I stood up cautiously and headed to investigate the flat. It was not big but I preferred to know every detail: where the couch and chairs were, where the pans were located (just on the floor under the table), and where the dry leaf of a home plant had fallen from the windowsill. I sniffed and sniffed to remember all signs of my new territory, because if I live here even temporarily, this place is mine, so, I must take care of it and protect it from any uninvited guests. That dog’s responsibility is in our blood.
The cat was looking down at me sitting calmly on the kitchen windowsill. A light transparent curtain was hanging over its head and sometimes the cat’s ears touched it and the flowers on the curtain moved. I raised up on my hind legs to try if I could get at it from the height, but the cat turned its back to me and swiftly jumped onto a window leaf. Then it glanced at me again with its big round eyes and slipped down across the other side of the glass — and disappeared along the street.
I stayed alone. When all new smells were investigated, I thought: “What if they will never return? They can forget me here. It is unbearable! I will die of longing!” A small period in the flat couldn’t save me from such anxiety, so I took one Sveta’s slippers on my mat and put my head on it. “Please, come back, I need you so!” — I thought licking the slipper, but remained alone. “Pleeeease!” — If dogs could cry I’d have burst into tears. However, I couldn’t, and my emotions forced me to clench my teeth on the thing which smelled of my dear girl. I didn’t notice how the lumps of the poor slipper dotted the floor, reflecting the power of my sorrow.
It took me quite a while, before the tolling melody of loneliness in my head was interrupted by the familiar steps near the porch. I heard it not with my ears but in the wake some kind of intuition. “My girl! — I exclaimed barking. — This is my girl coming!”
She opened the door and stopped at the doorstep. I squirmed and bounced and circled near her feet, whining with an exultant radiance. “She didn’t forget me! My adorable girl!”
— What have you done! — She suddenly cried. — Mom will never let you stay with us!
I stopped jumping and cringed with a fear. That’s all. I’ve done something forbidden. Now she will kill me. And the dreary puddle streamed from under my paws.
— Oh-oh-oh, darling, please, I won’t shout at you. You chewed my slipper and it is really bad. But it seems like you now understand what you’ve done.
She took off her jacket, moved me on the mat and dried the puddle with a rug. I felt myself very unhappy. How could I disappoint my beautiful girl? She didn’t hit me but what if she drove me out of the house? She gathered the pieces of her slipper and headed into the girl’s room.
— I’ll glue and sew it together. May be Mom won’t notice…
…Of course, Mom did. The first words she said in hallway were:
— The dog chewed your slipper.
— Yeah, — Sveta agreed, — but don’t worry, I still can use it…
— The dog is unmannered, — Mom uttered firmly. — Do you know that it is a big and difficult deal to train the adult dog? That’s why they usually train the puppies. It will behave disgracefully again and spoil everything in our flat! Tomorrow morning it must leave us. Take it wherever you want.
I was destroyed. I lay on the mat moving only my frightened eyes and trying to take up as little space as I could.
— Mom, it just misunderstood, and now it understands… It’s scared so that it even peed out of fear. Don’t scold and frighten it, — Sveta stood up for me. — You’ll see, it’s clever and good dog!
— No, I don’t want to see it once upon a time in the future! I want to have order in the apartment right now!
“What a miserable, bad, disgusting dog am I, — I thought all the night. — Let them better scold and spank me but don’t expel me, please, please!”
I didn’t expect something good from the next day. You never know what an outlandish turn it is preparing for you.