Dad by Jacqueline Valencia
I don’t know what dad means, but for some reason there’s a person who is referred to as dad in my life. He’s my favourite human.
There was a time I had no one. I don’t remember much before that time I was in a cage being fed and watered and occasionally, some humans would come in and have a look. Then one day, a man came to see me and I was instantly curious. He had brown hair and a kind face. His eyes were the same colour as my favourite toy. The people that were feeding me let him into my cage. The man with the blue eyes crouched down to my level and I curled into a little ball in the corner, but I let him pet me. His pets are so nice. My tail wagged and I instantly melted into his lap. As we drove home in his car, with me in the seat beside him, I smiled and fell asleep with him hand petting my head. That’s when he became the person I think of as Dad. He called me “Dozer.”
At first there were a lot of things we had to work on. Learning what our schedules were and being away from him when he closed the door. Luckily, he had treats! We eventually worked it out with a lot of time together. Dad always comes home after being outside and he always makes sure I have a full day every day. I learned to sit, lie down, and roll. I also learned to shake his hand. Sometimes when he has people over and, although I am shy, he will call a command in front of them, and it helps me see that he always has me in mind.
One day we were hiking at a park. I’m often scared or wary of new environments, but I was with Dad, so it didn’t take me long to trust his lead. At one point I got distracted by the sound of a strange bird. It went, “Caw! Caw! Caw!” And was a little taken by its sound. I wasn’t on a leash, so when I looked for Dad, I couldn’t see him. I was lost! I looked for him and panicked. My heart started beating so fast and hard that I couldn’t breathe. I tucked my tail between my legs.
Then I heard, “Dozer! Come here boy! Dozer! Come!”
Something inside me clicked me out of my panic, mostly what Dad was constantly teaching me, and started focusing on where Dad’s voice was. Wherever Dad was calling from would make me feel less afraid, so I followed his voice. And I found him! He was so happy to see me that his eyes were wet and so were mine. I didn’t ever want to be without my dad.
We went home and sat by the fireplace. I could never be as content by this person who had given me a home and a place to be. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
- Photo by Bill Stephan on Unsplash
- Photo by Taylor Sondgeroth on Unsplash
- Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash