I liked playing with the little human. She always massaged behind my ears and rubbed my chest when I rolled on my back. I was brought to this house after Ma died, and the human she lived with could not take care of my siblings and me.

A big human brought me to this house and gave me to this little girl on her birthday. She was very happy, but I could sense she was afraid. At first, I used to bark when she came near me. She would run away and then return to pet me again. I liked it. Her name was Hadie. We became friends. She smelled like clean water, and her clothes smelled like fresh lavender.

I loved her and the big human most from this big family. His name was Ekil. He smelled like green plants; it was wonderful. Ekil used to leave early in the morning and return mid-day to have lunch with me and Hadie. He let me sleep on his chest after lunch, and we would nap before he left again. Hadie kept me company the rest of the day. Sometimes Hadie went to do her school work, and I missed her. I had the most fun when she came to play with me every afternoon. She threw the little ball across the yard with her weak arms and I would bring it back to her. She liked to teach me new tricks. I knew how to give her high-fives and hand-shakes. The first time I gave her a high-five, she laughed and jumped up and down in excitement. I knew I did something that made her happy, I liked her laughter. Sometimes she would clap and give me kisses, and I kissed the chubby cheeks on her tiny face. 

I hated when other little humans came to our house. Hadie played with them and told me to sit. I hated it even more when the little humans she played with were afraid of me. She had to put me on a leash and tie me to the light post in the corner, away from all the excitement. Hadie would come back every once in a while and pet me. She gave me kisses and returned to the others. When the stranger humans left, she took me off leash, and I could play with her. I liked when she held the ball up high and told me to try and get it. I could easily take it from her little hands, but she was still surprised and praised me when I caught the ball. 

Hadie’s Ma never played with me; she always ran away when I went close to her. Hadie carried me to the far side of the house, away from the entrance when Hadie’s Ma left home or when she returned. I never understood. I know she did not want me harmed, but I did not understand why she didn’t get used to my presence. I was a part of the family. Everyone in the house was so different, but I could only play with Hadie and Ekil. 

One day some humans came to our house. The little human girl with them tried to play with me. She was smaller than Hadie. I let out a bark at her when she came near me. She reminded me of the human Ma lived with; she had a peculiar smell. I could smell perfume and lemons. I did not want to play with her. The little human girl cried when they left our house. She came back another time and tried to play with me again. Hadie played with her and wanted to amuse her. She wanted to show that I was a clever dog. We showed the little human some of the tricks I can do. Hadie was very happy with me and wanted me to play with them. I played with them and had fun that time. Playing with them made me forget the strong smells I did not like. We would smell the scent of soil after a rain. It was beautiful. 

One day Hadie came and hugged me. She cried a lot. I did not know why. Later Ekil came and we climbed in the car, and I was very excited because cars are so much fun. Why was Hadie crying? Ekil told Hadie he would bring me back. Hadie kissed me again and told me she would see me soon. I did not know where I was going with Ekil. I barked at Hadie, telling her to come with us, but Hadie’s Ma held her back.

Ekil and I went somewhere far away, but I didn’t know where the new place was. The door to this other home opened, and I saw the little human girl that came to visit us. Other big humans and her Ma and Pa were there too. Ekil picked me up and gave me a kiss — he seemed sad. I did not want to go with them. I barked and I tried to run back to the car. Ekil carried me again and hugged me. I held on tight to him. 

“Please do not give me away to these people. Please no,” I thought. 

I barked and I held on tight. Ekil said he will be back. I kissed him a lot. 

“The little girl wants to play with you for two days. I will come back and get you, and we will go back home to Hadie soon.” 

I did not know how long that was, but I wanted to go back to Hadie. 

I did not understand Ekil. Why was this happening? I whimpered, and Ekil had tears in his eyes. Water came down my eyes. I just wanted my humans. I did not want to play with other humans.

I did not want to go anywhere in the car again. I just wanted naps with Ekil after lunch, and I wanted to play with Hadie after she finished her school work. 

