Excerpt for The Forgotten (Doggie Heroes book 4) by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Forgotten

Rita Hestand

The Forgotten

(Doggie Book Heroes Book 4)

Rita Hestand

Copyright© 2017 by Rita Hestand

Cover by: cmacoverdesigns.com

Smashwords Edition

ISBN# 978-1370667079


License Note


This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. The e-book may not be resold or given away to persons you share with. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return it to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of the author.

Dedication:

This book is dedicated to Ginger, the family dog. She's a mongrel with the sweetest personality you could want. To all the other Ginger's out there that make their masters very happy and content.

Blessings


Rita Hestand

The Forgotten


Chapter One



The puppy whined when the car door opened and someone pitched her out the door without a second thought. The puppy watched the car drive away. Hanging her head, she didn't know what to do. The wind was blowing and it was a bit cold.

She didn't understand. She barked, but they didn't hear her, and they didn't come back for her, either. Had they forgotten her?

What was she going to do, they'd left her?

She'd looked down the road where the car disappeared. She smelled the grass around her but nothing was familiar. She laid down and whined.

She'd been picked early as a pup by an old gentleman that could hardly get around. As a young Irish Setter, she'd learned quickly about where to go on the newspaper, and then outside. She'd spent many days curled in the old man's lap as he gently stroked her. Now the old gent was gone and so was she.

Left on the outskirts of the city, the puppy didn't know where home was any more. But the bright lights in the night led her back to an older neighborhood, where tall building loomed overhead.

There were a lot of people on the streets here. But no one paid much mind to the lost puppy. She found a few scraps behind buildings that smelled of food and survived her first week of being alone.

She didn't like being alone. She'd never been alone before. She'd never been out in the cold this long before.

Kids played in the streets here, and kicked something round and on the ground. It was kind of soft and round. She smelled it, but it wasn't a familiar smell. She hadn't been around many children. They moved fast and she had to run to get out of their way.

Some of the kids pet her, but others ignored her.

But one day she ventured on to a new street and met a man sitting on the concrete. She went straight up to him and licked his face.

The man turned to look at her and pet her.

"Where'd you come from, girl?" The man frowned. "Hadn't seen you around here."

She licked him in the face again.

He laughed.

"Why, you're just a pup," he cried and began petting her. "Look at those big paws and little legs. You can't be more than six months old. You look too good to be from this neighborhood."

She wagged her tail with delight.

"Hey, I bet you're hungry, aren't you?" The man asked.

She whined.

"What's your name, girl?" He asked with a laugh. "I know—it has to be Penny, because that's the color of your pretty coat of hair. Like a bright new Penny. Yep, I bet you're a Penny."

Again, she licked his face.

"Okay girl, I'll see if I can round you up something to eat here in a bit." He smiled. But he didn't stand up and Penny wondered why. He just sat there with his legs in front of him on the sidewalk.

Penny knew there was something funny about the man. Still, he was friendly and seemed to like her. She licked him in the face again, wondering what was wrong with him. Why didn't he move, or get up?

When a black woman came out of the building and brought a chair on wheels, Penny watched as the woman helped the man into the chair. It took a while to get him in the chair because he wasn't moving his legs. "Got you another chair, this one works Charlie." The woman said with a chuckle. "You must be feeling better today, you're smiling."

Penny wagged her tail.

"Well now, looks like you have a friend there."

"Yep. Her name is Penny, because she's shiny as a brand-new penny. I need to get her some food, I don't think she's ate in a while."

"Well, we'll rustle up something for her."

"I wanna build her a shelter so she can sleep outside the building, would that be alright, Harriet?"

"Why sure it would. We got some old boxes inside, I'll get you one. I bet I can rustle up an old blanket too. You wait here and play with your new friend."

Harriet disappeared into the building. But it wasn't long and she brought some leftovers and scraps for Penny.

"She's a pretty little thing, isn't she?" Harriet chuckled as she looked at Penny. "Why I bet she's not even a year old."

"And friendly too…"

"Okay, I'll see what kind of box I can find for you, be back later Charlie, after I finish my paperwork.

"No rush, we aren't going anywhere," Charlie chuckled.

