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To teachers and students of English as a Foreign Language.

We were all children once and we learned our native language rapidly. It was necessary, especially the speaking and listening. The classroom often seems a very artificial setting for language learning. That's why 'total immersion' has worked well for any language learner.

Children of any age can acquire a foreign language rapidly if the immersion is right. As a teacher you can decide the best way to use a story like "Kiki and Heidi". If children learn to use Google Translate or any similar software, intelligently and comprehensively, then each one of them can progress independently, with just a light touch on the tiller from you.

I have included most of the 1000 most frequently used English words. I have also included examples of many of the 'grammatical headaches' of English.

The objectives of the story of Kiki and Heidi are to instruct, encourage and entertain.

A story for young people, it is the story of two abandoned dogs who are taken to an animal refuge. There they meet other abandoned dogs. Friendships are formed and there are adventures.

I hope as a result that young people begin to have sympathy for animals that are dependent on humans, and begin to see how they can help, in however limited a way.

Google Translate is a great help. It does a lot. Principally, it translates well anything it is given, although not always perfectly.  It also pronounces it. It also has a very efficient Speech Recognition system.

My 'CV': On leaving university I taught English language and literature in the UK. I continued this in a variety of countries where the emphasis was on English as a foreign language (EFL). On my return to the UK I taught German and Spanish. Then I retired, and my wife and I founded Portuguese Animal Welfare UK. I am now in my eighties. 

I welcome any English language questions from teachers and students. I also welcome ideas, questions, illustrations and suggestions about the story, or animal welfare generally. The website also has a section of quotations on animal welfare ( Latest News – Update 2018) from famous people. You may find these useful if you want students to discuss the subject.



By Ian Lister


Heidi arrives - a broken leg repaired - meeting with Gloomy

It was a very hot day. Kiki lay in the shade, feeling both thirsty and hungry. She could see most of the other dogs lying in the shadow of their kennels. She wanted the rain to come, but there were no clouds in the sky.

Sometimes visitors came. Men, women and children. They spoke to the dogs and gave them affection. They also took them for a walk. But that was not every day. It was usually only at the weekends.

Kiki came to the kennel when she was only one year old. Her owner loved her but he was very old and had to go into hospital for a long, long time. And there he died. And so Kiki came to the kennel, the refuge. She liked some of the other dogs, but certainly not all of them. Some of them were unfriendly, some were greedy and ate her food. She had to be very quick with her breakfast and dinner. The sad thing was that she had no special friend, neither dog nor human.

She did not know yet, but today would be different. Today was going to be the first day of a new life.


That evening, when she was very sleepy and thinking of going into her kennel to sleep, she heard a voice very near her. It was the voice of another dog but it was small and light.

Who are you?” the voice said.

Kiki could see no dog near her.

I'm up here,” said the voice. Kiki looked up at the roof of her kennel and saw a small dog with big ears and a small intelligent face.

I'm Kiki, who are you?”

I'm Heidi. I arrived today. My owners brought me here because they did not want to pay to repair my broken leg.”

If your leg is broken, how did you get onto the roof of my kennel?”

They put me here. So I could not run around. That would make my leg worse.”

Will you sleep there? ”

I must sleep here until they take me off! But they forgot to give me food this evening.”

I haven't eaten all my dinner - you can have some of that. I have a long body and I can pass the food to you.”

Thank you. You're very kind.”

There is a hose over there. I know how to turn on the tap and I can bring the hose to you. Then you can drink the water but you probably will get very wet.”

That doesn't matter. It will be a hot night and the water will make me cool.”

Does your leg hurt you?”

Only when I try to walk. But it is not as painful as it was. I really need only exercise.”

Kiki slowly and carefully passed bits of food up to the roof of her kennel. When Heidi had finished, Kiki went over to the tap and turned it on with her teeth, She carried the hose back to the kennel and held the hose so that Heidi could drink from it.

You're very clever,” said Heidi.

When a dog needs help, then one must help!” replied Kiki. After she had turned off the tap and returned the hose, she said good night to Heidi, and went to sleep. Heidi also went to sleep.


When a dog needs help, then one must help!”

The next morning Heidi appeared at the door of Kiki's kennel. Kiki was still half asleep. But she knew that something was different. She completely opened her eyes and the first thing she saw was Heidi.

What happened? You were on the roof! How did you get down?”

