Editor's Note: this piece was submitted on Dec. 3, just two days before the passing of Nelson Mandela. This is a perspective piece about one of the defining times of Mandela's life, written from the perspective of his bevolved dog.
My master is going to Robin (Robben) Island. I wish I could join him because I like to chase birds. My master is Nelson Mandela, and he has been convicted of tree-sun (treason). I am a dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and am a fast and powerful hunting dog. Some people call me the Lion Dog. Trees, sun, robins, an island . . . it all sounds like a vacation to me!
I have a strip of rust down my back that goes the opposite direction of my other fur, kind of like a springbok. I’m a fast dog. I can help humans hunt lions. I am very smart, strong-willed and will always protect my master. I could never be treated as a slave, and that is why Nelson Mandela is such a good master for me.
Nelson Mandela fought against apart-tied (apartheid). I don’t like to be tied apart from my master. I like to run and be free. I like to RUN! I miss my master because I won’t see him again because he has been sentenced to life in prison. He is tied apart from me forever!
I hear that he will only get one visitor a year, and they can stay for only 30 minutes. By one visitor, I guess they mean one person, not a dog. He can only get one letter every six months and write one letter every six months. Since I will only live to be twelve, I will never see him again! Read more »
The day I was born my parents bought a dog.
He was just a puppy: fresh and excited.
His coat shone and his tender limbs wobbled a bit when he stood,
the muscles tight from lack of usage.
He didn’t do much at first,
just stumbled around,
getting a feel for this bumpy new world.
The dog grew quickly,
more quickly than anyone had anticipated.
Those legs of his became bandy and long.
He adopted an annoying habit of running up behind you when you least expected it,
then scampering away again,
Every time he did this, I could hear a low thrum of laughter through his bark,
and I knew he was laughing at us.
The dog grew, the wind melting away his clumsy puppy layers
and revealing the hard, coiled body of a runner.
He started sprinting,
galloping from place to place until we would lose track of him
(sometimes for hours on end).
Other times he would become aggressive,
especially, I found, when I was working on something important.
A right pain he was,
letting out low growls and sometimes even snapping at my heels,
his hot breath grazing my ankles.
Sometimes I couldn’t help but get angry at him,
exasperated that he pranced around so lightly,
getting in the way of everything.
And when I had to set aside my dreams of travelling the world,
(had to lock them up in my office drawer),
he could be seen in the yard, gnawing happily on the key. Read more »
By: Sydney Hicks
I feel the soft, dried, grass touch my toes as I walk through the plain toward the only place I know to be home.
It’s a run-down shack with half a roof and holes in the walls, but it has one upside to this horror of a hut. Hooch.
Six months ago I was being recruited to another foster home. It was out in the country, very different from my last foster home. This one had a big house on a long wide plain with a tiny little hut out in the distance.
After a few months went by I started to wonder if I was being treated differently than the other kids in the neighborhood. I couldn’t go to school because I was home doing chores and I couldn’t play outside with the other kids. I always felt like I was doing the work. Had they adopted a child, or a maid?
Well I decided to test it out.
“Mrs. Marsh?” I asked. Read more »
There it is again: a loud, crisp bark, splintering the night. Silence follows when the howl fades. The crickets long ago deserted our miniscule outcropping, and my neighbors are tucked away in their small cabins, exhaling puffs of thick condensed air as their heating systems sputter. I however, can’t stand not knowing the dog who cries into the night again and again, and long ago gave up on comfort. I continue to press through the tall grass, my thin pajama pants snagging the dried twigs and nettles. I pause, take a deep labored breath of the refreshing air, and wait for another pitiful howl to pierce the lonely, forgotten night. When it comes, I find I am closer to the sound, and I increase my pace.
Suddenly, my legs break out of the tangled weeds, and I am in a clearing of weed-riddled dirt, undisturbed by human feet. With the faithful moon above my head, I can see a solitary path left by a dog, leading into a crooked farmhouse with the door slightly ajar. The window is shattered by the consequences of neglect. Weeds are starting to climb its walls, and as my eyes wander up its abandoned frame, I hear the bark again. Then I see it, a tenuous beagle sitting in the top window of the house. Its ears are drooping, and it’s just sitting there, calmly speaking to the night with the last of its energy, sharing the sorrow of its pain, and finding solace. I call to the dog: “Hello, little fella!” His dark eyes stare bluntly at my rough, scratched face. His howl breaks into the night, but this time it also breaks into my heart. Read more »
My best friend, Henry, told me to ding dong ditch the old, rundown inn next to Pineapple Place.
I thought, then said, ‘’Alright... if you do it with me,’’ with a nudging smile.
‘’You get the front. I got the back.’’ Henry asserted.
The back was where the hideous dog with a wrinkly face that looked so mean and so revolting it made me cry. We think he has rabies. I’m not positive what breed he is, but you could tell it was the nasty kind that creeps everyone out, even the neighborhood bully!
I walked slowly to the inn. I heard it shake and rumble. When I slammed upon the door, I felt the rough wood from the door spur my finger, I felt as if I got an earring pierced in my finger.