After Penny ate, Charlie picked her up in his lap and wheeled the chair around. It was fun and Penny laid down in Charlie's lap. "We're gonna be good friends, you and I." Charlie told her.

Charlie made a shelter for her later that afternoon, and placed her in it, that first night. It kept the cold wind off her and she curled up and went to sleep real fast. She was tired from playing so much. Charlie was a lot of fun. He made up games for them to play. She liked his chair too, because it went around in circles.

Had she found a home? It seemed so.

"You're just a little thing, kind of like me. You have no real home. But that's okay, we'll make do. You wait and see."

Every day, her and the man would wheel around on the sidewalk. She played with him and fetched for him and he fed her.

But at night he would leave her there in a dark corner of the street as he placed her in her shelter.

"You can't go inside with me, but you'll be alright in here. I'll put a trash bag over this thing tomorrow and it will keep you warm and dry through the winter, you'll see." He smiled and petted her. "And I'll see you tomorrow. I wish I could take you in, but they don't allow animals in there."

Penny licked his face. Charlie laughed, "You’re a good dog. And I need a friend."

Each morning the man came out of the building in his chair and played with her. He'd bring scraps for her to eat and she knew she had found a friend.

Penny was happy as she played with Charlie. He spent most of the day just sitting in the sun, and watching the people go by. He had a cup in his hand, and a sign beside him, but she didn't know anything about those things.

Penny found out that her Charlie had been in something called a war. He talked to her about it every day, as though it meant something to him. That's where he lost the use of his legs, he said. He'd come home from the war and found out his wife had died of cancer. What was even worse, he lost his home too, from all the medical expenses. Penny didn't understand what he was talking about, but it had to be important, because he told her about it. Her master was all alone now. Penny didn't know what a war was. She didn't know what a cancer was, but she knew her master needed her, and she knew she'd be his friend forever.

One day, Charlie didn't come out though, and she was left to prowl the street on her own. She came upon a dark alley and followed it.

That's when she met a German Sheppard.

"So, what's your name, kid?" The Sheppard asked as Penny smelled around the big green can.

"Penny," she wagged her tail, knowing she had met a new friend. A dog friend.

"Where do you live?"

"I live down the street in my box." Penny replied.

"In a box, huh?" Tanker stared at her.

"You want some meat and bones?" Tanker asked.

"Sure…" Penny wagged her tail.

Tanker got some food out of his green can and brought it to her. Penny ate up heartily and started to thank him.

"What's your name." She asked.

"I'm Tanker, everybody knows me."

"Nice to meet you Tanker. I better go now. My master might come out and think I ran away."

"You got a man master?"

"Yeah, he can't walk, someone said he was a hero in a war, whatever that is. That's how come he can't walk. But I don't know what a war is. Anyways, he lives in the big tall building there on the corner. He feeds me most days, but today he didn't come out."

"Aw…well, if you are hungry let me know. I'll see you get something. I'm the boss around here. I take care of all the dogs in our neighborhood. And your master must be pretty good as war is for heroes."

"Are all the dogs around here friendly, like you?" Penny asked.

"Naw…not all of them…" Tanker warned her. "You gotta watch out for the dog gangs around here, you hear me, Penny? You're not very big and they can be mean. So, you let me know if they bother you, hear."

"Okay I will, nice to meet you Tanker, and thanks." Penny said wagging her tail as she went back the way she came.

Her master had come out of the building and sure enough he was looking for her everywhere.

"There you are, Penny. I thought you might have run away. I had to go to the doctor today, that was why I was late. But I won't forget you." He petted her and gathered her close. "We're buddies."

Penny licked him and cuddled in his arms. She had found a new home. She was happy here.

But one day, several men came up to her master and demanded something they called 'money'. They were mean looking and Penny bristled, but they paid her no mind.

"I don't have any money." Her master told them.

"Look Charlie, you can't live out here on the street without something. You been beggin' again and we know you got some. So, hand it over."

Her master shook his head. "I don't have any, I tell you."

That's when the other men started kicking him and hurting him.

Penny barked, but they paid her no mind and pushed her around too. They kept hurting her master. She barked but it only seemed to irritate the mean men.

