I was born in the wild, a small and fragile puppy, the runt of a litter of stray dogs. My mother was a scruffy mutt, and my father was any one of the countless stray dogs that roamed the streets. I never knew them, and they never knew me. My first memories are of struggling to survive, of scrounging for food and dodging cars. I was always the smallest and weakest of my siblings, but I was also the most determined. I had to learn quickly how to navigate the streets on my own, to find food and shelter, and to make friends with other stray dogs.
As a dog, I am highly social, and I quickly formed a pack with other stray dogs. We protected each other, shared food, and provided comfort to one another. My sense of smell was so acute that I could distinguish between different scents and even recognize individual humans and animals. My sense of hearing and sight were also highly developed, allowing me to detect potential dangers from a distance and to find food in the darkest of alleys.
One day, my life changed forever when I met Ron and Hannah, a young couple who were out for a walk. They found me shivering and alone in the cold winter and took me in. They gave me a warm bed and plenty of food to eat, and I finally felt safe. I knew that I was meant to be with them and they with me. They called me Arrow, and I loved the name; it made me feel like I belonged and was part of the pack.
Ron and Hannah became my new pack, and I was fiercely loyal to them. I even participated in their wedding as one of the best men with a tailored suit, a symbol of my dedication to them. I was so happy to be a part of their special day, and I knew that I would always be there to protect them.
One morning, I noticed something different about Hannah. I could smell something odd coming from her body, and I tried to care for her, even though she didn’t feel anything different. I watched as she went to the bathroom with something I didn’t recognize, and when she came out, she and Ron looked at it nervously. But then they became very happy, dancing and singing and playing with me. As a dog, I couldn’t understand what was happening, but my role was to be there for them and make them feel safe and loved.
As the months went by, I noticed more changes in Hannah. Her body smelled differently, and her belly grew and grew. Months later, a lot of strange liquid came out of her body suddenly, and she and Ron rushed outside. I didn’t understand what was happening, but my instincts kicked in, and I knew that I had to support them.
During the following days, several of their friends came to take care of me and take me for walks. I missed Ron and Hannah, but I knew that they would come back for me. And they did, but not alone. They came back with a small human whom they called Deni, and who smelled like both of them.
As a dog, I am naturally inclined to be attentive to infants, and I quickly realized that Deni was just like a newborn pup. I wanted to be careful with him, and as the days went by, I slowly got closer to Deni, and eventually, he grabbed one of my legs. I knew that we were meant to be together, and I had formed a new bond, a new member of my pack.
Over the next few months, Deni cried almost every night, and every night, I stayed by his bed, waiting to call Ron and Hannah if he began to cry. I was fulfilling my role as a companion, protector, and caregiver, all of which are innate and natural to me. I had a deep sense of empathy and an instinct to nurture and care for the vulnerable.
One night, I woke up in the middle of the night, sensing something unusual in the air. My heightened senses kicked in, and I could smell something off, my ears perked up, and my eyes scanned the room. I looked around in the dark, but I didn’t see anything. Then, I noticed an unfamiliar long silhouette rising above Deni’s crib. My protective instincts were triggered, and I realized that it was a serpent, a predator that posed a threat to my pack, especially to the vulnerable Deni.
With ferocious determination, I launched myself onto the crib, my barks piercing the air as I frantically called for Ron and Hannah. But I knew they would not arrive in time, it was up to me alone to safeguard Deni. I fought the serpent with all my might, even when I felt something stinging me on my neck. My strong jaw, sharp teeth, and powerful body that evolved to chase and catch prey were put to use. I managed to throw the serpent out of the crib, but I lost consciousness.
I woke up at the veterinarian clinic, seeing Ron, Hannah, and even Deni worried about me. They were all ecstatic to see me and I knew that everything would be fine. I had protected my family, and that’s all that mattered. I knew that my purpose in life was to protect and love my family, no matter what. I had fulfilled my role as a dog, a loyal companion, a protector, and a caregiver. My bond with my pack is strong, and I will always be there for them, using all my canine abilities to ensure their safety and well-being. My senses, instincts, and emotional capacity all played a role in look after my family, and I am proud to have done so. I will continue to be their loyal companion, protector, and caregiver for as long as I live.
This short story was created by ChatGPT and the images by DALL-E 2. Edited by Omri Shabath.