I heard my friend sprinting at an incredible speed. ‘’Run,’’ he screamed, as if an electric chair was shocking him or as if a monster was chasing him. I’m not sure which, but he was very loud. Read more »
The Dog in the Window
By Audrey Olson
In 1998 there were two very nice people who lived in an old torn down house in Kentucky. They had a golden retriever that was named Lucy. Lucy loved to wait for the father to come home from work. The father Mike loves to see Lucy’s big head popping out the window. The mom Suzy would stay home and cook. One day Suzy left to buy food to cook and Mike was at work Lucy was all alone. The TV was left on all day. It was stuck on the boring news channel. Lucy heard that a guy with a gun broke into the grocery store and killed everyone inside. Lucy waited and waited. She poked her head out the window. Nothing was there.
It was a sad morning for Lucy . This house was the only memory of her family. She wouldn’t move, not if there was a twister, not if there was a dust storm, not even if the house was on fire. Lucy just wanted to look out the window one last time. Lucy saw the smallest black dot over the horizon. IT WAS MIKE!!!!!!!! Lucy was wagging her tail like crazy. The father looked happy, but you could tell by his slumped back and his red beaming eyes he was sad. Lucy tried her hardest to cheer him up, but he wouldn’t smile, not even eat or sleep. Mike quit his job and wouldn’t get out of the torn up leather chair. Mike wouldn’t even feed Lucy. She was starving. Lucy was sick of just sitting there watching him do nothing. WOOF WOOF!!! Read more »
I told my friends about you
Your cheery little smile
And your white teeth
Your long blond hair
and your coller-ful sense of style
They said I should take you to that new restaurant on 58th street
But I’m quite puzzled because there’s a sign there that says
NO DOGS can come and eat
The Dog from Mars
There once was a dog from Mars
All the while he hoped for cars
So he stood by the street
And heard a car beep
That stupid dog from Mars.
I fell asleep with my dog Mo
and woke up to him biting my toe
I woke up with a fright
in the middle of the night
and wound up not walking to the show
MY DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK
MY dog ate my homework, I'm quite sorry to say.
It happened when I was working so very hard on it yesterday.
All of my subjects, he gobbled them all.
It was quite a big meal for a dog that's so small.
It's a mistake that I really and truly regret.
What's that you say?
What do you mean, I don't have a pet?
I have a dog named Bar. She has a big black nose, fluffy ears a wagging tail and neon yellow eyes.
Do you want to know the funny thing about Bar? Whenever I say "Bar!" she tackles me and licks me all over.
Do you know why she is named Bar? She says "Bar" a lot! That's my dog, Bar.
I walked in the woods
the animals moved
they cracked and hooted
until I was scared.
The bats circled me
and I looked
The eyes looked at me
and I looked at the eyes.
They moved closer
and soon I felt fur on my knee.
A bark and a howl,
That sealed it.
Lorrie-Ann was home.
Lorrie-Ann is home.
Breaking the fragile world of dreams
her warm fur presses against me,
her nose is hiding in her fur,
tail sits on my face.
I try to move,
and find her paws on my chest.
She has become a living, immovable blanket.
While she sleeps I think.
Why did she pick me to sleep on?
Why is her nose so cold?
Why did her tail just flop on my nose?
Is she the only dog to love in this hurtful world?
Or are there more to care for?
Without another thought,
I fall back into darkness.
“Konrad, come in the water and swim with us!” my little 4 year old cousin calls out to me.
“Nah, I want to fish and play with Winchester, I might want to later but not right now!” I call back with my squeaking 6 year old voice. I turn to my dog and ask, “ do you want to go swimming?” well of coarse he didn’t answer. Instead he got up and plopped in the water and started to jump around and kick at the water. Apparently yes he does want to go swimming. I follow what he does and jump in the nice cool and refreshing water from the hot summers day. Read more »
I hurl his ball deep into the snowy drifts.
Softly bounding though the sea of of white
After his precious green sphere
He snuffles like a pig,
His muzzle caked in white.
By Brynn Mills
beside the stairs
the dog lies down
wags his curly tail
on his soft belly
puts his face
between his paws
feels a soft hand
on his stomach
moves his leg in a circle
looks at me
around and around in a circle
all day in his curly fur.
During the summer my family went to South Carolina. There were six of us in the camper. We drove down. My sister, my dad, Kristin (dad’s girlfriend), my step brother Devin and his girlfriend Alyssa and I. We were in about Virginia and my step brother got a call from his friend saying Devin’s house was broken into by his best friend coco and his dog was shot. Devin was so sad that he cried. He was madder because he never thought that his best friend would do that to him. Devin was so devastated that he screamed. Read more »
By Kay Bushman
U-32 Middle School, Grade 7
Nobody really knew what would be found on the other side of the door to the old Perkins place.
It was more of a shack than a house really, with miscellaneous metal objects littering the yard, and a few skeletons of cars sitting about.
