffed the ground eagerly. The smell of the sheep was there, but the trail was old. Still, it was her only lead, and she really had no other choice. She took off, nose to the ground, tearing through underbrush and thorns, trying to go as fast as possible.

The sun got higher and higher, and the lighter it got, the more her body called for rest. Finally, there was no way she could continue. She collapsed, panting.

What was that? Something had moved in the bushes ahead- she crept closer, and pounced. Mouse for breakfast. After a few more mice, she felt revived and continued on the trail. This time, she didn’t hurry, looking for mice rather than racing to catch up with the sheep.

Shady had traveled far through the next week. She had covered more ground than she knew, and little by little she had been catching up to the sheep. But she had little hope of finding them- the woods were packed with wolves and wolves hunt sheep. The tired dog lay down; starting to doze off, but something kept her awake…something... she rolled over and lifted her head, smelling the sweet scented air. The fragrance of pine did not cover the smell of the sheep. They were near, very near.

Quickly she started to follow their trail, dodging through the thorns and briars that caught her long fur and lodged in her soft paw pads.

The smell got stronger and stronger, and she stumbled into a clearing. There they were. The sheep stood huddled under a tall pine, bleating and shuffling in a tight group.

She ran to them, so happy. At last she could go home to Amos, and get a good meal, and just go back to the way everything was!

But something was wrong. A small lamb lay in the open, not trying to stay with the rest of the group. Shady trotted over and nudged him, trying to get him up. The lamb opened its tired eyes and looked at her. He had obviously not been able to keep up with the group and had gotten terribly weak and dehydrated.

Pushing the limp young lamb to his feet, she yipped, and pushed it into the group of sheep. Its mother was sure to be in there, and sure enough, as the Sheep rested, the lamp picked out its mother and started to nurse hungrily. Shady then heard trickling water and found a stream close by. She dipped her muzzle in the water and lapped it up, the cool water refreshing her. The sheep ran to the stream and drank their fill, eventually lying down by the stream bed, watching the bright sun peek over the hill.

Meanwhile Amos had been calling everyone he knew around the area, and had many times ventured into the woods, calling shady. Little by little he had started to lose hope that she would come back. A little over a week had gone by, and Carson came back home to visit him. “Dad, I think you should get another dog. I mean, shady was great and everything, but I don’t really think she will come back. When was the last time the sheep were out?” Amos bit his lip. He hadn’t let them out ever since shady had gone after the missing sheep. It was too dangerous out of the barn without some kind of protection. He had also heard wolves howling that last night, and who knows how many there were. They could wipe out all of his sheep. “Why don’t we go to the pound, just to see what’s there? Or, I have a good friend that has a nice sheepdog he needs to get rid of. Why not?” Amos eventually gave in, and they jumped in the truck. “are you sure this is ok to do? I mean, what if shady comes home?” Carson just shook his head. Pulling out his cell phone, he dialed a number. “Ya, its me. We can take the dog. So I’ll see you in a bit? Ok. Bye.” He flipped his phone shut and slid it on the dash board.

They drove in silence, each thinking about their own troubles. Eventually they pulled up to a small house, and were greeted by a huge dog, running behind, growling and barking at the truck. Carson opened his door and hopped out. The dog jumped up on him, and almost pushed him over. “No boy. Down! Dad, c’mon. He won’t hurt you”

Amos opened his door a crack, and the dog raced around to the other side of the truck. He jumped up on the door, pushing it shut. “He’s a little bit intimidating, don’t you think?” Amos slid over to the driver’s seat, keeping an eye on the door where the drooling dog scratched.

He opened the driver’s door and got out as slowly as he could.

