“Pick me, pick me, please pick me.” Poppy silently begged, her eyes huge with anticipation. Wagging her tale, she looked up at the humans, her eyes moving from one to the other, her heart sinking as they barely gave her as much as a glance before moving on to the next pen.
The new Labrador on the end had captured their affections. It was always the same. Some dogs, the cutest, hardly had time to turn around before they were snapped up by new owners. Poppy knew that she wasn’t cute, not in the conventional sense. She looked more like a mop head that had been through the washing machine than an Andrex puppy.
Resigning herself to the fact that yet again, she wasn’t the chosen one, she curled up in her basket, tucking her nose under her legs.
The sanctuary wasn’t a bad place, but it wasn’t a home. Not like the home she had loved and lost. She had so many happy memories from her home, she had truly loved her humans. They hadn’t felt the same, though. One morning, they had packed her up in the car, but instead of going somewhere nice where she could run around with a frisbee, they had brought her here. She expected them to come back for her, she had looked every day, but they never came.
Dozing, her ears pricked up when she heard footsteps. It wasn’t dinner time already? It was another group of humans.
“Aw, look at this one. She’s adorable.”
Poppy knew they weren’t talking about her. She had been described in many ways, but never as adorable. As the lady cooed over the Labrador pup, a small face pressed itself up against the wire fencing of her pen.
“Hello.” he curled his fingers around the mesh. “Mum, look at this one.”
“Yes, dear.” the lady glanced over before turning her attention back to the Labrador.
Poppy sat up as straight as she could without looking overly eager. The lady didn’t even notice.
“Mum, I want this one.” the boy nagged his mum.
“But, look at this one,” she didn’t even give Poppy a second glance.
Poppy cocked her head, looking at the boy. They could have some fun together. He probably loved playing with a ball as much as she did, and he’d love running around in the mud. She could picture them now, inseparable. Best friends.
“No, but Mum, I want this one.”
Sighing, the lady turned to give her son her full attention.
The boy nodded enthusiastically as the lady examined Poppy closely.
“Well, I suppose she is quite cute, and not too big.”
Relishing her moment in the spotlight, Poppy sat up straight, holding up her paw, her tail wagging furiously.
“Can we have her, Mum? Can we have her?”
“Okay,” the lady conceded, “but we’ll not be able to take her home today…”
The boy cut her off, “We can get her a new basket and a lead and some toys. I bet she loves toys…”
Poppy wagged her tail so hard, she thought it might fall off. She could hardly believe it, she had found new humans. Careful not to look too cocky in front of the other dogs, she looked at the boy with huge, appreciative eyes.
“We’re going to have so much fun.” the boy beamed “We’re going to be best friends.”