Arley’s First Year: An Autobiography of Arley the Dog — Chapter One: Home-Coming Surprises
I am terrified, trying to move away from her, as she manages to get my carrier free, and carries it with her, straight into my new home! A female human with hazel eyes and short curly brown hair comes toward us, and the girl sets the carrier down. The female unzips it, and picks me up, carrying me outside where a small crowd of kids are waiting. I figure she wants me to explore, but I am nervous about the crowd of kids. As soon as she sets me down, they get closer, trying to pet me, and call me a strange name: Arley. After a little while, the girl finally picks me up and carries me inside, where two boys I had seen in the crowd outside appear, and the man who brought me here. They are my new family! The man and woman are the parents of the kids. The two boys are blond-haired and blue-eyed. The woman walks toward me, putting me in a roomy cage that they call a crate. It has some water, and a bowl of food. After she does that, she joins the rest of the family in another room, where they sit and talk. I eat the food hungrily, and check out the bottle of water. It hangs from a bar in my crate, and there is a small tube. I lick the tube, and a small drop of water drips into my mouth. I finally learn that I have to lick it continuously to get enough water. It makes a clicking sound every time I lick. I settle down and listen to my family’s conversation. This is what I learn: The kids call the man Dad, so I will too. They call the woman Mom, so I’ll also do the same. After all, they are my forever parents! I learn that the youngest boy is named Kenan, and the older one is Yann. The girl is the oldest and is named Solenn. After a bit of listening, I learn that my name isn’t Bert anymore, it’s Arley! I say it to myself a few times, and soon it is as normal as my old name. After dinner, my family comes and takes me out of my crate, and Mom puts a band around my neck that she calls a collar. It is a little itchy, but I decide to ignore it. Every time I walk, the bone-shaped tag on it jingles.
I lay in my crate downstairs, listening to the night noises and waiting for my family to come down. I shift restlessly, feeling the need to go outside. After a little while, I can’t bear it anymore. I howl then fall silent, waiting for a reply. I hear the sound of running feet and Mom and Solenn appear, rushing towards my crate. They open it, and I climb out, greeting them. Mom says something to Solenn, who holds me firmly as Mom grabs a strange object that has a long line on it, just like before. She puts the clip through a loop in my collar and closes it, holding onto the handle firmly. I later learn that the object is a leash. After giving me a delicious meat treat, she opens a door and carriea me outside. Solenn watches us from inside as we walk around. I sniff around curiously, getting used to the feel of a leash on me. After a little bit, Mom carries me back inside. Solenn picks me up and carries me upstairs to a room. I learn it is called a laundry room. My crate is in there, and a dog potty pad for me to go on if I need to. They give me hugs and turn off the light, shutting the door. I fall silent, nervous in my new surroundings.
(Check out the prologue! I also will post a new chapter of this story once a week)