Carson looked a little nervous. As soon as Amos had shut the door, his comfort level dropped tremendously. The enormous dog came bounding around from the other side, and stood there, growling at the Amos. “Where’s your friend?” “he said that he would be here shortly.” Carson looked at the menacing dog. Amos started to back away toward the safety of the truck. The dog leaped onto Amos and knocked him over, pinning him to the ground, barking wildly and drooling. “GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF! CARSON!” Amos yelled and tried to wiggle from under the beast. Carson grabbed his arm and pulled him out. Amos jumped to his feet and sprung into the truck, locking the doors and rolling up the windows. Then he realized that Carson was still outside, and so was the dog. “Carson! Get in here! He leaned over and unlocked the door, leaning on the horn.

The loud noise made the dog take off, and Carson stumbled in and slammed the door. “Don’t even try to apologize.” Amos brushed dirt off of himself. Another truck pulled up behind them and a large figure hopped out. “Eh, Carson! Sorry for being late, but…” he walked up to the securely dog proof truck. “oh, was Edison out?” Carson rolled down the window. “is Edison the huge Doberman that almost killed Carson?” Amos peered at him. Carson glared at his dad. “What? Carson? He got YOU?” the man laughed on surprise. “no.” Carson looked a bit annoyed. “dad, this is teddy.”

Amos looked at him. “I aint gonna take that darn dog.” “Edison? No, that’s not the dog I want to get rid of! Edison is the greatest dog in the world!” Amos coughed. “Here, come with me. Brutus is in the house.” Amos looked around warily, looking for Edison. They got out of the truck, and very carefully walked to the house. Teddy turned the key in the lock and the door swung open. A small yappy dog ran up to them, jumping and yes, yapping. Amos looked horrified. “Where’s the sheepdog?” he asked, hopping to avoid the little monster that snapped at his heels. “What? Who told you I had a sheepdog?” Teddy looked surprised.

“This is the dog I need to get rid of. I had a sheepdog before, but that was about a year ago…” Carson looked down, tapping his foot. “This straggly monster aint gonna do nuthin or my sheep other than scare them!” Amos lamely kicked at the creature.

The poodle bared his teeth at him, eyes bulging.. Amos nodded at teddy. “Thank you, but I really don’t need or, want this- ehm,dog.” Teddy nodded back, and Amos turned and walked out the door. Carson shrugged and followed after a brief goodbye to his friend. Edison watched them go, growling.

“Next up, the pound…” Carson tried to make it sound festive, but for one, Amos was in a bad mood. Second, the pound was a depressing place. Third, Amos missed shady and was not ready to replace her. They drove on down the road. Amos stared out the window, thinking about shady. Where was she? Why had she taken off like that? He shook his head. “Carson, I can’t. I can’t get another dog so soon…what if she came back? She would be hurt…I can’t replace her!” Carson slowed the truck and pulled to the side of the dusty road. “if you don’t want to do this, than I can bring you back.” Amos shook his head. “no, we should go. Maybe shady will still come back. But I can’t wait until she does…if she does…I miss having a dog around, so I think we should still go.”

Shady stood up after resting a bit, and tried to figure out where they were. She eventually decided to follow the trail that she had taken, and hopefully be able to get home soon. Her paws were dry and cracking, and her fur was knotted and hanging in clumps. Her ribs could be seen, and her foot hurt terribly. She limped around, investigating. Suddenly her tail went up and her ears perked. Nearby almost hidden by brush was an old trail. She sniffed it warily. Someone had been on the trail not long ago. The scent was not of Amos, the farm, or anything else familiar. She barked and the sheep neared the old trail. Deciding that this was the best thing to do, they all started down the trail. The little lamb followed, staying close to Shady.

For the next few hours they followed the only lead they had. Shady knew that they were nearing something. She slowed down the pace, trying to figure out what it was. She ran ahead, investigating. Dodging through the trees, she came to an abrupt stop.

Chapter 2
A sheer drop off lay ahead. Shady crept the edge and peered over.

A small farm lay below. Her tail wagged as she tried to carefully maneuver the slope.

Halfway down, pebbles from above her rained down. Looking up quickly, she saw that the sheep were trying to follow. The little lamb was scrabbling down, trying to catch up to her.

