Every day at lunch I would sit outside to eat and soak up some of nature’s vitamin D. And every day, I would see this animal nosing roaming around. There were days that he would run from the animal control, or dodge cars, growling to protect himself from horrible individuals, or just sit and stare at me from across the street. I would yell at the teens wanting to harm him, or yell at the mongrel to get out of the street but he just stared. I called him river because the markings on his head looked like the mapping of a river.
After watching him for a few weeks I realized he was more than likely hungry and started bringing a bag of kibble in my lunchbox. I would eat my sandwich and as I got up I would dump the bag of kibble where I sat. For a few days, I would have to scoop away the old kibble and replace with fresh. Over time I noticed that the pile of kibble would get smaller and smaller until the piles would be gone by the next day. I spied on the filthy beast to make sure it was him I was feeding and not the birds. The dog would never come when I was present but made sure his presence was known.
Our relationship lasted for six months, just like that. I would bring kibble, he would eat it and repeat. One morning everything changed. I had just got done eating and started to pour his kibble out when he was standing in front of me, growling.
‘Shhh…river…go..good boy.’ I stammered and started to look down to appear submissive to him. I didn’t know what I had done to bring on this show of aggression. We NEVER interacted. River’s growls got lower and louder. He started baring his teeth and a barking that sent chills down my spine.
‘Ok…ok…shhh. Please be a good boy.’ I pleaded with tears running down my face.
River lunged past me knocking me to the ground. I hit my head on the stone walkway and I could hear a man’s voice. Sounded like he was in pain. The true chill came from metal clinking against the stone walkway. River had just prevented me from being the next victim of the serial murderer that has been claiming lives of women all over the city. I ran to the nearest store and called the police. I returned to the scene to find the cops wrestling the killer to the ground and River not letting go of the man. It was all over so quickly. Law enforcement asked if that was my dog and I had explained that it was a stray that I was feeding on my lunch breaks. They informed me that they would call animal control to capture my saving River. I refused and promised I would do everything in my power to gain control of my wild River.
It only took a week. I would approach River with food and treats. I gained his trust and before I knew it he had allowed me to put a leash on him. I took him to the vet and got everything he needed, then to the pet store and for the first time he was groomed and dressed. We went home where I introduced him to his new life and formed a friendship that lasted for his lifetime.
I wanted to do something different. I allowed myself only 20 minutes to write a story for this prompt before heading home. (Yup, work day is almost over, I’m out of work, and had an urge to write.)