Amazing Kids! Magazine

Mutt on the Run

By Kate Duplantis, age 12, Louisiana


I raced from left to right, trying to escape the man chasing me. I feared I would not find shelter, but I dashed into a junkyard, hoping I would not be seen. The dogcatcher crept toward my hiding spot—a trash can—and he looked around.

“Rats,” he sighed with defeat. “Where did that dog go?”

I do not know what would happen if the dogcatcher caught me. Lucky for me, he gave up, disappointed and frustrated.

“How did I get away with that?” I said to myself.

“I have no idea,” answered a voice from my right.

“Who’s there?” I replied from inside the trash can. I listened to the stranger chuckle.

“I’m a friend who would like to help you,” said the shadowy figure who tipped the trash can over and sent me tumbling. I frowned and looked up at the large raccoon who was flashing a cheery smile.

“My name is Ollie. I’m a mutt, and I live here and there. I find food in garbage cans most of the time. Sometimes I steal food from the market. That’s why the dogcatcher was after me. I almost got this big piece of ham, but a woman saw me and threw a bucket of dirty mop water at me. I started running down the street. I’ve almost been caught by that dogcatcher 15 times.”

“Well, I’m Bolo. Don’t most dogs have homes? Why don’t you have one? Anyway, I’ve never had one, and I don’t need one. Come with me, and I’ll introduce you to my friends,” said Bolo.

We walked over to a creek, and Bolo introduced me to a Siamese cat named Cynthia and a Red Macaw named Auroo. Bolo left, saying he would be right back.

Auroo very pleasantly said, “It’s so nice to meet you, Ollie!”

Cynthia was not so nice. She shrieked, “What is that smell?”

I knew she was talking about me. I tucked my tail and lowered my ears. “That might be me.”

“What you need is a bath. Just start licking yourself until you get all the dirt off,” said Cynthia. I am sure she was just trying to help.

Auroo jumped in. “Wait, I don’t think dogs bathe like that. Ollie, go jump in the creek and shake around a lot.”

Okay, it looks like fun, I thought. I tested the water with my paw. It was cold. I sunk my paw deeper into the cold water, and the water pushed against my leg. The water was moving! I snapped at it with my teeth, but I could not catch it. This is fun! I took two steps back and leapt into the water. I felt so excited and played until I was tired. Cynthia and Auroo just sat there watching me. I weakly stumbled out of the creek when I saw Bolo coming through the bushes carrying pizza in his claws.

My stomach growled, and I started to drool. I was so hungry.

“Who wants pizza?” announced Bolo.

I was so thankful. I ate the pizza and lay there with my new friends.

“Now, Ollie, the next thing we need to do is find you a home,” said Auroo.

“I don’t need a home, whatever that means. You guys are so nice, and we can stay here by the creek forever.”

Cynthia strutted around in small circles around me. “Ollie, a home is like having a person that keeps you clean and feeds you every day.”

“Oh, come on! We can get everything we need right here,” said Bolo.

Auroo stretched his wings and eyed me seriously. “Ollie, it’s time for you to get an owner. It’s better if you have an owner than living on the street.”

Cynthia, Auroo, and Bolo followed me to start the plan. We went to a bus stop. It was getting dark, and the only thing lighting the way was lampposts along the street.

“I’ll be right back,” said Bolo as he ran off in the direction of town.

Ten minutes had passed, and I wondered where he had gone. Suddenly, I heard a person yelling as Bolo ran to us with a human’s hat. The hat looked just like the one I saw the dogcatcher wear. The dogcatcher was coming straight toward us.

I hoped so badly that this plan would work. The dogcatcher stopped just as he saw me. This was it—I had to follow the plan—but I was so scared.  I sat still, let my ears droop, and stared straight toward the dogcatcher. He was out of breath and stopped moving. My tail started wiggling with energy I did not understand. The dogcatcher dropped down to his knees and held out his hand.

“Easy, boy, easy,” said the man.

I was terrified. The hand got closer to the top of my head. I let out a little whimper of fear. He touched the top of my head gently. It did not hurt. I suddenly felt calmer, and my tail was wagging now.

“You were really hard to catch. Why did you run away all those times before?” he asked while scratching me between the ears. “You are so cute and smart. My name is Joel, and I’m going to be your new owner. After all these times I tried to help you, I think we need to stick together.”

He picked me up. I glanced once more at my new friends as I was leaving. They were right…I did need an owner.

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