Shady stopped, and bounded back up the slope to reach the sheep. She looked around, trying to find an easier pathway. A narrow dirt path led down to the old farm, and she happily started trotting down it, the sheep following.

Reaching the farmhouse, the weary group of animals followed shady up to the farmhouse door. Shady started barking at the old house, hoping someone would come out. Slowly, the door opened a bit. An old woman stood there, hair in curlers and slippers on her feet. “oh!” she exclaimed, as soon as she saw the array of straggly animals parked in front of her house. “my dearies! Let me come out and help you! Just hold on minute-” She pulled on rubber boots, then stepped outside. “How did you get here?” she kneeled down and patted shady on the head. “Follow me; I have a nice warm stall ready for you.” They followed her down to the small barn, Shady’s tail wagging the whole way.

Minutes later, the sheep were busily tearing at hay, and shady was lapping up fresh clean water. The old woman smiled as she watched the animals, a part of her life that she missed. The old barn used to be a busy place, with chickens busily scratching, and cows mooing, and even the occasional donkey or mule. But not anymore. She shook her head. No, not anymore. She kneeled down and looked at Shadys collar. “What’s the point in having a collar if there is no name on it?” She shook her tired head, curlers bouncing up and down. Shady looked at her, eyes full of hope and happiness. Finally! Somewhere to stay, somebody to take her back to Amos! The old woman patted Shady on the head, and then started up to the house.

Shady lay down on the cool floor, content and happy. She watched the sun sink down beyond the mountains, casting a shadow over the valley. The sky was beautiful shades of orange and purple, and her eyes drooped shut.

“Doggie? Doggie!”

Shady bolted upright. Where was she? How did she get here? Where were the sheep? Then she saw the old woman peering at her. She wagged her tail, remembering the

previous night. “Hello Doggie!” She patted Shadys head affectionately. Shady wagged her tail happily, rolling over in delight.

The woman turned and separated a bale of hay to feed the sheep, her old knobbed hands placing it gently in the feeder. The sheep swarmed around the feeder, stealing mouthfuls of hay around the others.

Her pale thin lips curved in a smile. This was what she loved. This is what she thought would heal her.

She had been diagnosed with cancer. She had a goal, to live her life without any bounds. She would do what she wanted, nothing could hold her back. Shady stretched and got up, trotting outside.

The layout of the old farm was nothing like Amos’s. The House was an old thing, with faded blue paint coming off in fluttering pieces. Dark green Ivy had taken over, and the shutters flapped in the wind, there hinges loose.

The barn must have been good looking once. It had been painted a rich red, with white trim around the windows and doors. It, also was run down. There was a big pasture where cows or horses had been kept along time ago. A very long time ago.

An old dirt road wound up to the house, but it looked like it wasn’t used very much.

“Come here, Doggie!”

The old woman was standing at the entrance of the barn, holding a bowl filled with scraps from last nights dinner.

Shady turned and skidded on the gravel, her eyes on the food. She reached the woman and yelped, licking her chops.

The woman laughed, and set the bowl down. Shady gulped down the mashed potatoes and beef hungrily, then sniffed around the bowl, looking for more.

The Woman stood and watched the dog, a slight twinkle of life in her tired eyes. “No more, puppy. While were at it, let me introduce myself. You can call me Ruth.” She spoke to Shady as though she was a real person. Shady watched Ruth with bright curious eyes. She tried to pick out words she knew, one phrase being, ‘no more’. She whined softly, but couldn’t distinguish any other words Ruth said. “You need a name if you are going to stay here a little while. How about Lassie? You look like her.” Shady cocked her head to the side, ears perked. ‘name’? Shady whined, her ears momentarily drooping. “No? Well then. How about Willow?” Ruth tried another name. “That was the name of my other dog, a long time ago.” Shady was confused at what the woman was saying. Amos used phrases she could understand easily, like ‘good girl’, ‘take a walk?’ and others.

