Man's Best Friend

Author: Nicole Hosking

The wind in my ears, eyes watering from the dryness, tongue out the side of my mouth, tasting what’s in the air. I love being with my master in the tray of his ute. My fur gets a blow dry as I poke my head out the side and see Josh looking through the windscreen, hands on the steering wheel, watching where he’s going. The music he listens to isn’t something I would but he seems to enjoy it and keeps him entertained while we go for our drive out bush.

We turn off the highway and the trees get thicker and the road is now dirt and gravel. We drive deeper into the thick trees, the road now only wide enough for the ute to drive down. The smells that fill my nose are different to before, they make me hungry. My tongue is dry, so I put it back in my mouth. I lay down to give my feet a rest. My tail is tickling my nose as I roll myself up, I put it out into the tray.

I finally feel the ute start to slow, Josh is going down the gears very gently. I stand to see where we’re going, my ears getting the wind again. I can see Josh in the side mirror, concentrating on the road ahead. We suddenly turn onto another dirt track, digging my paws into the metal sides so I don’t lose my balance. This road is worse than the last, shrubbery everywhere, grass growing on the track. I don’t know how Josh knows where he’s going, ‘cause I can’t see the road anywhere. I dig my paws in again as we take another sharp turn. Josh takes it too fast, the back end of the vehicle jolts out as we turn and I lose my balance. I’m thrown out the side and topple into the bushes, I roll for at least ten metres before I rest up against something hard. I lay, stunned, as I realise what’s just happened and see the ute disappear into the distance.

I was alone, in an environment I wasn’t familiar with. How was I going to eat? Where was I going to sleep? I tried to get up, but as I moved my right leg gave way from pain piercing through my chest. My left leg was ok, so I gently got myself up with my good side. It was shaky at first, but once I got my balance back I was ok. The pain was excruciating but I could handle it. Now I was really worrying about how I was going to eat. If I couldn’t walk long distances or chase my food, how was I to fend for myself?

I need water before my tongue turns to a rock. It felt so heavy, dry, like sandpaper. At least I worked out how to walk on three legs now. I must’ve walked for miles now, but still no sign of Josh, or the ute. I’d found out why I couldn’t use my right leg properly. I had a gaping wound on my chest which must’ve happened when I fell off the ute. It was curled around under my armpit and was rather deep. I’m tough, I was born to be strong, and it’s in my breed. German Sheppard’s are bred to be strong.

The sun was setting now. Why hadn’t Josh come to find me yet? Maybe I should’ve stayed where I was. My stomach feels like it’s dragging on the ground it’s so heavy from hunger. What was that? A hair, yummy, now all I need to do is chase it and eat it. Come on legs, go, go! No! Don’t go, I’m hungry, I need food before I die!

I collapsed onto the ground on my good side. As I did, I felt something wet against my ears. Water! I’d finally found water! I got up and started drinking, the wet on my tongue felt relieving, the water on my nose felt good. I was safe, finally, I didn’t have to worry about dyeing anymore. I drank until I felt sick, then I collapsed once more and slept.

I dreamt about Josh finally coming to get me and getting this wound of mine fixed. He winged about the price but kept saying it was worth it. I woke to crunching coming towards me, it was the leaves on the ground being crushed by something. Then, my dream was coming true, Josh was coming to save me. He came back that morning to find me. “Suzie!” He shouted every couple of minutes. I was still exhausted and my side was feeling numb now, I couldn’t move. What could I do to get his attention and let him know where I was? I started to whimper, loudly, then I heard the footsteps get quicker. I kept whimpering until they came closer. Then I saw Josh and howled as loud as I could with excitement. He came running towards me and grabbed me tightly saying, “I’m sorry Suzie, I should’ve come back sooner, but I didn’t know you were missing until I stopped. I camped out over

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  • Reviewed by Maizy Burger  on  May 9th, 2011

    Nicole, you should have stayed writing as Suzie right to the end. I liked it. Keep writing.

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