Smooth gray stones burn the pads of my feet and the sun sears from above. My tongue hangs loosely from my mouth as I pant, but it’s dry and cracked, granting me no relief. I long for some shade or damp sand to cool my burning paws, but there is only the dry creek bed and blinding light.
Days ago a stranger took me from my home and left me at the odd den with noisy animals. They took me away from the girl, my girl with the long curls and misshapen paws that feel so soothing as they stroke. The angry man hurt her, hurt our pack, but he’s felt my fangs and can’t harm anyone again. She lay so still when the strangers came and hid her under a sheet. I must find her, keep her safe from others. It’s what keeps me moving past the hunger and thirst.
I close my eyes and picture her smiling face and warm hugs. I remember also my nighttime escape over the chain link fence to find her.
A sudden coolness brushes me. Opening my eyes I see a trickle of water running under my toes and through the stones. The feeling sends shivers all the way to the tip of my tail. I don’t notice the roar until it crashes into me. As I am tossed in the water I know I will never see my girl again.
Yet I feel her arms embrace me as darkness encompasses.