But she knew Amos well and could usually tell what he was thinking, though he didn’t express it out loud. Her ears perked again, and Ruth decided that’s what she would call her. “Willow. Alright then, Willow.” The old woman bent down and ruffled Shady’s ears. “Good Girl.” Shady’s tail wagged. That, she understood.

The Collie licked her hand in appreciation, and then sat expectantly, not knowing what else to do here. The wind blew over the old farmyard, and carried strange scents that Shady wanted to explore. Her nose points into the air, as she breathed in the scents. With that, she quickly trotted out the old barn door, and into the meadow, tail wagging slightly as she experienced new excitement.

The day passed quickly for Shady, filled with chasing squirrels and other small rodents, and even stalked up on a grouse, killing and eating it. The sun had began to sink low in the sky, and she turned back the direction she had came from, seeing the farm a ways off.

She started in a trot across the meadow, then broke into a run as she saw the slim figure of Ruth emerge from the house. “Willow? Willow!!” Shady heard the voice calling, and soon reached barnyard, tongue lolling out of her mouth as she panted, wanting water. “Willow! There you are!” Ruth smiled fondly, and finished pulling on her Polk a dotted rubber boots on. “Gotta feed the sheep, you know.” ‘Sheep?’ That was something that Shady knew well, and she took of, running into the barn to check on them. To tell you the truth, she had quite forgotten about them while roaming in the meadow. They were all fine, and the small lamb pressed up to the fence, trying to get to Shady. Shady nosed the lamb curiously, and Ruth came into the barn. She checked the water, and filled up the hay manger.

As soon as she finished, she gave Shady a pat on the head, and a smile, before closing the barn doors and heading back up to her lonely house. Shady watched her go, whining a little. She rested her head on the floor, not able to sleep. Soon, the sun was below the horizon, and darkness engulfed the small little farm. The moonlight shone through the cracks in the wall, casting slivers of light onto the floor. Shady suddenly snapped up her head, and ears perked, eyes focused on the corner of the barn. A slight scuffling noise from outside made the hair on the back of her neck rise, and she growled, the noise low and menacing. The noise stopped momentarily, and Shady slowly got to her feet, all the while focused on that particular spot.

She raised her muzzle and tried the air for scents, taking the smells of wildflowers, sheep, the old musty barn. But one scent was strong in the air, and her whole demeanor changed. Wolf. The sheep stirred, a few of them bleating. But they didn’t seem to sense the danger.

“Argh!” Shady lunged at the corner, teeth snapping as she tried to attack the wolf. Hearing a yelp of surprise from the wolf, she growled, scratching at the wood that separated her from a fight with the beast outside. But the wolf was a young one, and posed hardly a threat, as it took off running. After a few minutes, Shady returned to her spot on the barn floor, and sighed heavily, waiting till morning came.

When it finally did, Shady paced anxiously by the closed barn door, back and forth, as she waited for Ruth to come. But the morning progressed, and no Ruth showed. Shady continued to pace, and whined as she pawed the door. The sheep bleated hungrily, waiting to be fed.

Shady looked over the door carefully, trying to see how it would open. A small latch held the two doors together, and she thought about opening the doors herself. Taking a leap, she tried to dislodge the hook, but it didn’t move as she missed it.

Now determined, she leaped again and again, managing to move the hook every time. Taking one last leap, she dislodged the latch, and pushed her way through. The house stood, alone, like always. There was no sign of life coming from the small cabin, and she whined, before trotting up the steps, pushing the old door open.

The hinges squeaked nosily, and the dog proceeded cautiously, looking for Ruth. The house was smaller than it seemed from the outside, and everything the woman owned was packed tightly into every corner, though neat and clean it was. The kitchen had last nights dinner still on the table, and Shady resisted the urge to lick the plates clean. Pictures were nailed all over the walls, and Shady stopped dead, as she looked at one in particular. A young man stood smiling, arm around Ruth’s waist. That young man looked an awful lot like Amos!