That's when she ran. She ran as fast as she could to find Tanker.

Chapter Two



Tanker was on top the green can, and jumped down the minute he saw Penny running so hard.

"You gotta help him. They are hurting him." Penny danced about Tanker to get his attention.

"Who is hurting who?"

"Those men, they are hurting my master. You gotta come help." Penny pulled at his collar.

"Sure kid, let's go…"

When Tanker reached the street, he saw them kicking the poor man, they'd turned his wheelchair over and he lay on the ground very still. Tanker began to bark. Penny watched Tanker. Tanker barked and bristled as he ran up to the men, chasing them down the street as they tried to get away. Penny could tell they were afraid of Tanker.

When Tanker came back Penny was licking the man, but he wasn't moving.

"We gotta find some help kid." Tanker hung his head. "He's been hurt."

"Where do we go?" Penny asked with a whine.

"Come on, there's a police station down the street." Tanker told her.

"What's a police station?" Penny asked following Tanker.

"It's where you find the good guys, that take care of people. They'll help. Come on, we don't have time to lose." Tanker told her.

Tanker and Penny ran down the street to the place with lots of steps. They climbed the steps and Tanker started barking loudly. Penny barked too.

At first no one came out, but Tanker didn't stop barking until someone opened the door.

Tanker recognized the officer right away.

"Well boy, what's going on." The officer asked as he bent to pet him.

Tanker turned away and growled.

"Something wrong boy?" The policeman asked as he checked Tanker out.

Tanker barked.

"Okay…show me, boy." The policeman said.

Tanker started trotting off toward the injured man in the street.

As they got closer the policeman spotted the man in the street and ran to him.

He turned and looked at Tanker. "Good boy, I'll take care of him. Wish I knew who did this. Charlie wouldn't hurt a fly."

Tanker barked and then watched as Penny came back to her master and licked his face.

"It's alright girl. I'll take care of him. Don't you worry." The policeman smiled and pet Penny.

Penny whined as the policeman spoke into something on his hip. A few minutes later there were several policemen and a big long white car drove up.

Penny waited.

Tanker stood close by.

The policeman wrote something down, then turned to Tanker. "Good boy. You did good. You are a real hero, Tanker."

Tanker barked and the policeman smiled as Tanker and Penny trotted away down the dark alley.

"You can stay with me. He'll be alright." Tanker told her. "Might be a while before he comes back, though."

"I love my master." Penny said and whined. "You see. I didn't have a home and he gave me one."

"Yeah. I know how it is. Don't you worry, they'll fix him up. You see, policemen are there to help people, like I'm here to help you, and protect you. Poor fella, they knocked his chair over too. Wonder how that happened." Tanker seemed to think about that. He'd seen other men that couldn't walk, long ago. Tanker didn't want to think about those days because he still missed his own master.

"I don't know." Penny whined. "But we have fun every day. And my master is happy now. When I first met him, he seemed sad. He was all alone. Just like me. I'll miss him. He said I was his best friend."

"Well, you can hang out back here until he comes home. You'll be alright. I'll make sure of that."

"Why did they kick him and hurt him?" Penny asked as she laid her head down.

"I don't know, it's hard to say. But like some dogs, some people are mean too." Tanker explained.

"I hope he comes back."

"He will, you'll see."

"He's a good master."

"Yeah, I can tell. Well, he probably had to go to a hospital where they make you well again. But I bet he comes back before Christmas."

Penny looked up at Tanker. "I tried to scare them away, but they just kicked me and him too." Penny wagged her tail. "I'll wait for him to come home. Say, what was that big white car?"

"That was an ambulance. They take sick or hurt people to the hospital and take care of them until they are well. So, they can go home."

"Gee, you know a lot about things, don't you Tanker?" Penny looked at Tanker. "That's what took my other master away. But he never came back. Then they took me for a long ride, and let me out. But they forgot me. And I had to walk back here. It was a long trip and I got lost a lot. I don't think I'll ever find them again. Will they bring my new master back?" Penny whined.

"He'll come back when he's well. But right now, they need to tend to him. He loves you a lot, didn't you see the smile on his face as they were taking him inside the ambulance?"

