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Angela Phillips walked straight into her office in her home, clutching a thick bundle of folders in one hand, and a puppy in the other. Correction β€” a troublemaker in the other. She couldn’t take it anymore. He was roguish, he was a scoundrel, and he was a brat. He was nothing like the puppy she had as she grew up. Her sweet, little cocker spaniel named Percy was an angel. Percy had never chewed up her shoes, stole all of her toilet paper, or woke her up in the middle of the night every day unlike the new puppy did.

Angela always wanted a puppy. After Percy died when she was fourteen, she never imagined getting another puppy, because it would seem like replacing him. But she missed living in another world. She missed Dogland. She missed how they bark delicately but also firm, and how they all have different personalities, just like humans. It seemed like heaven to live in that world again.

But she snapped herself back to reality. She wasn’t in Dogland anymore. She brought her new puppy into the human world. At least, that’s what it seemed like in her thoughts. Puppies can’t be brought into the human world. They wouldn’t know what to do there. At least humans like Angela know how to take care of dogs in Dogland.

β€œMy parents bought me this scamp, but I wish I could take him back,” she said loudly. She sat down in her favorite swivel chair and sighed hopelessly. The puppy barked gleefully. Oh, of course he would be happy. He doesn’t have to wake up every single day and go through a scavenger hunt for twenty minutes to find her sneakers as her daily morning routine.Β What a troubled, naughty rascal.

Rascal! An idea went to her mind. β€œOh, there is no doubt, little guy! I already know what to name you. You little Rascal!” She set Rascal on his bed next to Angela’s office room. She always had to bring him wherever she went inside the house because once her eyes were on something for a millisecond, a little puppy the size of a mini clock will be making more fuss β€” either trying to knock some piles of fruit or paint on the ground, or trying to hide her shoes again.

β€œRascal! I can’t believe I survived for two days with you. Let me tell myself it’s worth it!” She picked up Rascal again and set him on her lap. She had to concentrate on her work. But she couldn’t help glancing down to see what trouble Rascal could have caused after typing a few words on her document. It became a habit. She couldn’t keep her eyes off of him. Her habit could get her fired. She needed to have the document done in four days.

She needed someone else to take care of him. She couldn’t be like this forever.

Should she put him in his cage for a few hours?

Angela sighed at looked at the puppy’s black, obsidian eyes one last time. β€œOh, Rascal. I hate you so much, but I can’t stand seeing you inside your small cage, whimpering. That’s going to make me more distracted than how it is now.”

The puppy was curious. He felt cozy on her lap, but it was the words she said to him. It was sharp, but he could tell the way she was staring at him, she still was feeling something for him. Rascal felt overwhelmed. He was learning too much, and too fast.

Angela gave a small smile. β€œI trust you, this time. I’ll let you free downstairs. You are much calmer than yesterday. I think you learned something β€” hopefully.”

Before Angela could set him free downstairs and do her work in peace, she made sure all doors were locked, no paint or glass or anything that could make a mess and hurt him were out of his sight, and also made sure his favorite toys were all in one place, so they could keep Rascal company. She gave him a quick kiss before saying, β€œCome upstairs if you need me.” He gave a short, sharp bark in reply, and Angela really thought she could trust him. So while she went upstairs, and thought about Rascal all the way, she thought about something else.

Did I really just give Rascal a kiss? That troublemaker? That… that little rascal?

Did I really trust him to be downstairs on his own? I mean, I do have a camera to make sure he stays safe… but why would I do that? Why would I let him go on his own? What kind of party will he be having right now?

And lastlyβ€”

Do I love Rascal?

Angela was bewildered. After she cleaned up his messes, scolded him for his mistakes, and was impatient with him and wanted to give him back to the shelter, did she love him?

She couldn’t do her work now. She was always so used to doing work with Rascal, and she liked it that way. Sure, he bothered her a lot and sometimes drooled on her work papers, and jumped on her desk and spilled her coffee, but it was still her puppy, and he was still learning to behave. If she could teach him now, then maybe he wouldn’t turn out to be a rascal after all.

Angela needed to go back downstairs to get Rascal again. She couldn’t focus without him. She could feel him cuddled up in her arms, and the innocent smile that said, I didn’t make that mess! It must have been another puppy! It made her smile. No, scratch that. Rascal made her smile.