The man who had owned the place had had a mean rottweiler that he tied up in the yard. Some days he would sit outside by the dog, tending a pile of burning garbage. Most days smoke just came from his chimney, proof that he wasn’t dead yet. Read more »
No one can predict the future. Even the ancient Mayans who believe they can. Everything you do is not planned out like a book. No matter what anybody says. And if, and I say if with a great assault, god had anything to do with the accounts that happen in life, why would he put you through the same thing over and over no matter the pain? It’s fate. What you do in life and what you go through in life solely depends on your actions. This life lesson I learned from my dog.
Well, one day my dog ran into the side of her dog house. The next day I watched as she ran and played then she stopped and moved away from the house. She remembered it hurt hitting the house and learned to watch out. Read more »
If I could have a lucky day it would be the day I could get a dog. There are many types of dogs to choose from. My list would be a mastiff, Labradors, golden retriever, or a mountain dog. If I got to choose its name they would have to be max, duke, Cody, lucky, mady or lily.
I would make sure its water and food bowl is full, train it and walk it even if my parents weren’t busy. When I’m away I will make sure my neighbor checks in every day to make sure everything is fine. I would pay them $5 a week with my own money. I will love dogs no matter what happens
Duncan is not my best friend.
All the lovely quotes about dog being man's best friend are wrong.
All the greeting cards, children's stories, and classic movies deceive.
Sometimes, something comes in between.
Sometimes, a dog forgets who feeds him.
He forgets who scratches his belly.
He forgets who catches his paws and dances with him around a room.
A chicken can change the world.
A chicken can come between a girl and her dog.
A tiny rubber chicken, whose legs were bitten off upon first encounter.
A tiny rubber chicken stole the love of my doofus dog.
Ducan brings his squeaky, legless chicken everywhere,
and forgets to bring me.
NOTE: This is a monologue I performed in a cabaret at my school, I think the action makes the performace, but for your reading pleasure, I thought I'd slap this on here.
NEW: here is the link to the video of my performance! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhErN1rAEoc
All my life, people have gone marching past me muttering, “What an annoying, yappy dog.” Honestly, how do they think that makes me feel? I’m not as strong and handsome as a blood hound…and I’m not a teddy bear saint Bernard… but I do have a heart, and it truly kills me when I'm sniffing a girl's leg and she hops up on a chair shrieking, “It’s a rat!”
I, am not a rat. I am tiny yes, and the pitch of my voice is perhaps a bit high, but I would not call my bark a, “yap.” What a pitiful, ungratifying label. Read more »
I know a dog who chews EVERYTHING. She almost chewed a table. One time I was at her house, and she chewed my shoes. . She is a mutt. One time I was sleeping at her house it was 12:30 am, she was barking and howling so they brought her out side. But that did not stop her she was barking and howling even louder IT IS SO ANNOYING!!!!!!!!!!!
That is so annoying!
“Get out of my face!”
“Get! Stop barking!”
“I know you are my dog, but I need my space too!”
“That’s so annoying!”
“I will let you out but you’re shoving me against the wall!”
“Finally you're out. You might be annoying sometimes, but I still like you.”
By Danny C CES - February 2, 2009
A dog showed up on my doorstep as i was heading out the door for school. I heard a whimper and a whining. On my doorstep, I looked down and saw nothing. Then again I heard the noise. I looked around and saw a little black tail wagging in the snow! The puppy was face down. I went to see. I got my mom. She ran to see what i was talking about.
I remember the day you showed up on our doorstep.
None of us knew if we wonted a puppy,
but then we began to love you.
You were my first dog,
And I will for always think of you as the best.
You always used to whine to be petted.
It always used to make me mad,
but now that you’re gone I miss hearing you whine.
You always loved the outdoors.
You always loved to play.
Now when I go outside I always think of you and miss you.
As much as it hurt to let you go I know that it had to be done.
~ Emily Stirewalt
Alice was just packing for her trip to California, when Flash jumped up on the bed and almost pushed her off. She just smiled and said, “Flash you are so funny.” As she dragged her bag down her steep stairs, she saw Chase running after Dizzy. Just then, Flash bumped into Dizzy and went out of control; he hit the table that the $500 vase was sitting on. Quickly, Alice dropped her things and caught it just in time and placed it back on the table. Afterwards, she checked on Spike who was getting slapped on the face by Sting’s fierce tail. That’s when she saw Barker yapping at Sleepy and Bear to get up. She broke it up and went into the living room to get books. There, she saw Fero biting Flop’s ears and Connie growling at the woman on television. Alice turned off the TV so that the madness would stop. She got the books that she needed, refilled the food and water bowls, and called the neighbor to look after them. Read more »
That Not So Great Afternoon
Sorrow is on a late afternoon on July 16,
not knowing what was going on,
asking if he was okay as he shook his head I ponder,
what could have happened.
Getting back to camp and seeing tears in his eyes I ask,
“what is wrong?”
As he stutters and mumbles,
he finally got it out.
“Roca died last night in her sleep.”
I cannot believe what I just heard.
Now, I am crying.
I never thought this would happen.
I never got to tell her how much I loved her,
never got to give her a hug,
or a kiss.
I never got to say good-bye.
I always have a clip in my head of when I last saw her,
Going to work with Rob,
what she loved to do.