"Yeah, he smiles a lot now. He doesn't seem as sad. You know the war must have been a bad thing, because he seems sad when he talks about it. I don't know what a war is. Do you?"

"Yeah kid, I know." Tanker shook his head sadly. He'd seen what a war was and the memories were still fresh in his mind. He'd never forget what a war was.

"Say, how come you know so much about everything Tanker?" Penny asked.

"Well," Tanker thought about the question. "I've lived here for a while now and I've seen things. The city is a busy place, filled with lots of people. Things happen here. But you did the right thing by coming and getting me. You wouldn't have scared those men away. You are too little."

"Do you have a master, Tanker?" Penny asked.

"Not any more," Tanker hung his head for a minute, "but a long time ago I did. He was something. He was the best kind of master. I miss him all the time. I think something went wrong, because he never came back either. I know because I waited for him. He wouldn't have left me like that, unless something went wrong."

"What happened to him?"

"I don't know. He just wasn't there any more. I stayed by his bunk for a long time, I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep. But he never came back. Then they finally sent me on a big boat. That's how I got here. Been here ever since. The butcher, in there in that building, he throws meat and bones out for me every day. He knows I share with others. We're friends."

"A boat, wow! I don't know what a boat is!" Penny laid down by the big green thing. "The butcher must be nice then…"

"Yeah, he's about the nicest man I know, here." Tanker said staring at the back door. "A boat is something that moves on water and lets you get from one place to another."

Penny licked her paws clean. "You're the smartest dog I know Tanker, and the bravest. You're a real hero." Penny wagged her tail once more.

"Aw, shucks, it's nothing." Tanker laid a grisly bone down for Penny and went to get himself something from the big green can.

"I want to be just like you and help other dogs." Penny said licking her bone and wagging her tail.

Penny was such a loyal young dog that Tanker knew her master would come home, and he assured Penny that he'd have a smile on his face too.

It was nearly Christmas now, people were dragging trees inside, and Penny didn't know what to think about it.

And then one day, her master did come home, a week later. Penny wagged her tail and licked his face, so happy that her master was home. The man smiled and after hugging her for a bit, he fed her, and then they played the rest of the day. Life was so good.

Harriet the nurse came out and saw them playing together. "You know Charlie, as good as Penny behaves, I'll bet we could let her inside during the winter nights. Would you like that Charlie?"

"I sure would, can we?"

"I'll check with chief of staff, but I don't see why not."

"She won't know what to think of that Christmas tree. I'll bet she's never seen one."

Penny walked over to Harriet and lifted her paw for a shake.

Penny laughed.

"Did you teach her to do that, Charlie?"

"I sure did. Ain't she something?"

"She sure is. You must be feeling a lot better you sure are smiling."

"I am better. Glad to be home."

So, Penny got to go inside one night, and there were a lot of people inside and they all pet Penny and watched her curl up close to the fire and stare at the beautiful Christmas tree. It was the prettiest thing Penny had ever seen.

During the party, there was food, and music and someone came to tie a ribbon around Penny's neck.

"This must be Charlie's Christmas present," Harriet chuckled.

Charlie chuckled. "It sure is! I may have to pin a medal on her and her friend for helping me the other night."

"Say, that's right, her and some other dog, a German Sheppard. That was pretty clever of them to get the police."

"She's no dummy!" Charlie beamed.

Penny laid down on Charlie's bed beside him that night, resting her head on his leg. She'd been forgotten once, but Charlie didn't forget her. They were friends and his friends were her friends too. Her and Charlie would make out just fine, because they were together.

Harriet and some of the others saw how happy Charlie was to be home with Penny.

"You know, it might be a good idea for more of these people to have a dog. I mean, look at Charlie's face, he couldn't be happier. If they do that much good for people maybe we should invest in checking out the dog pounds. We'd have to change a few rules, but it might be worth it."

"Little Penny is quite a hero, isn't she, rescuing Charlie from such loneliness. It could be an inexpensive and worthwhile kind of cure." The director said. "For a lot of our people at least."

Penny stared at the tree, and finally went to sleep right beside her master. She was so happy her master was home, and she had a great friend in Tanker too. Life was good again.


The End


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