A slight groan came from the bedroom, and her ears perked, as she moved forward. As she entered the bedroom, Shady saw the slim figure of Ruth on the ground by her bed. The loyal dog rushed forward, and nosed the elderly woman, trying to rouse her. Ruth was unconscious, and would not move, however hard Shady tried to wake her up. Desperation and Determination set over the Collie, and she turned, racing out of the house and down the gravel road as ran for help.

As she reached the end of the Driveway, she stopped, not knowing which way to turn. A car passed by, and she barked wildly, chasing after it and trying to make the driver stop. Apparently, the driver though she was wild, and drove a bit faster, making sure the dog couldn’t catch up to him. Shady ran faster, trying in vain to catch up. The ruthless driver gunned the engine, speeding out of sight. The Collie lagged, legs slowing into a lope, then into a trot. She panted, and eventually stopped, looking despairingly at the car that sped out of sight. She then decided that she would go in the direction the car went. Surely, that meant there would be people. She started into a lope again, hoping a car would slow as she ran along the roadside. An idea came into her head as she saw a truck coming. She turned and stood in the direct path of the oncoming vehicle, the driver seeing her, but not slowing down, thinking she would move. When she didn’t, he slammed on the breaks, throwing him back in his seat, and making the brakes squeal. Shady stood bravely in the path of the truck, not moving, accept for shuffling her feet nervously as she hoped he would slow down.

As the huge semi loomed up in front of her, her ears drooped as she looking up in the windshield. Taking a few steps back, the truck managed to stop only a yard or two from the brave dog.

The driver muttered a few words Shady had never heard before, and glared angrily at the dog, before rolling down the window. “Shoo! Go Dog!” He gestured for her to get out of the roadway. She did what he said, then glanced over her shoulder, waiting for him to follow.

She yipped excitedly, and the driver looked confused, and started the engine on his truck again. He slowly drove forward, and Shady trotted next to the truck, a bit ahead to lead the way. She glanced at him again, and broke into a lope. The driver drove faster, ready to leave the dog behind, but Shadys persistence made him follow her, so he drove faster to keep up with her, getting the idea. Little by little, they came closer to Ruth’s old driveway. As soon as they reached it, Shady barked excitedly, twirling around and waiting for him to follow. He pulled into the drive, then jumped out of his truck. Instantly, Shady was off, racing to the house. The man broke into a jog, then a run as he followed the dog. Shady ran into the house, and into the bedroom, where Ruth still lay on the floor, her face a ghastly shade of grey. Her lips were pale, eyes closed. Shady wondered for a minute if she was dead, but she could feel the slight breath when she put her face close to Ruth’s. The man ran into the house, and stopped dead when he saw Ruth. “Good Girl.” He told the faithful dog, and quickly pulled out his cell phone, dialing three numbers. He spoke rapidly on the phone, and checked for a pulse, while anxiously looking at the old woman’s figure. He then flipped his phone shut, and mumbled to himself. “A few minutes. A Few minutes.” And, in a few minutes, an ambulance roared into the drive, followed by police squads. A few men jumped out and ran into the house, quickly loading up the unconscious form of Ruth into the Ambulance. Shady stepped back, not wanting to be in the commotion. One of the officers noticed her, and asked the Driver about her.

“Was that the Dog?” “Sure thing! Stood right in front of my truck, she did. Almost killed herself too, but I stopped just in time. Then, she led me back here, where I found the lady in her bedroom, lookin like she was dead!” The driver told the story in a breath, and the cop looked at Shady with admiration. “Were going to take her back to the station with us.” The Officer said. “But, there are sheep in the barn. What about them?” The driver pointed out. “I’ll send a friend of mine over to feed them, I guess.” The officer shrugged, not used to dealing with animals in emergency scenes. He then loaded Shady into the back of his car, and shut the door, before climbing in the drivers seat and starting the engine, and rolling down his window. “Thank you sir.”

