— Get out of here! And be thankful you didn’t put me to sleep! — the car door slammed shut, the car sped away. The dog was left on the side of the highway. In the twilight it seemed large, broad-boned — in fact, it was just a five-month-old Alabai puppy. The little boy rushed after it, but he had too little strength to catch up with the car.
Barely moving his clumsy paws, the panting dog slowly wandered along the highway. Where to go? Where is the house? There was not a soul around, only occasional cars flying along the deserted highway, blinding the puppy with their headlights….
It was getting dark. The short winter day was coming to an end. The little one sat on the roadside, howled, and cried… He cried like all abandoned little children do — about how no one in the whole wide world loved him and was waiting for him. His world had crumbled… Just a couple of days ago, he lived in a warm apartment with his family and his dearly loved human. The puppy was lucky — he had a kind owner, destined from above, as the dog-mom had said when he was very young:
The Creator sent us to Earth to protect human lives and peace, to love selflessly and faithfully. They say God looks at humans through the eyes of dogs…
Mom, warm and affectionate, kind and beloved! It’s a pity you can’t stay little and extend your happy childhood forever… But puppies grow up, and parting is inevitable. When his future owner appeared at the doorstep, the little one immediately understood — he had come for him! Joyfully wagging his little tail stub, he rushed to greet him.
Well, hello, my dog! — the man smiled, and the puppy, opening his mouth and sticking out his pink tongue, tried to smile in response, happily offering his belly for a scratch.
Wonderful little one! How I’ve dreamed of you!
Their life together was filled with tender, sunny warmth. The scent, voice, smile, and laughter of the owner would forever remain in the dog’s memory, as well as their favorite habits, beloved games, and affectionate words…
What a good boy you are! — the owner would say, charmed by the puppy’s antics.
Time flew by imperceptibly, and the puppy grew rapidly. By the age of four months, his shoulder height was almost fifty centimeters…
In the spring, we’ll go to the puppy show — we must show everyone how beautiful we are! — the owner would groom his pet, — and in the summer, we’ll go to the countryside!
Days stretched out in agonizing anticipation of the beloved human’s return from work. The puppy would stare out the window for a long time, then fall asleep on the rug by the bed, burying his nose in the owner’s slippers.
Sensing the scent of his dear person, the little one didn’t feel alone. But one day, the owner didn’t come back. He didn’t come the next day either. The puppy howled with sorrow and grief because he knew he would never see his familiar face again.
In the evening of the next day, people came — relatives the little one had only met once.
We need to decide what to do with the dog, — the woman looked around the rooms purposefully, — there’s no use for her… after the funeral…
We’ll decide right now! — her husband replied, fastening the leash to the puppy’s collar.
The little one resisted, sliding on his belly on the floor… but they forcibly pulled him out of the house, stuffed him into the car, and drove him into the woods. And now, he was alone on a deserted road, far from human habitation. Fatigue overtook him — the puppy lay down on the roadside. Large snowflakes fell on his fur, and gradually, he turned into a snowdrift. It was cozy under the snowy blanket, and the little one calmed down a bit, dozed off. And in his sleep, like…
His teeth itched, and for gnawing on the wooden planks of the enclosure, he was cruelly punished. But still, the dog couldn’t turn into a wild beast because he knew: in this world, between humans and dogs, there existed love and friendship. And to his beloved humans, he was ready to serve faithfully and selflessly.
Soon, the new owners got rid of him as «useless»: they put him to «work» — guarding a trade base. Day and night, he sat on a short chain, barking aggressively at visitors, demonstrating his readiness to tear all thieves and thugs to pieces.
In any weather: under the scorching sun, pouring rain, or in hurricane winds. On autumn nights, he froze, his fur sticking to the puddle where he had to sleep.
His collar soaked and fell apart, but no one cared to buy a new one. They simply wrapped his neck in a heavy chain, turning it into a choke collar.
He was often forgotten and left without food, and when the base closed on weekends, he had to endure hunger for several days. On scorching days, he suffered from thirst — his bowl was rarely filled with water…
But the dog could have forgiven all of this if only once, someone among the people whose property he guarded had shown him some affection. However, in almost everyone passing by, he saw people whose sole purpose in life was money. Not humans — walking calculators, with souls closed off to love.
