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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Ow! (01/07/10)

TITLE: Please...Rescue Me!
By Linda Germain


Gus, still groggy from the anesthesia, raised his head to look for a sip of water but there was none close enough to reach. His mouth was so dry there was no way he could make a sound. His only hope rested in the rarely seen night shift person happening by and noticing his dilemma. The pain in the newly set bone was no longer stalled at a manageable ache. All he could do was wait for help. He heard soft whimpering in a nearby bed. His neighbor was suffering too.

As morning light came through the one small window in the ward, he woke from a brief and uneasy sleep to hear voices. They seemed to be discussing his case.

The first one spoke in a sweet lady-like way.

“This is one of the worse cases of abuse I’ve seen in a long time, Doctor. What do you think his chances are?”

“Well, Sally…with the excellent care you always provide your patients, I’d say he has a better chance than most. It’s the one in the next bed I’m concerned about.”

“Yes Sir,” she whispered with a touch of sadness, “He was brought in last night so dehydrated and malnourished, it’s a wonder he is still alive. That’s his second bottle of IV fluid. In a few minutes we’re starting the antibiotics and vitamins you ordered.”

Since English was not his first language, Gus listened with all his might, trying to understand what was going to happen next. That’s when the one they called Sally laid her soft hand on his warm forehead and reassured him. Her touch was cool and comforting. She brought fresh water and helped him raise up enough to swallow a small amount. She was gentleness personified as she changed his bedding and turned him to his other side. She hummed a lovely tune as she worked. Still unable to respond, he knew he was smiling on the inside.

“I’ll check back in a little while,” she said, in her kind and responsible manner. “Maybe you can go to sleep and have some good dreams for a change.”

Gus was so tired he couldn’t help but drift off-- but they were not pleasant dreams he had. Someone dark and sinister and wearing big boots kept kicking him. He tried to hide but the mean figure grabbed him in a choke hold and threw him down stairs. He awoke with a start and heard himself making a gut-wrenching noise…a plea for help. Sally came running.

“Oh my dear. You’re shaking.”

She put her arms around his bruised and battered body. In spite of his obvious post-operative bandages she hugged him as well as she could.

“Don’t worry, my friend, you’re safe here. If I can help it, you will never be a victim of this outrageous behavior again.”

He detected tears in her voice. Not only did she smell wonderful, she was truly an angel of mercy. He decided right then and there he was in love, and vowed never to leave her…that is, if she would have him.

After a few weeks, Gus got his miracle. All his wounds and fractures mended. With beautiful Sally to care for him, the horrible memories began to fade as well. He had a new lease on life.

When he was discharged he remembered his former ward-mate whose bed had been empty for some time. No one had to tell him why. Those injuries, also from total disregard for a living, breathing being, were too bad to fix. For a moment his heart ached for all those who are beaten, starved, treated with malice and anger, and thrown away. He heard Sally call for him to hurry.

“Come on, Good Looking! We’re going home. There’s a juicy steak there with your name on it.”

He fell in step beside her until they got to the car. She had to pick him up to put him on the warm and fluffy blanket on the back seat.

“Ahh,” he sighed to himself. “This is what a real dog’s life should be.”

*Sadly, thousands of domestic animals are maliciously abused and starved every day. I believe the Lord expects us to do what we can to prevent such atrocities. Who else do they have to take a stand for them but humans? Since they don’t verbalize our language, please listen for the unspoken “OW” on those sweet pet faces. Maybe they just need a hug.

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This article has been read 508 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Roome 01/14/10
So well written with the ending a great surprise! If only more animals could find homes like that.
Mona Purvis01/14/10
So very well-written and held my interest. At first, I thought, perhaps a child. This is an excellent piece on a difficult subject to work a serious piece from.
As a dog-lover, I appreciate this so much. As a writer...I'm in awe.
Noel Mitaxa 01/16/10
Very creative and thought-provoking. "Since English was not his first language" was a clever way to set the scene and also throw us 'off the scent.' Well done.
Dee Yoder 01/17/10
Clever and sweet!
Barbara Lynn Culler01/17/10
At first, I thought it an adult, then a child, then a senior citizen. Powerful and heartbreaking.
Kimberly Russell01/17/10
Wow- this was really very good. It held my attention and I didn't figure it out until the very end. Great job.