He then drove away, Shady in tow.

Chapter 3

They reached the police station, and the Officer clipped a choke collar onto Shady, along with a muzzle. He then led her out of the car with a black leather leash, and started into the dog kennels. As they entered the building, Shady saw rows of Police dogs, some barking and trying to tear down their gates, others quietly watching the Collie from the back of their cages. The Officer then led her to an empty kennel, prepared for her as he had called in ahead of time. He led her in, slipping the muzzle off of her, and closing and locking the chain link door that held her in. He then hung the muzzle and leash on her door, and gave her an appreciative look before striding away.

Shady was quiet through all of this, as she didn’t really know what was going on. She sighed heavily, and lay down on the cool concrete floor of the kennel. The minutes slowly ticked away as she waited for something to happen. She grew weary, and her eyes drooped shut as she replayed the days events in her head. The sky grew black outside, and she fell asleep.

She woke up to the Officer standing outside of her kennel, observing her with keen eyes. She wagged her tail slightly, and he frowned as he noticed her food untouched. He slipped the muzzle and leash off of the gate, and stepped inside of the kennel with Shady. Though unnecessary, Shady allowed the man to clip the muzzle over her jaw, making it impossible for her to open her mouth wide enough to bite anyone, not that she had that intention. Her tail wagged slightly as he petted and praised her. “Good girl. Good girl.”

He then led the Collie out of her kennel and into the isle, as a group of men came and exchanged a conversation with each other, words that Shady couldn’t understand. She stood there quietly, ears perked, trying to catch fragments of the conversation. One of the men had special shiny badges, and peered at her, eyes taking in everything. “Say, she really did all that. And look at her disposition. If she was that smart, she might turn out to be a great police dog.” Shady knew he was talking about her, and wagged her tail, trying to make a good impression. The men smiled, and pet her gently. Someone snapped a quick picture, and then she was put back into her cage, the men walking away.

Amos hadn’t found any dog in the pound that he liked. But secretly, that was because he wanted a dog just like Shady. He missed the collie with all of his heart, and wished desperately that she would come back. No Dogs had caught his eye like Shady had. He sat alone in his living room, staring at the pictures that decorated his mantle. One in particular caught his eye. It was a high school picture, taken years and years ago. It showed him, his arm hooked around the waist of a beautiful young girl. She had beautiful Amber hair, and bright green eyes that twinkled in the picture. Ruthie. She had been Amos’s main focus when he was young, then she had moved away, not continuing to keep contact with him. Amos sighed, and stood up; taking the picture and turning it face down on the mantle. There was no need to see what would bring back sad memories.

Shady was adored by the police chief, He came many times a day to pet her and take her out on walks. Shady liked this life, but inside she missed Ruth, Amos and her sheepdog life. Presently, her long hair was being brushed out by the Chief, as he stayed later while he was off duty to make time for her. The knots and burs slowly came out, with him persistently working at them. Shady stood still, though the brush took her hair in its teeth and pulled it annoyingly. Soon, the man was finished, and stood up, admiring the now well brushed collie.

Someone ran up to her kennel, holding a large newspaper. “Look Chief!” He held up the paper, and pointed to the front page, where a picture of Shady was plastered. This is what it was like.

Woman’s life saved by Heroic Dog!

That’s what happened on May 4, 2009. The dog, a female Collie, was shut in the barn, and managed to get out as her owner never emerged from her house. The heroic dog looked for the woman, and found her unconscious by the bed. She had suffered from a heart attack. The dog then ran for help, trying to make cars stop, but no one did. She then ran in the path of an oncoming Semi, almost killing herself in the process. The Semi stopped, and she then got the driver to follow her, leading him straight to the woman. He was then able to call 911 and her life was saved, if only scarcely. The City Police also attended the scene, and the dog is well taken care of until her owner, Ruth Glemming recovers.