Ekil handed the little girl the ball that Hadie had gifted me. The door closed, and the other humans carried me inside. As the door closed behind Ekil, I jumped off and ran to catch him. I scratched and barked at the door, but Ekil’s car sound faded. I jumped as high as I could but could not open the door.

The little human played with me, and we played a lot of games. It was very cold outside. We tried to play inside the house. This house did not smell like my home. It had a strong smell that made my eyes water. The little girl’s Ma and Pa smelled like coffee and cigarettes. I hated it in their house. The little girl did not know how to play with me. She could not rub my chest or behind my ears. She did not know how to hold the ball up so I could jump and get it. She only wanted tricks. My ball went behind their couch, and she could not reach it for us to play. A lot of time passed, but Ekil did not return. It had still not been two days. 

Every time the doorbell rang, I went to the door to see if Hadie would come to get me and we could play again. She did not return. The other big humans were not nice to me like the little girl in this house. I stayed by her side even though she did not smell like Hadie. When she went to bed, she would tuck me in too. I liked that because it made me feel at home for a bit. 

Suddenly, the next morning the little girl had to go somewhere with her Ma and Pa. I think they were going far. I was left in this big house with the other big humans who were not nice to me. I barked and barked for lunch, but they didn’t give me food. One of them hit me with a stick when I barked too many times. I whimpered and ran away. Darkness came, and it got cold in the yard. I tried to go inside the house, but the doors were locked. I barked a lot. No one heard me. I jumped to reach the handle of the door to the house, but I couldn’t reach it. I went around and barked and barked at the other humans through the window. They were very loud. They did not hear me, and they did not care. 

It got colder. White snow was falling from the sky, and I could see my breath against the cool dark night. I barked some more, but I was hungry and tired. I whimpered and cried. No one came to open the doors. I shivered and remembered how tightly Hadie hugged me when I got cold. She would wrap me in many blankets on these cold nights. I missed my warm bed. I hope Ekil comes to get me soon. I went back to the main doors and barked loudly, but again, there was no response. 

I remembered Hadie’s tears as Ekil and I left the house. I remembered Ekil’s tears and sadness as he gave me to the humans in this house. Tears dropped down my eyes, and I curled up in a ball behind the house in a little dish I could find. Ekil was supposed to be back by the morning. I shivered more from the cold. The snow had picked up and was rising. The ground was covered with the white snow. Time passed, and I stopped shivering. 

I felt sleepy and warm. All I wanted to do was sleep. It felt like I was on the bed under many soft blankets. I thought of Hadie curled up warm beside me, with her little hands stroking my back. I smiled as the world became warmer and I felt more sleepy. I drifted to sleep.


Why I Wrote This Piece

Different mediums of art (including writing and visual arts) have always been a means of transcendence for me during times of stress and depression. I find myself to be more creative and expressive when I am going through a difficult phase in life. My art and writing generally express how I feel about myself or where I want to be in life. I find art and writing help me transcend from reality to a state of peace and tranquility wherein I am able to express the tougher realities of life in a subtle, creative and peaceful manner. 

This piece reflects consciousness and being aware of the self and one’s surroundings. The perspective in which the story is written depicts life outside of the self, and focusing on things we often overlook. It helps us see into the thoughts and feelings of ones we tend to forget about or of whom we are not consciously aware. I found the inspiration to write this piece while I was on vacation with a friend. The story was motivated by his positive outlook on life and his optimism towards everything that happens. I have since realized that experiencing the world through a different perspective helps us transcend into a realm that is not as self-revolving and into one that is more conscious of thoughts and things that are not our own. The world outside ourselves is much bigger and more beautiful than we ever think.


  • Nadima Ali Latif

    Nadima is an artist who expresses her deepest thoughts through creative-writing, painting, photography, and other artistic mediums. Her work focuses on somber moments with a hint of relaxation that blossoms into hope. Nadima enjoys writing on topics that express her thoughts on mental health, love and meditation.

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