Back downstairs, she called, β€œRascal!”

But to her surprise, the room was unusually quiet. His toys were left scattered all around the living room, and her shoes were lying perfectly where it was. Not a single scratch mark or drool. That was big news.

β€œRascal?” she repeated, more loudly. Reaching desperately into her pockets, she got out a treat. She yelled, β€œRascal! Who wants a treat?” She expected some running, some crashing, any noise would relieve her. But it was nothing. Her house was completely empty… Suddenly, Angela seemed to be drowning in loneliness.

Her heart was draining. She had no time to think or to be wary. Her legs controlled her, yelling, Run!

Normal people would have gone out to the front door. But she remembered that the back door was closer to where she was running, so she turned left to open it. Quick. But the door was open, the invisible broom sweeping the air in her face.

Then the memory flashed. It struck her like lightning.

Her heart was pounding now. β€œMy God! I forgot to close the back door!” She felt tears, hot tears coming out of her eyes. β€œRascal, I’m going to find you!” Angela never felt more distressed her whole life.

She raced out of there, hoping to find some tracks that belonged to Rascal. Or at least a small bark of Rascal exploring nature. Something like that. Anything like that!

Next to the curb, she ran along, looking to the left, to the right. She even searched around her neighbors’ street, but nothing, not even a small howl β€” or panting was heard. It’s as if Rascal never existed.

Through the distance, she heard sirens wailing. It’s coming to my house, Angela thought. It’s my only hope. She followed where the loud sound was going β€” until it stopped. Right there, next to Angela’s house, it stopped. Stopped. This can only mean one thing. Frantic, feeling lost, she cried. Right there, in public. She imagined blood. She imagined darkness. She imagined Rascal, he was glowering in her mind, as if it was an alert. An alert that was marked Red. Sorrows. Blaze. Tears struggled to stop. She didn’t control her tears. She couldn’t. No one could.

Angela thought, This is a dream. No, a nightmare. Wake up, Angela. Wake up! Sadly, she didn’t.

But when she was told what had happened, it made her get all emotional again.

β€œWe have a few witnesses that saw your dog,” they informed Angela. β€œThey saw your dog go out of the back door—”

β€œHow did they see that?” she asked. β€œWe have a fence.” She managed to say the words without shaking.

They answered solemnly, β€œThat’s the problem. There was a hole in your fence, big enough for your puppy to go through and to go to the street. But the witnesses saw two people that weren’t looking when they were about to cross the street. Before the witnesses got to them, the puppy ran in front of them and barked loud enough for them to pay attention! Before the puppy could go back, he found something on the street that caught his eye.”

They didn’t have to say anything else. Angela was already broken.

β€œIs he going to live?” she whispered like a flea.

One of them nodded. β€œYou may visit the veterinary surgeon. You have to wait a few hours.”

Angela, without hesitating, she answered, β€œThat won’t be a problem.” Then, she added, β€œWhere is it?”

They told her.

Angela thought, Rascal will always be Rascal, and he will always be in my heart, a rocket full of love in my soul.

Then she took off, faster than the speed of light β€” and more determined than thunder.


β€œHe’s going to live, right?” she asked the veterinary surgeon. They had just finished the operation, which took hours as she was told. But for the first time, she was patient.

β€œOf course!” the vet smiled at her. β€œWhat a strong little guy! What’s his name?”

β€œR-Rascal.”

β€œRascal or not, he is still a brave hero,” she said. β€œHe saved two lives!”

Angela peered down at Rascal. He was sleeping, and she was relieved to say he actually looked comfortable, just weak and tired. She replied, β€œRascal is a hero.”

The vet smiled at her again. β€œYou are very lucky to have him. And he is very lucky to have you.”

Angela thought bitterly, I can’t believe I treated him like a cactus. My own puppy.

The vet told her, β€œWe will be talking to you again in a few minutes. Please step outside to the waiting area.”


Angela smiled, a thin curve playing on her lips. She thanked the vet.


Rascal or not, he is still a brave hero.

You are very lucky to have him, and he is very lucky to have you.

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38 comments

Rhondalise Mitza
01:36 Apr 24, 2020

AWWW, now I want a puppy too. Luckily my rabbit will suffice for now.

