Minnie was a Yorkshire terrier. She was the smallest of four puppies, despite this she had been the first to open her eyes, the first to fall out of the basket while exploring and the first to be taken from her mommy. Minnie cried when she was taken away by the blond girl and her parents but soon she loved her new family. It was the blond girl who gave her the name Minnie.
The puppy grew to like her name. Minnie, Minnie, Minnie, rang from morning to night. Minnie’s special friend was Ann-Marie, the blond girl. All that summer they played in the garden, walking along the beach and playing fetch. People don’t seem to be able to hear or smell the world like dogs can. Minnie loved the tang of the ocean wafting in the wind, she could smell the diesel fumes from the train station all the way across the town, the delicious oder coming from the bacon factory made her lick her lips when it drifted over the hedge. Sounds were just as wonderful, she could hear the tv in the house next door and the bell that chimed from the church was so loud it made her cry the first time she heard it.
When the air grew cooler Minnie first saw Ann-Marie in her school uniform. Minnie, Ann-Marie and her mother walked to school on that first day, Minnie was so excited. Soon boys and girls gathered all dressed the same way. Ann-Marie vanished from sight but Minnie could smell her little friend and pick out her lovely laugh among the noises of the school yard. Minnie did not want to leave but she was dragged away from the gate by her collar. Minnie grew to hate seeing Ann-Marie appearing in that school uniform.
One day the woman of the house left the gate open. Minnie dashed into the world outside the garden deciding to try to find Ann-Marie in the place with all the other boys and girls. She wandered along paths that she was familiar with, sniffing at interesting things along the way without anyone dragging her by the collar.
Just as she neared the school she was yanked up by the skin of her neck. The man’s hands were very rough, and the little puppy yelped as she was tossed into a wire cage. The light went out with a huge bang. All around were the whimpers of other dogs, Minnie tried to break free but the wire cut into her nose and paws painfully. When the door opened again Minnie could see the other puppies in cages just like her. The man who was taking them out smelled like cigarettes and beer, Minnie knew he was a bad man, dogs can tell you know. All the cages were thrown into a shed that was cold and damp. Yet again the light went out and her weeks of torture began.
Minnnie was never let out of the cage, at first she needed to pee real bad but she held it. She was a good dog and did not want to make a mess inside but the man never came to let her out. In the end she had to go, that was weeks ago. She had been sleeping covered in wee and poo ever since. The nasty man came and shouted if the dogs made too much noise. Once and a while he would throw handfuls of food into the cage but never much. She was hungry, cold and very frightened. The day the man came to the shed and picked up Minnie’s cage she wagged her tail thinking she was going back to Ann-Marie. The smelly man dropped the cage on the ground making her yelp. He turned a hose on her until she was soaking but at least she did not smell like poo anymore. The man left Minnie in the yard while he brought out more dogs and turned the hose on them. Later he loaded all the shivering puppies into the van and slammed the door.
At last the door opened on a wonderful sight; everywhere were people selling things and there were smells of cooking that made Minnie’s tummy rumble. Through the day people came and looked at the dogs in the cages. Some took dog’s away but Minnie only wanted to get back to Ann-Marie, no one else would do. When the nasty man opened her cage lifting her out she sank her sharp puppy teeth into his finger causing him to scream in pain dropping Minnie to the ground. Minnie ran as fast as she could with the nasty man chasing after her.
She ran around people and under horses, between cars and making them go ‘BEEP’. She kept on running until the nasty man was far away. When the sun went down Minnie sniffed the air, everything here smelled strange except the very faint smell of the sea. Minnie followed the scent as it grew stronger by the hour.
The sun was high in the sky the next day when Minnie heard the church bell. Sometimes she walked through fields sometimes on roads with stinky cars zooming by but always following the oder of home. The bell sounded again, this time closer, Minnie ran towards it. Soon all the smells and sounds of home began to emerge. The yummy bacon factory and then the stinging smell of the train station. Minnie ran along streets she knew searching for Ann Marie just wanting to be home and safe.
The School bell made her jump with fright but when all the gray uniformed children rushed out into the playground Minnie knew she had found Ann Marie. With her little puppy ears cocked she searched for her little girl. Her tiny tail whirled with happiness when she heard Ann-Marie’s laugh in the distance. With a bark of delight Minnie dashed across the road towards the children.
Tyres squealed but the car was far too close to stop. Minnie’s side tingle as she was thrown high in the air landing with a jarring thud in the middle of the road. She tried to get to her feet but her legs would not work. Her heart thundered with happiness as the Ann-Marie appeared above her. Worry invaded her delight as she recognised tears running down the girl’s cheeks. Ann-Marie was saying ‘Minnie’ over and over, rubbing her head. Minnie stretched out a paw to the little girl and licked the fingers that cradled her head.
Soon teachers and other grownups gathered but Ann-Marie would not let anyone touch the little dog. As they rushed to the vet in a teacher’s car, Minnie gazed lovingly at the girl. She was so tired but so very happy. She needed to have a little sleep. They raced into the vet’s office; Minnie thought she would close her eyes just for one minute, just a little nap and then she would be fine. Minnie drifted into a happy dream filled with blond haired girls and lamb chops. Through the fog of dreams she heard the vet say, “She is a tough little puppy, with a little luck she will make it.” In her dream Minnie knew she had made it already.