For several years, the Alabai was a prisoner on the chain, guarding the entrance. Ten steps in one direction, ten in the other… Days stretched into an endless, joyless sequence. The chain gradually embedded itself into his neck, strangling him, and it never occurred to anyone to loosen it — his loud barking had grown increasingly hoarse. The once cheerful, enthusiastic puppy had turned into a sluggish and indifferent dog.
Most likely, he would have died, suffocating on the choke chain if one day a new employee had not appeared at the base. He swept the yard and often glanced at the dog.
Good boy! — the janitor praised him. Upon hearing the familiar words, the dog lifted his head.
I had a Caucasian Shepherd back home, — the janitor recounted, — helped with herding sheep. He passed away, and there are no more sheep to tend to. Take this, — he offered the dog a sandwich, — you look a bit skinny… From that day on, the Alabai’s interest in life began to awaken.
The janitor didn’t show up at the base every day — sometimes he was absent for several days, and then life seemed dull and joyless to the dog again. The janitor’s attention was the only light and warmth that brightened his painful, joyless, and monotonous life.
One day, not far from the base entrance, the Alabai noticed a man watching him, and immediately, instinctively, sensed danger. If most people were indifferent to him, this one — feared and hated him…
In the morning, the stranger appeared again, approached the janitor.
Give this to the dog, — he handed him a bundle of food. — Why? — the janitor recoiled.
If you ask questions, you won’t live long!
The janitor hesitantly approached the dog, placed a piece of sausage, and looked into his eyes attentively. The dog sniffed it but didn’t eat…
He’s not hungry, he’ll eat later, — taking a broom in his hand, the janitor walked away.
Alright, I’ll wait, — the man whispered and tried to approach the dog.
As soon as he took a step forward, the dog growled menacingly.
Whoa, Shaitan! — the stranger exclaimed, backing away.
The janitor stayed at work late into the evening. And when it was completely dark, he approached the Alabai:
They want to poison you, someone needs your death, I even have a suspicion why…
He had been walking for many days, where and why, he did not know, walking aimlessly, suffering from loneliness and more and more often remembered his master, his mother… How he wanted to cuddle up to her warm body again, to get warm, as in his childhood, feeling completely safe.
- — Was my master really the only kind person in the world? — he cried in his sleep, — no … there was still a janitor, now there is only darkness around …
The dream was interrupted by a sharp pain: the piled man tried to cut the dog’s throat. But, the ingrown chain saved the dog’s life: the knife, sliding on the iron, stabbed into his shoulder. The alabai jumped up sharply, threw the killer off him, grinned menacingly and the killer ran away.
- — We’ve got to call the cops! There’s a rabid dog at the gas station! It came at me, a huge beast! — He flew into a roadside store.
- — It bit me! — waving his hands in the blood of an alabai.
— Rabid? Lock the doors! Nobody goes out! I’m calling the police! — The guard said.
The dog, limping and leaving bloody footprints behind him, moved along the side of the highway. He was getting weaker by the minute. Together with the last strength left the desire to live and only in the eyes — a mute question: why? If God really looks at people through the eyes of dogs, why does this world still exist? Somewhere in the distance, a police siren blared.
And the dog decided not to resist fate. Fifty meters away from the gas station, lay down on the side of the road:
- — I can’t take it anymore — finish it!
And, when a car stopped nearby and people got out, the dog, ready for the worst, covered his eyes.-What’s wrong with him? — He heard a woman’s voice, «Is he resting or was he hit by a car? The woman leaned over and… unexpectedly stroked his big, plush head. The dog opened his eyes in surprise. How many years he had not seen a human caress! Standing before him was a young, frail, fearless woman.
- — Permission to see what’s wrong with you? You’re a good boy, aren’t you?
- — We must go to the clinic immediately, or you’ll die of blood loss! Come with me, little boy! And the giant trusted at once: he got up on paws trembling from weakness, went to the car. He barely had enough strength to climb into the back seat.
- — Well done, good girl, you’ll live! —
- The woman said, helping him into the car.
The dog was carefully wrapped in a woolen blanket and he immediately sank into a peaceful, deep sleep — even the siren of a police car, rushing past, could not wake him up.