Not an original name, Spot, but it suited him perfectly. The little cross-breed was completely white except for one, teacup-sized black spot on his left flank. It made him look as though he had a portal to another galaxy in his side, or an eye without the iris. His small, slightly pointed face seemed to always have a smile on it and he had a twinkle in his eye. Throw a ball and you could be sure that Spot would rush off and return it to you, whether you wanted him to or not. Bring out a brush and he would immediately be on the floor, waving his paws in the air and anticipating the bliss to come. If there were children about, he was the gentlest soul you could imagine, allowing them to do things that other dogs would repay with a nip or a full-blown bite.
And yet here he was, sitting by the bench in the park, waiting to be taken home. He waited there every night, as this was when he was first left there. He waited with his tummy growling and a wild thirst in his mouth, because he knew that there would be food and water when he arrived home. Big Master had taken him from the puppy group when he had just left his mother. It was cold outside and there were soft, white flakes on the outside ground. He had been carried into the warm inside and handed to the Small People, who cuddled and fussed him until he was tired and fell asleep in his new bed. Life was sweet for a while. Big Mistress made sure that the Small People took him for walks to give him exercise and to the park to make sure he met other dogs. He was well fed and had a comfortable place to sleep. The warm weather came and went and Spot was the happiest dog in the world.
After a while, the Small People weren’t so small and they had other things to do. They couldn’t take him for walks. Big Mistress was always busy in the house and couldn’t take him out either. Big Master had never shown any interest in him from the day he brought him into the house.
Then one evening, Big Master made happy noises to Spot. He fussed him and gave him treats, putting his lead on him and walking him out of the door. At first, Spot thought he was going for a walk with Big Master for the first time ever, but they went to the car and Spot was lifted onto the back seat. There was a journey and the car stopped. Spot was lifted out of the car, his lead and collar removed and he was told to ‘Sit’ by the bench. He was an obedient dog and did so without complaint. Big Master climbed back into the car and drove away.
So, here he sits, waiting to be collected. His tummy had long since stopped growling and he felt no thirst. Even though there was mist all around and the leaves were red, gold and brown, he wasn’t cold. He wondered when the daylight would come back – perhaps that would bring someone.