A Shining Moon

Chapter One

Hi. My name is…well, I honestly don't know what my name is. All I know is that I am a stray. A stray dog out on the run, searching for a purpose in this, well, whatever this is. I'm quite unsure of all of this. I'm still finding my way. But when I do find it, it'll be worth wild.

I was born a stray. Raised by my mother who had been my only friend, after my brothers and sisters had passed on, we only had each other to lean on. Being a stray wasn't always an easy thing. We were always in search of food, and of course, was rarely ever found. Hunger was something we knew quite well. Especially since it never left. Our stomachs were always growling at us, but we couldn't growl back, nor feed it. We always kept ourselves isolated. Isolated from other packs, and from creatures who stood on two legs. We had their scents memorized, so every time it hit our nose, we'd hide, or run the other way. Mother knew all the rules of the stray life, and I still hadn't learned them all.

Mother left me when I was only a year old. I didn't understand why, or how. One day she just didn't get up. I tried waking her up, but she wouldn't budge, and she had the weirdest scent to her. Something told me to keep moving. To never stop moving. To keep searching, and never turn around and come back. I guess that's how I ended up here. I just kept walking, of course with the occasional stop to lift my leg, and eat some pieces of food I found along the way, and when I got very tired, I curled in a corner, and rested for the night, but that was all.

So, all that walking and such led me here. A place where the water touched the Earth, and again retreats back. I had never seen such a place. It was actually quite beautiful. But, it wasn't all mine. My nose had caught a scent of something…something sweet? I've smelled this scent before, back when I was with my mother. This was the kind of scent familiar to the scents of the two legged creatures Mother told me to stay away from, so, I lowered myself to the ground, carefully watching as the scent became stronger, and closer.

I then caught sight of where the scent was coming from. A small female creature was slowly coming toward me. I swayed my tail a bit in friendliness, but also prepared my body for the worst. She was now extending her arm out to me. Was I supposed to smell it?

"Hey there, puppy. Are you lost?" She was now about two feet away from me.

I slowly reached up to touch my nose against her light, soft skin, and her scent invaded my nostrils. This girl was friendly, and it seemed she wanted to help.

She crouched down, and rubbed my cheek. "Good boy." She looked around as she used her other arm to dig in her pocket. "Well, I guess no one is with you, and you seem to not have a collar."

She took out a rope, and put it around my neck. The feeling felt uncomfortable, so I jerked back, but I couldn't get free. Instead, it tighted around my throat. "Hey! Hey! Calm down, boy! I won't hurt you." She stood up, reached behind me, and loosened the rope. "There. Come on, boy. You're coming home with me."

She patted her side, and I followed her. I felt secure. And the word home had me curious. I wanted to know what home was.

We came upon a building, a fairly large building that had water swaying through it. I had seen many of these in the year I had been alive. Sometimes, Mother and I would find empty ones, and we'd sleep inside them. We'd find very soft beds, and curl up next to each other, falling asleep. But the one the this girl brought me to wasn't empty. It was occupied by three other scents. Two older two-legged creatures, and a cat. I came to the conclusion that this was the girl's family.

"This is my home, boy. I hope Mommy and Daddy will let me keep you!" She began leading me toward the building, into a door, and we were inside.

The first new thing to greet me was the cat. He came over to sniff me. I've seen cats before. Mother hated them, but I had to impress the girl. He seemed unimpressed, and simply walked away.

"That's Mr. Fluff. Don't worry, he doesn't really like anyone else other than Mommy." She took the rope off of me, tossing it on the object that was positioned next to her. "Wait here. You may explore, but please do not chew up the couch." She was pointing to the object she threw the rope onto. I had learned a new word. She then left me, leaving me to explore the new surroundings.

While I sat patiently near the couch, the girl came back with two other two-legged creatures, a male and female. They were older than the girl, and were staring right at me. I lowered my ears just a little bit, hoping they weren't angry with me.

"I found him at the beach, all alone" The girl talked to her parents. I'm guessing she was telling them about me.

"Are you sure, Nina? There are a lot of people at the beach. Maybe his owner was around there." The older female spoke, extending her arm to me. I sniffed it.

"I'm sure. No one was around him, and see! He has no collar."

The older male now spoke. "Well, that is true. Maybe we should call the shelter."

"No, Daddy! You know what the shelter people do to dogs like him."

Dogs like me?

"She's right, Mark. He's a pit bull. He'll be put down as soon as he walks through the door."

The house was silent for a while. They all just seemed to stare at me, thinking deeply, I could tell. I just happily wagged my tail, hoping that someone would notice, and the silence would be broken.

"Well, I think we should let her keep him. I see no wrong in it." The older female was the first to speak, and when she did, the little girl squealed happy, and hugged the older female. "Thank you, Mommy!" And then she came over to hug me. "Did you hear that? You get to stay with us! You're home now!"

There was that word again. Home. What did home mean? Did home mean a building? Or did home mean a family of individuals who loved and cared for you? Home. What a silly, strange word.