The little brown and white puppy had been at the rescue centre for months. In fact he’d been there for so long that he could hardly be called a puppy anymore, as he was almost a year old. Like most of the dogs in the rescue centre he was there through no fault of his own. In fact he’d been brought in with four of his brothers and sisters after they’d been dumped at a tip at just a few weeks old.
However, unlike all of his brothers and sisters he was yet to be adopted. He had been the runt of the litter and he was a scruffy little fella with a slightly wonky ear and a bit of a strange way of moving. There was nothing really wrong with him, he was just a little bit different looking, and that meant that people often avoided him when they came to look around. It didn’t matter how much the staff members insisted he was healthy, happy, and it all just added to his character, people just weren’t interested.
However, recently the little puppy had noticed a lot more people coming to the rescue centre to look at all the dogs that were housed there. He would always be on his best behaviour whenever people came to look around the kennels, and he had even started to do the high-five trick the staff members had been teaching him. However, none of it worked. He still wasn’t being adopted.
The little puppy started noticing a really strange pattern of behaviour among the humans that were visiting. A lot of the other dogs started to get reserved signs on their kennels, but none of them were leaving to go to their new homes. Then, one day, all of the dogs that had reserved signs on their kennels were being collected and the kennels were a flurry of activity. The next days and weeks felt very very empty after most of the dogs had been adopted, though the little brown and white puppy didn’t mind too much, it just meant that he got to spend more time playing with his favourite humans. However, before too long dogs started being returned to the kennels, some of them ones that had been there before, others were very confused young puppies. Each return of the dogs seemed to make the kennel workers angrier and angrier, and he heard them mutering a lot about something called “Christmas”. He wasn’t sure what this Christmas thing was, but given how many dogs were ending up back in the kennels he could only assume that it was a bad thing.
It was a few weeks later when a young couple arrived at the kennels, two women who were holding hands and talking animatedly to the kennel workers. He pricked his ears up as best he could and walked to the front of his kennel, tail wagging lazily from side to side. When the two women stopped outside his kennel he sat on his haunches and held up his paw in the high-five motion the staff had been teaching him. The smaller of the two women knelt down to put her palm up against his paw. She turned to the other woman and said “This one. He’s the one we’re taking home.”
The following christmas, the little brown and white puppy, now called Oscar, spent his day on a brand new dog bed in front of a fire, with a couple who loved him more than anything, and he couldn’t be happier.