The Bark Collar

24 Jun

By Sophie Pollock
6th Grade

“Shush, Jake!’ I hear Laila shouting from the house. She comes out and smacks me with the newspaper she’s just gotten from the driveway. “You’re such an annoying dog! Why do we even still have you?” she yells. Laila storms back inside.

I keep barking. I can’t help it. What am I supposed to do, just stay with this family forever? They hate me, and I hate them just as much. I really want to get out of here and find a nicer family to live with. I chew on the rope tying me up, and try to run and break free.

Just then, Laila’s husband, Jackson, comes out of the house, furious. “All right, Jake, since you won’t stop barking I’ve come up with a new solution.” He’s holding two collars in his hand, one black and one made of chain with another long piece of chain coming off of it. I see Laila walking behind him.

“This is a bark collar. Now every time you bark, it’ll give you a small electric chock. That should help with your constant loudness. This”—he holds out the chain and puts it around my neck—“is a new chain to tie you up with, so you can’t chew through it.

He clips the bark collar onto me, and I slump down, disappointed. I decide I will try to sneak out that night.

***

That night when they’re asleep, I slowly stand up from pretending to be asleep. I carefully grab the chain in my mouth, trying not to make too much noise. I quickly discover that it’s not going to be easy to chew. I twist around, trying to wiggle my way out, but that doesn’t work either. Finally, I pull backwards as hard as I can. I try and try, but neither the chain, nor the post that it’s tied to, budges, not even just a little bit.

I bark in frustration, forgetting about the collar. It buzzes, and I feel a sharp pain. Then I hear the back screen door open. It’s Jackson. “Jake!” he whisper-yells, “you don’t want Laila to hear you.” I start whining. “ Jake, I’m sorry Laila hates you so much. I keep trying to get you to stop barking and stop trying to run away, so that we can keep you and Laila won’t hate you.”

I never realized that Jackson didn’t hate me as much as Laila did. I continue whining.

“I know, Jake, but I really want to be able to keep you. Your old family was my brother, you know. He didn’t want you, but I felt bad for you so I kept you. But maybe you would be happier with a different family.”

I wag my tail and start panting.

Then the door swings open again, and Laila steps out. “What are you doing out here?! It’s one a.m.!” she yells.

“Laila, I’m thinking maybe we should find Jake a new home where he would be happier.”

“Ugh, finally we can get rid of him. But I thought you liked Jake.”

“Yeah, and I still do, but he’s not happy here.”

“Okay. Well, I’m going back to bed.”

The next morning, Jackson puts me in the back of his truck with a new dog bed and bowls of food and water. He drives me out to some farm. “I’m taking you out to go live with an old friend of mine.”

A man walks out of the house, and we go over to talk to him. “Nick, this is my dog, Jake. My wife, Laila, hates him. Do you want to take him in?”

A little girl comes out of the house and runs over to us. “Doggy!” she yells. She runs over to me and I lick her face. Then I run around, wagging my tail and barking.

“Wow, this dog’s bark is so loud he might even help scare off the crows!” Nick says.

“Bye, Jake,” Jackson says and pats my head. Then he drives off in his truck.

I’m so happy to finally be with a good family! I help Nick and his wife scare off the crows and do stuff around the farm and play with the little girl, whose name is Emily. I have so much fun at the farm with everyone.

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