Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dolce's Story Chair: Conclusion

Dad: It has been a wonderful week being here at Dolce's Story Chair. Dolce has had an immense amount of fun serving Hot Catmilk and Catnip cookies all of her furriends. But like all good things, our time here must come to an end. Dolce will leave the chair right where it is now. She hopes that someone else will choose to sit in it and tell all the furriends stories of wonderful and scary adventures.

So please sit back and hold your bestest friend tight. For when i left you Shep was in mortal danger as was his friend, Puddles the Cat.



Shep felt the heat from the now raging fire sear his whiskers and cause the ends of his fur to curl. He tried vainly to find Patches' green scent amonst all the darting and flowing red scents.

"Patches!" Shep barked again and again for his friend."Patches! Where are you!"

Shep looked up at the stairs leading to the second floor. Shep knew she was not there for he would have come across her scent when he first noticed the smoke from the fire. Puddles had to be somewhere on the first floor. Shep ventured towards the hallway leading to the living room and the den. The living room was an solid block of red and orange to Shep's eyes and nose. He feared the his friend have been trapped in that mass of flame and heat.

He darted past the open flames of the living and quickly ducked into the Den. Even here there were clouds of smoke and the wall of books was beginning to catch fire. Shep sniffed the air; there was not trace of green in the air. He stopped and wondered where Puddles would have hid once she knew the fire was raging.

"Of Course." Shep remebered, "You are such a stupid old dog."

Shep dashed past the opening for the living room. He let out a large yelp as a blast of steam and fire exploded from the room. He did not need to look to know that his left rear haunch was badly burned. He ignored the pain.

Shep stopped outside the open doorway of the Laundry Room. It was hard to tell, but Shep was certain he caught a faint trace of Puddles' green scent amonsgt all the smoke flame.

"Puddles! Answer me if you can hear?" Shep called out.

He thought he heard the faintest response from within the laundry room. A loud crash from the living room warned him that time was running out for both him and Puddles. Shep ran into the Laundry Room. Now Puddles' scent seemed stronger. It made sense to Shep that Puddles would hide in the Laundry Room since that was where she was locked whenever she had been bad. Shep thought about Puddles choice of hiding spot.

"Oh no, Puddles." Shep thought. "You didn't!"

Shep looked around the dryer and the laundry tub trying to find Puddles.

"Puddles!" Shep cried out.

"Shep?" A weak voice came weakly from behind the washing machine.

"Puddles." Shep was relieved to have found his friend. "You have to come out. There is a fire!"

"I know." Puddles slinked out from the washing machine.

Shep saw that Puddles' right jaw was burned and and that her whiskers was completely gone. There were missing patches of fur where something very hot had obviously hit the wounded cat.

"Whatever has happen, you need to forget about it. We need to go!" Shep coaxed.

"I can't make it, Shep." Puddles tried to retreat back towards the washing machine. "I've hurt my eyes and my whiskers are gone. I can't find my way out."

Shep knew that cats use their whiskers to tell them whether a space was too small for them to get through. Puddles, having lost her whiskers, felt as though the world was pressed up right against her.

"You must trust me, Puddles." Shep asked. "I will get you out. I will protect you."

"I trust you, Shep." Puddles relented and crawled closer to her friend.

Shep reached down and clamped his jaws around Puddles' shoulders. Shep gently squeezed and picked his friend up up from the floor. Puddles went limp as she placed her fate solely in Shep's paws.

Shep turned to leave the Laundry. He sudenly saw that the hallway was now ablaze. His and Puddles' escape route was now a dangerous mass of flames. Shep felt something give way deep within his chest. He knew his time had come. Shep steeled himself and prepared to make a dash for the backdoor. Within his jaws he could sense Puddles' tension.

"Fear not my friend." Shep thought. "I have never failed to protect those I have sworn to guard."

Shep exploded from the laundry room and burst through the flame filled hallway. His own vision was scarred and damaged from the heat of the flames. His nose pointed him straight and true towards the back door of the house. Pain shot throught Shep's paws as burning linoleum seared and stucked to his feet. He felt another sharp pain in his back as something fell from the roof. Nothing of his pain distracted Shep from his objective.

