I like the people who look at me in the bars, and now I’m used to the other dogs barking. Here come two people: a man and a woman; not young; friendly faces, soft voices. I wag my tail and wiggle hopefully. They take me for a walk through the trails where other dogs on a leash leave their scent. I sniff around and crouch and pee a few times to add my own scent. But what is that? We’re not going back to my cage, we’re going to where the tables and machines are. You talk to the familiar people who give me food. Now they’re taking me to another one outside where the floor is hard and full of large metal cages that rumble and move quickly. I get nervous as we approach one. The female people sit in the back seat, hit their knees and tell me to get in. The male people try to push me into it. I’m afraid to go into this unknown cage. I sink to the ground, limp with fear and despair. The male people take me in their arms. I struggle to get away but don’t want to hurt him with my paws. He puts me next to the woman. I can’t stop shaking. The man gets in the front and the cage rumbles and begins to move. I am trembling with fear. The woman caresses me and speaks friendly. The movement and the whirring become less scary. I stop shaking. I put my head on the woman’s lap. She smiles and says something to the man. He looks back at us and giggles in delight. I think they like me and I like them. I snuggle closer to her and hope I can keep her.
Addendum: Zoe, a mix of three black laboratories, is the loving owner of Susan Bennett and Sante Matteo, retired professors who she was allowed to keep.