Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: MISSION (01/30/20)
By Yvonne Blake
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“Hey, Buddy.” He gently shook the boy’s shoulder. “Are you ready to go on our secret mission?”
The blankets flew up, and the boy tumbled down out of bed, fully dressed. He giggled. “I slept in my clothes, so I wouldn’t waste time getting dressed.”
His dad rubbed the boy’s head and laughed. “Good thinking, Kid.”
The boy's smile drooped. He sighed.
"You knew this day would come. Captain was ours for only a while."
After a quick bowl of cereal for them and kibbles for me, we headed out. Charging for the open door, I knocked down the boy in my excitement but stopped to lick his face to apologize. The cold air and a dozen scents hit my nose: the neighbor’s dog, a raccoon, the boy’s lost mitten, and so many others. A sliver of the rising sun peeked through the dark trees. I could hear the mice and birds stirring in the morning air.
The boy climbed into the back seat and tied himself up with straps.The man motioned to me. “Come on, Captain. You’re coming, too.”
Oh, boy! I jumped in and claimed the spot next to the window. Too bad it was all sealed up tight. I so loved to sniff the odors flying by. The man started the growling engine, and we were off. I didn’t care where we were going.
After the boy and I took another nap, we woke up when the car stopped. Bright lights shone all around us and at least a hundred other cars were lined up beside us. The man snapped a leash on my collar. “Be good, Captain.” He patted my head. “I’ve got a surprise for you.”
“Dad?” the boy asked. “Dad, do you think Captain will remember?”
“Yes, I’m sure he will. Dogs don’t forget.”
I didn’t remember ever being in this place before. All the cars and lights and loud roars from the sky were making me very nervous. I had to pee and used a nearby bush. The man tugged gently at my leash, so I followed close to his legs. The boy led the way through a door that opened by itself. A whoosh of wind blew around us. There were so many people. Many dragging square bags behind them. Loud voices blasted from speakers. I tugged on the leash and barked. The man quickly knelt close to me. “Shhh, boy. It’s okay.”
I followed the man up twenty steps to a big room. People in blue vests and hats shook hands with the man and the boy. Some looked at me, and I lifted my paw to shake too. They seemed to think it was funny.
The loud voice filled the room again, and the blue-vested people made a long line. The man looked at me and tapped his right thigh. “Sit, Captain.”
I sat, and the boy was on the other side. I looked up at his face when he patted my head. He seemed sad and excited at the same time. Now what do we do? I thought.
Soon footsteps and voices echoed up a long hallway. Everyone clapped and cheered as the people with black boots and green blotchy clothes came toward us. When the soldiers saw the line, they smiled. They took turns shaking hands with each blue-vested person. They even shook hands with me. There were so many of them!
The man tapped the boy on the shoulder and pointed up the row. “That’s her.”
The boy stood on his tiptoes. He was so excited, that he was almost dancing. He kneeled to give me a hug and whispered, “I love you, Captain. I’m going to miss you.”
Miss me? What do you mean?
It was then that I heard “Captain! Captain!”
I know that voice. I know that scent. I know that face. It was my girl. I forgot my “sit” command. I jumped on her. I licked her. I ran around her. She had been gone so long. I didn’t think I’d ever see her again. I barked. I licked her again. My girl is home!
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