Shep nearly collapsed as he and Puddles crossed the threshold of the doorway. He tried to set her down gently, but he stumbled badly on the last step of the deck and he pitched her unceremoniously into the snow. Puddles looked weakly at her friend. From his eyes, Puddles knew that Shep was all but gone already. There had been only one thing holding him here; the burning desire to guard and protect those he loved. Now that everyone was safe from the fire, Shep's duty was over.

Shep began to walk away.

"Tom." Sarah grabbed her husband's arm and pointed out that Shep was slowly moving away.

"Let him go." Tom choked back a tear. "It's his time. I will find him in the morning and we will put him to rest like the hero he was."

Shep silently slipped away from the family and walked slowly away. He did not want to pass in front of them. He walked past the brambleberry bush and down towards the creek. As Shep walked, he found that the pain in his side and paws was gone. So was the tightness in his chest and the dull throbbing in his back and hips. His nose was somehow clear of the stench and overwhelming constriction of the smoke. He tested the air. All he could smell now was that pure silvery white scent.

"Welcome, Dearest Shep." A figure appeared next to Shep.

SHep first thought that the silvery white scent came from this figure, but he realized that it did not.

"You gave your life to protect those you love, Dearest Shep. And for that you have earned an eternity of peace." the Figure said. "But there is one who needs your protection."

"To guard." Shep barked, "To protect. That is all I ever needed to do."

"Will you then guard and protect this special one?"

Shep barked affirmatively.

The figure pointed towards a star faraway on the eastern horizon.

"Follow the star, Shep. It will guide you to the one you must protect. But you must hurry for the Winds of Time are nipping at your heels."

Shep saw a vast rolling wave of pure darkness from the west barrelling towards him and the figure. Shep turned his nose towards the star. The silvery-white scent that had been so faint and elusive was now so bright and obvious it lead like a arrow to the east.

Shep barked once and then he ran towards the east as he followed the silvery-white scent. Shep ran and ran in pursuit of the scent. He ran barely a stride away from the every progressing wave of blackness. As he ran, the years fell away from him. Soon too his thick coat and wide tail also fell away. Shep ran and ran. The years became decades and the decades became centuries.

Shep felt the earth benaeth his paws change. It was no longer the soft mushy turf of his home. It was replaced with the hard, uneven roundness of a cobblestone road. Strange scents assailed his nose, but they could not replace the one scent Shep had chosen to follow. Shep followed the scent through several dark alleys and empty roads.

The silvery-white scent blossomed into brilliant cloud. Shep could see it and taste it on every wisp of air. It seemed to be coming from a small structure at the end of the alley. Shep warily approached. He saw several animals in a stable. They were all entranced by a simple couple standing watch over a small baby in a manger. Shep approached.

This was the one. This tiny babe was the one he had chosen to serve. He was the source of the brilliant, silver and white scent. Shep did not come any closer. He moved to the side out of the way. From his spot, Shep could see the entire stable and the small alley way leading up to it. Once again, Shep took on the mantle he knew so well; to guard and to protect.


Tom followed the footprints in the snow. They had followed the brambleberry hedge to the end and then had headed towards the creek. Tom figured that's where he would find his beloved friend. Suddenly, Tom stopped. He looked frantically around at the pristine snow. He could see where two sets of tracks had arrived at the creek bank. He looked down again.

The only tracks he could see were his; Shep's had suddenly ended. But of Shep, there was no sign...

27 comments:

  1. that was a lovely story - thank you for having us all over and telling it to us. we knew you'd make our Lady's eyes leak, but we love stories like this and she's got plenty of tissues.
    purrrrrrs!

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  2. All our eyes are leaking... we was so sad when we fott that Shep was gonna be burned up and even tho he was gonna go to Rainbow Bridge, our eyes were still leaking... This is dust berry berry much better than Rainbow Bridge. This is the reason Rainbow Bridge was built I fink, for that little baby a long time ago...

    but, we's still berry berry sad...

    taz n angel n the mama

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  3. Thank you Smudge's Daddy for the story. Shep's heart was true and pure...a perfect story for Christmas.

