“Boomer! Wanna go for a ride?” That’s what my adoptive mom told me before she took me to the doctor’s office. I was tricked!
“Your dog needs therapy, he’s mean and scary!” Those are just some of the things that people would say about me. I’m a big black lab, with another mixed breed in me. No one really knows for sure what the other breed is, but I’m a big dog, so my real dad must have been a big guy! I wish they didn’t blabber so much; they might actually like chasing tennis balls too. They say every dog has his day, and boy, I sure had many when I was younger pup. It’s not my fault that I’m aggressive with food. I love my family but they better not take my food or my ball. It makes me angry, Doc.
“Well, Boomer,” Dr. Rufus pauses to adjust his glasses, “tell me about what happened.” I hesitantly mouth on my tennis ball. It had become my blanket of security, taking it away from me would be certain chaos. If that was to happen, I’d used my most outrageously loud bark in the world to have that awful human who took it away give it back. Or just bite their leg. I will never survive without my ball!
“Anytime you’re ready Boomer,” the doctor said softly.
I lay down in his chair and close my eyes tightly as if I was about to nap. This chair wasn’t like the ones at the vet. This chair is soft and squishy, like my bed at home. “When I was younger I never got to play fetch with my dad. My real mom told me he couldn’t deal with us. I guess walked away one night when we were sleeping, and never came back. My mom was separated from me. People with nets took her away, Doc. I was only six weeks old and all on my own. I tried to track them as best I could, but I could never find their scent. I became very discouraged until one day while walking in the woods, I came across this round object that had the most peculiar smell of treats and fun. Fun to me is running around like the wild dog I am!”
Now I’m reeeally wanting to go outside.
“I bit into it to quickly explore this mealtime option, hoping it wouldn’t be another flop, when the most amazing thing happened! I bit into it and it was squishy, but strong, and no matter how many times I would bite into it, it would go back to its wonderful bouncy shape! I became obsessed with this ball to the point I would starve myself so that no other dogs could take it away.”
“Were you in a lot of fights, Boomer?” The doctor notices the visible scars on my body and jots something into his yellow pad. That yellow pad scares me. It’s like my book of secrets or something. When I see it, I always get into my posture that scares others. I get on all fours with my butt straight up in the air while my head is just about touching the ground. People usually walk away or start crying, but Dr. Rufus just sits there in his little chair.
“Is our session almost over, Doc? I want to go outside and sniff stuff.”
“No, you have thirty minutes left Boomer,” Dr. Rufus says patiently. I growl at him because I don’t like the doctor’s response.
“OK, but I’m going to chew my ball.” The doctor shifts in his chair and nods to continue. “Yeah Doc, I was in many fights when I was younger, I didn’t have any place to call my own and all I had was my ball. One day I was diggin’ through the trash for some bacon when suddenly a gang of Chihuahuas attacked me and stole my ball. It was the most scariest thing in my life!” I exclaim. Chihuahuas are like little Godzillas of the streets. If you see one, you know more are coming. I saw them from afar but I knew I had no time to run away. They’re so quick with their little legs that they would catch up to me easily. When the leader of the Chihuahua pack came up to me, he just stared into my eyes. Then all of a sudden, a bunch of them were on top of me, and I couldn’t find my ball! They quickly got off me and ran away laughing with their squealing voices. The leader had my most prized possession in his mouth. I was not happy.
“I chased those little monsters for blocks but couldn’t catch them. My eyes started to water and I was very upset, but I didn’t stop running. I was always on the go, and I couldn’t get the pain I felt in my heart out so I ran faster. I grew to be big, lean and mean and vowed that nobody was ever going to catch me. I got to see the world, though it was all just a blur to me. Months passed and my condition deteriorated. I had caught fleas, gotten dehydrated, and become very weak. I was sleeping under a box when one day this man appeared out of nowhere and put me in this cage that was loud and noisy and took me to a place where they keep other dogs all caged up. I think it was called a prison!”
“Shelter," Dr. Rufus says, cringing at the thought of the word itself. Those “shelters” were caged and scary. This place had cages lined up on every side of the wall with dogs crying for help in every one of them! I quickly became one of those dogs. I’ve never been inside a cell like that ‘til that day.
“Well, it certainly felt like a prison there, Doc,” I say as I exhale a large, tired sigh. I wasn’t used to the structure of how they ran their operations there and it terrified me having to deal with all those strange people day in and out. They would always smile at me, but those smiles looked evil! They would lock me up and put me into my cell after I went potty.
“Is this where your adopted mother took you in?” asks Dr. Rufus. He glances at his watch, noting the time; he quickly looks back at me. I start to get antsy. I just want to get back home to play outside with my ball. Dr. Rufus understands just why people would be afraid of me; I’m a dog that has definitely been through some tough times. You can see it on my body with the permanent scar I have from when I was attacked by the Chihuahuas. He notices that I haven’t stopped mouthing on my ball.
“We’re making progress, Boomer. Let’s keep going, okay?” he says looking into my dreary eyes. Grr, I just want to go home.
“Tell me about when you met your adoptive mother and family, what were they like?”
I take a quick moment to shift my posture. “I love my family! I have my adoptive mom and dad who I let sleep on my bed at night, although they have a problem hogging my pilows when we sleep. There’s another dog in the house, Buster, who’s old and fat. We play sometimes but he’s usually tired. My mom usually yells at me when I charge him to play. The kids in the house all like me and are nice to me. I think the youngest is the most fun because she likes to go outside and we jump on the trampoline together. I call her Briana,” I say.
“So tell me, however did you come across another ball?” Dr. Rufus points to my ball, now completely wet and accompanied by a large pool of drool just below it.
“I had arrived at what was to be my new house, and immediately they took me to the back yard to go potty and that’s when I saw a ball just like the one I used to have. My love had finally come back into my life!”
My tail starts to wag now just thinking of that wonderful day!
Suddenly my tail is now hitting everything, and I go crazy! I just want to go outside! I start jumping off the walls so that maybe the frickin’ place will come down, and I’ll be able to get outside. Dr. Rufus starts to yell for the net takers. They quickly come in the room with the same nets they had when my real mom was taken. It really is a trick! They try to tackle me to the ground, but I’m using my crazy strength to get them off me, but then more come into the room! They get me on the ground by having so many people hold my legs down. Dr. Rufus takes my ball. I start to cry.
“No! Don’t you dare take my ball!”
Dr. Rufus smiles at me and walks out of the room with my ball. I can’t believe him. Another doctor comes in with this long, pointy stick in his hand. I’ve seen that before. Oh my god, it’s a needle!
“Boomer? Honey, are you ok?” I can hear my mom through the door. Mom, help me! “Boom Boom, wanna go outside?” Briana says, but I don’t see her.
The doctor comes closer with the needle. Oh no, this is it.
All of a sudden, I see Briana right in my face. I look around and there are no doctors, people holding me down, or that needle. I’m in my bed at home with my ball next to me. Oh boy, my ball! I start to mouth on it, making me calm down. It was just a dream.
“You crazy dog! Come on, let’s go play outside,” she says with that cute smile on her face. She quickly takes my ball and runs outside. I follow right after her. I know she won’t take my ball away from me forever like how the doctor did in my dream or those scary Chihuahuas.
“Ready, boy? Go get it!”