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When an old dog reveals his tricks

By Kelly RobertsonPublished 8 days ago 3 min read
Created with Canva

She walked through the noisy isles of the shelter slowly, weaving her way through the Saturday crowd as non-invasively as possible while still trying to peruse all of the dogs on display. Wherever possible, she knelt down to offer pats, smiling and cooing at the eager occupants wagging their tails. Heartbreak leaked through her smile, meeting the eyes of every dog as though to say, I'd take you all with me if I could.

But she kept on walking, urging herself to be realistic with her needs and her lifestyle. She had a goal, and while it was clear that her heart yearned to save them all, she knew rationality had a different opinion on the matter. So she kept on moving, hushing the rationalizing voice that screamed from deep down in her chest. "You have room for just one," she whispered to herself. "No more."

Turning the corner, she moved down the aisles towards those poor souls who garnered little attention. The seniors. The chronically sick. The stigmatized. Her aching smile returned as she stopped outside the kennel of an old mutt, sad eyes locked on the bars as he laid on his pillow. She flipped up the name card and smiled. "Hello Hank."

Good old Hank wagged his tail obligingly, but remained on his bed. She crouched down and beckoned him closer, her voice calm and reassuring as she coaxed him away from the comfort of his pillow with the prospect of a tender touch.

"What are you doing here, Old Man?" she asked, scratching him behind the ear once he'd finally waddled over to the bars.

"Hank here's a good old boy," a voice offered softly from behind.

She offered a cursory glance back at the trousered figure standing behind her, having not noticed the shelter volunteer's approach, and quickly turned her attention back to the dog.

"But he's here on account of the greatest sin a dog can make."

"What's that?"

"Old age. Family decided taking care of a senior dog was just too much and brought him here. Been here about a month now. Never leaves that pillow much, but I reckon he's got a lot of life left in him. Just needs a warm bed, a loving hand, and the chance to prove how good a boy he really is."

A tender smile spread across her lips as she continued petting old Hank through the bars. The aged hound leaned into her arm, panting softly as though to prove he wasn't desperate for the attention. But when she started to rise, old Hank quickly locked his moping gaze on hers, begging her not to stop, and pressed himself harder against the bars. She chuckled softly, then quickly obliged his request for connection, her smile spreading from ear to ear as Hank wriggled his way into her heart.

"Alright then, Hank," she said resolutely, "how about we get you outta here, huh? You're coming home with me."

Hank woofed his assent and quickly perked up as she flagged down the shelter volunteer to finalize the adoption. In less than twenty minutes, she walked old Hank out those solemn doors, ones he never should have entered in the first place, and off on his next adventure.

As they left, a single pair of eyes watched them from the opposite kennel, willing them on as he panted softly. A look of pride and a bit of mischief flickered across the old dog's face. "So long Hank," he said softly, his voice identical to that which had stirred her heart to make room for the old hound. Then he laid back down with a gentle sigh and closed his eyes, proving even an old dog like him had his tricks.

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About the Creator

Kelly Robertson

Wrangler of chaos. Creator of more. Writing whatever my heart desires, from fantasy to poetry and more!

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (17)

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  • Damion Trimmier4 days ago

    As an animal lover myself, I found myself weeping for good old Hank. This touching story truly tugs at the heartstrings. Well done! By the way, I would love for you to check out my science fiction story when you have the chance. You can find it @ Great job and much love!

  • Heather Hubler5 days ago

    Such an emotional story that pulled on my heartstrings. We've rescued all of our furry family members and love them dearly. Wonderful storytelling :) Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Madison Newton6 days ago

    Sad and beautiful story. So true.

  • Gina Callea6 days ago

    Beautiful story! I loved the protagonist's internal struggle to pick a dog from the shelter and the focus on senior, sick, and stigmatized dogs. The ending with the old dog bidding farewell to Hank is a perfect touch. Great job!

  • Morgan6 days ago

    I loved your story and love the way you write. Congrats!

  • Caroline Craven7 days ago

    Yay for Hank! What a beautiful story.

  • Cathy holmes7 days ago

    This is excellent. Heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. Congrats on the top Story.

  • Roy Stevens7 days ago

    Oh man, that was good! Heartstrings aren't tugged they're broken. I worked in a kennel during school and I volunteer at a cat shelter and it's the abandoned old gals and guys that always rip my heart out and show it to me still beating. How can people who claim to love animals do such a thing? What's wrong with our species that we can so easily reject unconditional love just because it becomes 'inconvenient'? Sorry to blather, but you got me thinking about this stuff. Great work! (no sarcasm)

  • Em Starrrrr7 days ago

    This is really well-written and such a sweet story. My heart hurts for the one who got left behind...truly the most difficult part of rescuing/adopting. Congrats on a well-deserved Top Story. Yay for dogs!

  • JBaz7 days ago


  • Scott Wade7 days ago

    Lovely story. Beautifully written. Congrats on Top story. 🥇

  • JBaz7 days ago

    Delightful. Lovely story well told

  • Nice ❤️💯

  • Awww, I hope he gets out too! Loved this storya

  • Donna Renee8 days ago

    Awww I love this!! ❤️❤️❤️I hope the other one gets out too though😩

  • Quincy.v8 days ago

    What a heartwarming story! It's so sad to think about all the dogs in shelters waiting for their forever homes. It's especially heart-wrenching when you think about the seniors and chronically ill dogs who may have a harder time finding someone to take them in.💗💓💕

  • aly suhail8 days ago

    Great story there

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