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  4. I can't keep my face frum leeking!!!!

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  5. Thank you for giving us such a great Christmas story. Mom's eyes have sprung a huge leak, but she knew that would happen when she started this story!

    Oh yeah, and thanks for the delicious treats! Could we have the recipes?

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  6. Mr Smudge's Daddy, fank you for the wonderful story. And Dolce, your hot catmilk and catnip cookies were great! And our eyes closed competishun was fun!!!

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  7. Oh my eyes is leaking and so is Miss Georgia's...it was a furry good story.

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  8. Oh, my eyes are leakin' too. Thanks for such a great Christmas story!

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  9. A furry good story, with a happy ending. Even though it was a leaky eye story, it does have a happy ending.

    Merry Christmas to all.

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  10. Good brave Shep! He is a real hero dog. Thank you for sharing this great story with us Dolce's Daddy. You are a teriffic story teller and this Big Chair is so Comfy!!
    Merry Christmas to you all! -Scooby, Shaggy & Scout
    (And an extra nose nuzzle to you from me Dolce - Scout)

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  11. Thank you so much for the beautiful Christmas story! We are furry sad for Shep, but he did a wonderful job protectin' his family. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

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  12. Wow, that was a grrrreat story, I read it to Missy, Bear and KC and they loved it. Especially Bear, as she is an 'older' woofie like Shep.

    Thank you so much for sharing that wonderful story with us.

    KC: fanks, Mr. Smudge's Daddy fur tha storie 'n fur tha xcellant treats... o, Dolce, fanks....

    Missy: fank you fur tha story...purrrssss

    Bear: p...p...ggggrrrrrrrrrsss [but softly]...

    ML: Silly Bear, always trying to purr like the cats, your little growl is way cute enough.

    Merry Christmas to Magoo, Smudge, Bella & Dolce, and their Daddy and Mommy.

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  13. Oh, der go mommas eyes leaking again. But that wuz a happy ending. Reely. Fank yoo fur dat grate storee an fur da cookees an milk. Merry Christmas!

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  14. Nice story, but Tom kind of gets messed over. He never knew what happened to Shep, and he probably had enough sadness in his life right then.

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  15. Fank yu...*sniff sniff* fur da furry heartwarmin story. All of our eyes are leakin. Meowy Chrissmouse!

    Abby, Boo, Jinx, Ping & Grace
    (& Mom Debra)

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  16. All owr eyes are leaking here too. that wuz a wunnerfull story, an although the end wuz sort of sad, reely it wuz moor happy, an Shep can go on doing what he duz best. It wuz saddest furr Tom an his family cuz thay don't no what happened to Shep, but We spect thay no that he went ofurr the Rainbow Bridge an wud be fit again. Dolce yer dad is the bestest story teller.

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  17. Merry Christmas to you all, Ramona and I are sitting together reading the end of the story. We liked it a lot.
    It is a good thing since she will meet her first dog on Tuesday!

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  18. This is actually Zuleme and Ramona, blogger posted my other name!
    Harper, Ramona and Brendan say have a Furry Furry Christmas from the Tiger Tribe!

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  19. Leaky eyes all around. What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it with us. Merry Christmas Everyone!

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  20. Wow what can I say that hasn't been said yet. I still can not stop crying. Such a good story.

    Hope everyone has a great Holiday.

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  21. well, i came back to read it, even tho i said i wouldn't. it's a good story. i agree with comments, poor Tom, not knowing where his dear companion went.

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  22. Have a furry Merry Christmas, Magoo, Smudge, Bella, Dolce and humans!

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  23. Thanks for the story - Meowy Cat-mas!

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  24. Thank you for that wonderful story. It gave me leaky eyes, but I enjoyed it very much. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas.

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  25. Our eyes are leaking... even Sophia's. Thank you for the lovely story and happy holidays.

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