I stared at the front door from behind the bars of my kennel, waiting to hear the click of the lock from the front door turning into place. Followed by the footsteps down the front porch onto the driveway, then the sound of the car door slamming shut.
A few seconds later, I heard the roar of the engine that sounded like music to my ears. I closed my eyes and listened to that sound fade away into the distance before I moved one single muscle.
When all was clear, I went back to work.
I licked my lips in preparation to begin my daily task of whittling down the strands of rope that were holding my cage together in each corner. I stick to the bottom ones so I can hide it from Eddie, my male master. If he saw the tears in the rope, he would probably replace them and I would have to start all over again.
And I did not have time for that!
I could not be trapped behind these bars another night and forced to watch him put his hateful hands on Lily, my female master, again.
I remember the first time I saw Lily, in the pet store where I was waiting to be sold with my brothers and sisters. She smelled like cookies and when I licked her fingers, they tasted like them too.
She was beaming the day she brought me home. Eddie was not as pleased, but she did not care. She loved me and I knew it!
My first night in their home, I was afraid to sleep in the fenced up kitchen by myself the way Eddie wanted me to, so I began to whimper softly as I tried to find a comfortable spot to sleep. A few minutes later Lily crept down the stairs, laid down on the floor next to me, and held me in her arms all night long.
From that night on, I was loyal to her. Eddie was an angry asshole who cared only about himself.
It was not long before I saw him lash out at Lily for the first time.
Lily had just finished making dinner and she put the plate in the oven to stay warm for Eddie. He was out late again, probably on some barstool wetting his whistle far beyond what any human needed to consume.
Then, Lily and I cuddled up on the couch to watch her favorite show while she waited for him to come home. When he stumbled into the house, hours later, he demanded his dinner be brought to the table for him.
Lily quickly got up and obliged his request while I followed close behind her. After she put the plate down in front of him, she took the seat directly next to him to keep him company while he ate.
He began to shovel the food into his mouth and a few seconds later, he spits it out directly into her face.
“What the hell is this shit? You couldn’t make me a fresh plate of food? This shit is dry and hard as a rock!”
He picked up the plate and threw it at the wall across from the table. The plate shattered into a million little pieces only inches away from where I sat on the kitchen floor.
“I did…. I mean... I cooked it earlier and kept it warm in the oven for you. I didn’t know you would be so late.” She stammered over her words trying to make an excuse that would satisfy him.
Eddie immediately reacted by slapping her so hard across her face that she fell out of her chair and landed on the floor next to me.
I began to lick the food that was still all over her face in hopes it would give her some comfort, but Eddie threw back his own chair, kicked me aside, and leaned down mere centimeters from her face.
“Stop playing with me bitch! I want a decent meal when I come home from work. You remember that!” He said with his finger pressing so hard into her cheek that it left an indentation.
After that night, Lily started to put me in my kennel when Eddie’s mood swings would arise so that I wouldn’t get hurt during one of his rages.
I know she wanted to protect me but I am supposed to protect her.
The more I grew, the more I felt the need to take action so I developed my plot of making my kennel escapable for the next time he tried to hurt her.
Every day after they both left for work, I continued my quest by cutting through the rope that was holding my kennel together with my teeth.
The day I finished cutting through the last strand, I felt a sensation of relief wash through my paws.
I was ready!
A few days after my mission was complete, Eddie came home in his usual inebriated state. Stumbling through the house, knocking things over left and right.
Lily put me in my kennel, then tried to coax him into bed like she usually did, but he resisted and grew extra annoyed extremely quickly.
“Get your hands off of me. I don’t need your help!” He shouted as he pushed her away from him and she fell back onto the sofa that was behind them.
My eyes were glued to his every movement waiting for my moment to pounce.
Lily tried to stand up but Eddie jumped on top of her, locked his hands around her neck, and started to squeeze. Her face started to blue as she tried to gasp for air.
Now, I knew it was time!
I pushed open my kennel door with my snoot from the bottom where I had freed the hinges and charged toward him at full speed.
I leaped into the air and over the sofa where he had her pinned down, then I sunk my teeth directly into his neck and bite down as hard as I possibly could.
He released his grip from her neck and fell backward onto the ground. I kept ahold of him as long as I could before he threw me off of him and I crashed into the wall knocking down the pictures that hung.
I could hear Lily screaming while the blood poured out of Eddie's neck. She grabbed the phone and called 911. They were there in seconds. They stopped Eddie’s bleeding long enough to take him to the hospital and wrapped Lily up in a blanket
She looked over at me standing in the corner staring back at her. She approached me slowly and sat down beside me. I wasn’t sure if she was going to hug me or hit me, so I stood frozen like a statue until she decided.
“Thank you!” She whimpered with tears streaming down her face.
I licked away her tears and laid my head in her lap so she knew it was going to be okay now. She wasn’t alone anymore.