Finding the Right Homes for Retired Hounds in the Delaware, Maryland, D.C., Virginia Area ...and Beyond!
Treachery's End (part 3)by Ron Powell
My name is Maury and Arty's Heart of Treachery. I'm a racer. I love to race. That's the only thing I do like. Nothing else matters. Just the race. And Winning. I used to win a lot.
I was delivered to a new home and put in the garage, still in my cage. The garage door closed and a door to the interior of the house opened. A woman was standing there. She looked at me a long time. She never said a word. I just stared back. Eventually, she closed the door. I could hear her sobbing a little. I’m already ahead of the game.
A man came in a little later and put some food and water in my cage. He smelled of wariness. I know I'm going to have to work hard to plant a tiny seed of trust. I just need a tiny crack to wriggle through. I just need that chink in the armor, a place to start. I let him open the door, put the food and close the door. Clearly it will take time to get their guards down. No matter. I have time. I live in the Red Zone. Time is a luxury I can afford.
All through the day, I heard familiar noises. I heard footsteps, some of them little. Later, a hound's soft whuffing. The normal, humdrum, sounds of a normal day in a normal house. Well, it's almost a normal day. They have me to contend with. I'm not normal. I left normal behind a long time ago.
I could hear the woman on the phone behind the door to the garage. I could hear little footsteps. Experimentally, I whine. The little footsteps stopped. I whine again and, in the gap of the door, I see the little feet turn towards the door. I lay down quickly, and whined again, louder. The doorknob started to turn. It opened slightly and a little eye looked at me. I pulled my leg up like it hurt and cried a little, pitifully. The door opened and the little boy stepped into the garage. Like I said, humans are predictable. A few more whines brought the little boy to the cage door. He reached out to the latch and pulled back hesitantly. I put on the sad eyes. So close. So very close. I must be my most patient, but the chaos calls to me. A sweet siren call, irresistible and urgent. He unlatched the door and stepped back. I nudged the door open and stepped out. He backed into the kitchen. I followed, as silently as I could. When I got to the kitchen, I made my move.
Time slowed to a crawl. I couldn't hear a sound. I saw with perfect clarity the Mom's mouth opening to scream. The bowl she was holding fell slowly, excruciatingly slowly, towards the floor. The boy turned to look at her, his hand outstretched, his little pink finger pointing in my general direction. I saw every hair on his arm and how they rippled in the breeze of the fan above. I smelled the fear from the mom. The universe cried out to me at this moment. Destiny called and would not be ignored. Rage fueled me, and filled with its power, I lunged. My jaws were closing slowly. So very slowly. You could feel the agonizing friction of second upon second. They closed… on nothing at all.
Time sped up again. I was lifted from my feet by a large blur and I landed with a thud on the floor, skidding to a halt against the wall. All I could see was an impossibly large mouth full of gleaming white teeth, sharp and thirsty. Slavering, slobbering jaws above me. Then I saw the eyes. Those eyes were so hard. They were flat and dark but with the fires of Hell burning behind them. The Hound above me made me feel something no other hound ever had. Fear. I did something I never thought I would do. I froze. Panic stricken as I watched those eyes weigh and measure my being to the last ounce, then consider and discard me as a threat. As casually as humans throw trash to the ground, those eyes bored into me and decided I was nothing to worry about. A trifle. I started to lift my head, to get up and to fight back but all that Hound did was gently, almost tenderly, reach out a paw and push my head back to the floor. It could have been the weight of a mountain or the touch of a summer breeze, but I was unable to resist. Something broke inside me, then. Where once there was steel and stone was now dust and rubble. I did the only thing I could in the face of that avenging angel's wrath, the only thing I never did. I submitted. I lowered my eyes and showed him my belly. When I could gather the strength to whimper, I asked, "Who are you?"
His eyes transformed. Where once Hell reigned, Heaven replaced. They flooded with light and warmth. The avenging spirit of doom was replaced by an angelic glow. They radiated feelings I’d long since forgotten. Love, compassion and caring all replaced the darkness. I could only stare at him. Transfixed by the notion that there was a being capable of not only understanding, but of helping me. When he spoke it was like the morning mist clearing before the sun.
"My name is Prince Frecklebum, Greyhound Detective. I wasn't always a detective. I was a racer once, before I retired. My track name was Occam's Razor of Lightspeed Doom. You can call me Prince. Most of the humans around these parts do."
"There's only two things you need to know right now, kid. One, I'm the boss around here and two, NOBODY hurts my family"
I slunk over to the boy whom I was so willing to mangle mere seconds ago. I looked at him and his Mom with emotions that I didn’t think I was still capable of having. Shame and remorse warred with sorrow. The little boy reached out his hand to me, and patted me on the head. His hand was warm. It felt strange, but wonderful. I laid there for an eternity with the little boy’s hand carving away the pain, stroke by gentle stroke.
"Lisa, cancel that appointment. I can't explain it, but something changed. Give us some more time. It's nothing short of a miracle. Her eyes changed. She’s changed. Completely. She's a dog again. I think there’s hope inside her. I think we can find it."
I'll make it up to them, somehow. The blankets in my cage were the softest I've ever known.
Greyhounds aren't just dogs, they are a way of life!