I had a picture perfect life—a loving husband, two adorable little children, and a beautiful house in the countryside. We even had a family pet named Sam, but my husband put him down when he bit the children. We all missed Sam.
One day my husband brought home a stray. She was mangy with scraggly black hair—her eyes wild with fear.
“Look what I found!” my husband beamed, proud of this dirty creature he brought into our pristine home.
“Can we keep her?” the kids yelped. They were so excited.
“Yes! Let’s name her… Kitty.”
We kept Kitty tied up in the backyard. I fed her twice a day, and took her out on a walk every night after dinner. I could hear her crying every night, but I dismissed it as her adjusting to a new home.
Kitty was not nearly as smart as Sam. It took her weeks to teach her how to “sit”. She was jittery, and was always so fearful when she saw my husband.
“She must’ve been abused by men.” My husband shrugged.
It took some time before she became more compliant, and finally learned her basic commands. Sit. Stay. Roll over. Good girl! Now, it’s time to teach her something new.
“Speak!” I said firmly, baiting Kitty with a treat. I let out a few, deep barks to signal to her what she should do.
Kitty became anxious and started to whimper.
“Speak!” I said again.
After much deliberation, she finally spoke:
"I-I...d-d-don't..." Kitty whispered, her voice trembling.
“Bad girl,” I said sternly, swatting her face with a newspaper, “you’re supposed to bark.”