Sometimes, during the fitful sleep that was all that he had now, memories of the house and garden would come to him. The garden with its tinkling fountain and the great trees that gave shade on hot days. The garden where the children played, tumbling on the lawn like puppies, stopping their games to run to him, throwing their arms around his neck and pressing their faces against his furry one. The house where there had been food and shelter and so much love. Until that fateful night when he had seen cases packed in a hurry by frantic people, the children snatched from their beds and bundled into their clothes and into a waiting car. They had so wanted to take him with them but they didn't know what awaited them at the end of their journey or if they would ever reach their journey's end. It had all happened too quickly to make arrangements for him. They shooed
him out of the gate and locked it behind them. They'd kissed and petted him and wished him good luck. The car took off with a roar leaving him behind.
He had waited by the gate for a very long time, but no one came. He grew hungry and thirsty until instinct took over and made him search for food. He found some scraps and drank from puddles. Time went by, a lot of time. His beautiful, soft, white coat grew matted and dirty. There was never much to eat and what there was was fought over by other hungry animals. It was winter and there was little shelter from the cold and the wet. Sleep was a luxury and fear an ever present companion. He grew thinner every day. His constant obsession was searching for food and he understood at last that this was now his life.
Winter wore on with bitter weather and he was always cold. One lucky day he found a tiny space behind a row of dustbins and there he lived as best as he could, only venturing out at night to search for food. Suddenly he sensed that he was being watched, he became wary with all his senses on the alert. He crept out one night, keeping to the side of the road with no idea in his head except the need for food, any food. His capture was sudden and swift. He felt himself being lifted by strong arms and laid gently against a soft breast. He closed his eyes. He was so weak and thin that it was useless to struggle. He just didn't have the strength, so he resigned himself to whatever the fates had in store for him.
He felt himself being placed in a car. He opened his eyes. The person who had captured him was a woman. She talked to him and stroked him and gradually the fear he had started to ebb away. She drove him to an animal hospital, a place full of frightening noises and smalls and busy people. But these people in their busyness gave out a great sense of compassionate calm. She left him there hugging to her despite his dirty, matted coat and the strong smell of neglect that emanated from him. She promised him that she would come and see him often.
The animal hospital took him over completely. They made a long list of all the things that were wrong with him and started to deal with them. Healing him, physically and mentally was going to take a long time, a very long time. Gradually the treatment and compassion and the love and care started to work and he gradually improved. Frequent visits from his friendly captor helped him a great deal during his long convalescence.
Once back on his feet he was ready to be rehomed. The lady and the animal hospital decided that he would have a better chance in another country where they had contacts among a group of devoted volounteers who specialized in rehoming dogs like him. Arrangements were made for him to travel and his papers completed. These papers showed hin to be a Bichon cross, aged 8. They gave him a birth date and a name, Humpy Dumpy. Once again he was a real dog, not an anonymous, abandoned, starving stray.
The journey took him to the South of France where he was placed in the care of a devoted volounteer who moved heaven and earth to find him a good home where he would enjoy the best that life could offer him and where he would be loved. Love was the most important thing of all as they knew how he would respond to it. The search was over in a few days, a family was selected, vetted and approved and he was taken to start the first day of his new life. He is now a much loved, happy and contented fully fledged member of his new family.