I'd had three masters in my life, and still, here I was, in the pound. I was nothing but a mutt, after all, and when one of the purebreeds they'd wanted so badly came up for sale, I was on the way out. Wouldn't want to risk having the pedigree of an expensive, beautiful bitch ruined by a mutt's seed. It didn't matter that Puan had adopted me when I was but four years old and trained me herself. I was her favorite stud until she'd landed one of the red-coated females that came from the High Breeders. Within two days, I was fifteen and foisted off on one of Puan's friends.
But Lienx wasn't as nice as Puan, and he didn't like the manners Puan had instilled in me. I wasn't allowed on the furniture. I wasn't to eat in the kitchen. I spent nights leashed to a small house outside in the yard. Lienx ruled his home with an iron fist, and when I misbehaved, I was thoroughly beaten. I learned quickly to remain invisible in Lienx's home, but then Lienx married, and his new wife, Moha, didn't like mutts. Within two weeks, Lienx had procured a purebreed. I was sent to the pound.
By the heavens, the pound. Cages. Left to wallow in our own filth because those in charge didn't want to bother. The food was tasteless. Sunlight was a treat once a week when we were taken out into the yards. Run. Play. Soak up the light until we were herded back into the large, hot buildings and locked away to be forgotten. Most pets came to the pound to die, and, at twenty-four, I resigned myself to such a fate. Two masters and well into my life, I wasn't the sort of pet a lovely master came looking for. Imagine my surprise when Kica came running through the pound, eager to find her newest pet.
Kica. Nine-years-old and the sweetest little girl. I think I loved her. She would play with me out in the yard, toss balls for me to run after, and she'd bring me scraps of her own meals. Little girls, though, grow up. For her sixteenth birthday, her father gifted her with a squealing, writhing purebreed with gorgeous, clear blue eyes. I saw her love for me die as the bawling mass in her arms demanded her attention. My heart broke when her father carted me back to the pound with not even a farewell kiss from Kica.
Thirty-one-years-old and back at the pound. I hated it. There was nothing I could do about it. I was nothing but a mutt, passed around. I would die here. I knew it in my very bones. There were younger, more beautiful pets to be found in the small cages, with bright eyes and unusual hair. I was plain. Forgettable. I was also tired. I didn't want to go home with someone else who would either abuse me or earn my trust and love only to betray me when something better, more expensive came along.