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Ella Harban
08:46 May 24, 2020

I loved it, I have 3 dogs and they are all trouble makers but I still love them. Have a great day. :)

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Lol, same with my dog I grew up with. They are trouble but we can't hate them! Same for you, have a lovely day πŸ’–

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Brenda Black
21:16 Apr 29, 2020

That's so cute, I couldn't help but become invested in to the story, I fell in love with rascal;;

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Michael Smith-21
05:45 Apr 29, 2020

In this lockdown, I really wish I had a dog

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Michael Smith-21
05:43 Apr 29, 2020

I think I'm not allergic to dogs anymore

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Tina Laing
00:28 Apr 29, 2020

Ahhh! What a cute story, I loved it.

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Riddhi S.
20:25 Apr 28, 2020

Love your stories, as always... :)

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O.s. Schaefer
18:12 Apr 28, 2020

This is very cute. And lord knows, we need a bit of cute now and then. I have a couple of small suggestions, which, of course, you're free to take or leave. One β€” the title kind of gives away your ending. It was clear that the dog would become a hero at some point, and so I wasn't particularly surprised when it happened. Two β€” (and this might just be me) I don't think the story needs the dog to become a hero, really. I think the best thing you have going for this story is the slow build of whether or not the owner really cares about Rascal. ...

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Thank you so much for the feedback! Yes, I do get your point and your view, I really get that. Yes, I realize that the title was sort of gave it away. But also, for Angela, she realized that even though he was a huge bother, she loved him because she found another side to him that wasn't just the naughty side. You can also sense that Rascal loves her too. Maybe later on in my next stories, I should be a little more specific, but not really give much away. Thanks a lot! ^^

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Nora Reed
13:28 Apr 28, 2020

That is adorable! This story is beautifully written. I actually got a puppy during this crazy time, and he is such a handful. Good job!

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Thank you lots!!! I can totally relate. Puppies are a handful!

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Asposhto Prakash
13:18 Apr 28, 2020

I lost one that week..

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I've lost a kitten before. I know how sad and terrifying it is. Losing someone important in your family is never easy.😭

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Asposhto Prakash
13:14 Apr 29, 2020

Thank you.

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C. jay Loren
10:23 Apr 28, 2020

Naw, I love stories about dogs and this is very sweet. I feel it's also so accurate because when we have a new dog, we think we hate them because they annoy the hell out of us but really, we never can hate them. If you'd like to, you can read my story "A Diary of Sunny" which is also about a puppy. :)

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Of course, I'll read it! And yes, dogs are really cute and all, and even though they try to steal food and chew your shoes, you can never hate them.

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C. jay Loren
04:59 Apr 29, 2020

Or do stinky farts all the time and bring rotten bones onto your brand new carpet to chew on... you still forgive them.

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Sameal Dutchmi
23:34 Apr 27, 2020

Enjoyed. If there is a book that I really want to read, it will be about puppies ;)

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I love books about puppies too. I guess they inspired me!

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Ndekwoh Ojen
08:47 Apr 25, 2020

We, my children and I enjoy reading your stories. They are always so captivating. If you don't mind, you can please give a feedback on my story "Doggy" on same prompt. Keep writing.

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Of course! Sorry for commenting a few days late, I apologize. I'll be very happy to read your story!

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Maggie Deese
18:41 Apr 24, 2020

Wonderful story! So adorable and innovative! I also wrote a story based on this prompt! Would you be willing to read it and give me suggestions and comments? It is called "Daisies, Marigolds, and a Daffodil" :) Thank you!!

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Shannon Blue
15:44 Apr 23, 2020

Lovely! Enjoyed your work... I love your first line, and especially Rascal! What a cutie! I love dogs :)

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Austin Ferrer
18:48 Apr 22, 2020

Very good. Thanks for sharing this

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Lindsay Morgan
15:42 Apr 21, 2020

I'm so glad I stopped by and read this one! :D

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Incognito Author
06:58 Apr 20, 2020

Your story "Lost Phone, Found Prison was very nice

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Incognito Author
06:58 Apr 20, 2020

To be honest, you really suit genres like mystery

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Incognito Author
06:57 Apr 20, 2020

Nice

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