The Chief whistled through his teeth. The phone rang noisily, and the Chief strode over to his desk. He was in charge of the Police Dogs, and had his office in a small room adjoining the large kennel area. He answered the phone formally, then listened intently. “Yes Ma’am. I understand. Yes, we have her here, and she is well taken care of, don’t you worry. Plans? No ma’am, we don’t know yet. I suppose. Yes, she may very well have the qualifications. Alright, thank you for calling. Yes? Willow. Ok. Bye Ma’am.” He hung up the phone, and turned to the other officer. “That was her owner. She said that the dogs name is Willow and that if we think so, we can take her and turn her into a police dog.”

Now, I am just telling this story, I am not saying that what Ruth did was right. She knew that Shady wasn’t her dog, but she still gave the police permission to take her. She wasn’t exactly all together; she was still recovering from her heart attack.

The Chief smiled, then took the newspaper and folded it on his desk, nodding at the Officer. “You can go.”

Ruth lay in the hospital bed, monitors beeping as they checked her heart rate. Her eyes were closed, but she was not asleep. It was about a week after she had suffered from a mild heart attack, and multiple tests had been done on her, but the doctors said she seemed just fine, and healthy enough to go home. The nurse came in and checked up on her again, and told her she would soon be released from the hospital. Ruth waited patiently, but she didn’t really know what for.

Within the hour, she was released from the hospital. She then arrived at the police station, asking to see the Officer she had spoke with on the phone. They summoned him, and they met in the lobby. She clasped her hands, anxious to hand over the dog.

“Hello Ma’am.” The Officer sounded pleasant, and he hoped that the woman would turn over the dog to him. “Hello. I came today, as soon as I was released from the hospital. I would like to turn over Willow to you.” She spoke clearly, each syllable clearly pronounced. The Officer smiled. “We thank you, and I think she will do very well as a police dog.” Ruth nodded curtly. “Yes. I would like so much to keep her, but I don’t have the time or money to care for a dog, and I would feel so much better if her potential was used elsewhere, where it is needed.” The Officer pulled a form out of a folder, and handed it to her, along with a pen. “You’ll need to sign this.” Ruth nodded again, and set the paper down on a desk, uncapping the pen and signing her name neatly on the line. She then handed the paper to the Officer. “Thank you.” He took it from her. “Would you like to see Willow before you leave?” She nodded, and stepped forward, following him out of the lobby and into the kennel area. She didn’t know if her choice was right, but that dog had so much potential, that she was much better off a police dog. And, her owner probably already forgot about her.

Seeing Shady in the kennel, she bent down, petting her between the metal chain link. “Willow, Willow.” She crooned the name. Shady was confused, but happy to see her. Her tail wagged, and she pressed up against the metal, wanting to be pet. Willow? That wasn’t her name. But she ignored it, and whined happily as the woman pet her. “Ma’am, it is probably best that we get going. We usually don’t allow non police back here.” He said, and she nodded. “Goodbye, Willow.”

Ruth turned, and the Officer, escorted her to the exit. They shook hands, and she left. Shady whined unhappily. What was going on? She saw the sadness in Ruth’s eyes, and that made her anxious. The officer returned, and smiled fondly at her. “I really want to rename you. How about Cinder?” He asked Shady. Her tail wagged, as though she knew what he was saying. “That’s good.” With a pat, he left her alone in the kennel.

She watched him go, whimpering, her front paws scratching despertly on the chain link.

Shady was now his dog, as he was the one who assigned dogs to handlers. He, wanted to be Shady’s handler.

Amos decided it was best to call the station before he showed up, asking for his dog. He ate lunch, and promptly fell asleep soon thereafter in his leather chair.

The officer decided to send the collie to training school, which he would attend with her. After heading back to his office, he picked up the phone, and made the arrangements to get them into the school. Shady whimpered softly. The kennel she was in was plain, concrete, and boring. She leaped into the air, trying to see out of the small window at the top of the wall.

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