They picked me up and put a bandage and a piece of wood on my leg. They held me while I walked around very slowly. It hurt, but not too much. They were very patient with me. After a few steps, I rested. Then I took some more steps, and rested again.”

Well, I hope the idea works! Let's have breakfast together!”

After half an hour the breakfast appeared. Two bowls, one each. Just dog biscuits and then some water in a big bowl for both of them.

If you walk slowly I shall introduce you to some of the other dogs here. When you want to stop you must say.”

Heidi was small and Kiki was medium-size. Heidi was brown with long silky ears and a small delicate face. She had quite a long bushy tail. Kiki had a white front and white paws. She also had some white on her face, but the rest of her was black. She had a rather sad expression. As a pair they attracted attention from the other dogs. Most of the dogs were usually alone.

The sun was still low in the sky and it wasn't hot yet. The ground was very dry and the few trees looked very tired because it was the middle of summer. And it had not rained for a very long time. Each dog had his or her own kennel. Many of them had a small umbrella at the door of the kennel to protect them from the sun.

Gloomy was a very ordinary looking dog. He lay on the ground under one of the trees. He was not very clean. But he had wonderful eyes. They looked at Heidi slowly and carefully.

He is trying to understand why you are not walking normally,” Kiki said to Heidi. “He does not speak very much but he sees everything here, and he's the best dog if you have a question.”

Why is he called Gloomy?”

Because he never says anything that makes you feel happy. He only says sad things.”

It's no good trying to escape from here,” said Gloomy, “It's impossible.”

Why should I want to try and escape?”

Because you may think that the outside world is exciting. But it's not. It's dangerous. It's much safer and more peaceful in here.”

What he doesn't say,” said Kiki in a low voice, “is that he will protect you from any dangers here, especially bad-tempered dogs or dogs who may attack you because you're small – that's why I brought you here first. He is a very good friend to have.”

I must rest,” said Heidi, “that short distance was too much for me. My leg hurts.” Heidi wagged her tail at Gloomy and made her way back to Kiki's kennel.



Escape route found and prepared - time for a bath - a trip into town  

"What shall we do today?"

Heidi was looking at Kiki and waiting for an answer. Kiki took quite a long time to think about the question. Because she knew that Heidi did not understand life in the refuge.

" Follow me," said Kiki." We shall look at the fences and the walls."

" Why do we want to do that?" said Heidi,

" Be quiet and follow me! You're beginning to ask too many questions!"

It was just after breakfast and most of the dogs had gone back to sleep. What else was there to do? Eat, sleep, just walk about, sometimes chase each other. Life could be quite boring, but safe, in a refuge. From time to time a shower or bath. Sometimes a visitor. Sometimes, especially at the weekend, a few humans would come in and take some of them for a walk. But it didn't happen very often.

They stopped at the wall near the main gate.

"Look carefully where the ground meets the wall," said Kiki, "In some places the earth is very soft and you can make a hole under the wall or fence and escape. It is important to remember where you came out so that you can go back in. It is also important to be sure that nobody can see you. And so you put something behind which you can hide. That is much easier for two of us together. Are you interested if I show you how to get out and come back again?"

Is it safe?" asked Heidi.

Not perfectly safe", answered Kiki, "but nothing here is perfectly safe. We shall ask Gloomy to help us. Now let us continue our search for the best places to start digging."

Kiki led Heidi to some soft ground near the wall. This area was often used to hide a bone. The humans had put a screen in front of it so that the other dogs could not see when a dog was burying a bone. It did not remain hidden for very long! Also sheltered by the screen was a pile of rubbish - bits of wood, bags, tin cans, cardboard boxes, etc.

Kiki started to dig and Heidi watched.

Now you can learn how to dig," said Kiki.

"But I can't do that – I'm not strong enough!"

"Don't worry – just watch me and remember! Tonight after dark we’ll practise!"


That same night the two dogs crept quietly and quickly to the fence near the gate. They found the right place and Kiki began to dig. Then Heidi tried and was happy to discover that she could dig, but not as well as Kiki. After about an hour of this, they stopped, feeling too tired to continue.

"Okay, that's enough," said Kiki, "help me with that rubbish and we shall fill the hole."

After another half hour of carrying rubbish to fill the hole the two of them were really exhausted. They went back to their kennels and slept.

The next day they had a bath. One of the volunteers who liked doing this used soap and water on Kiki, and a shower to get rid of the soap. Kiki always liked her baths mainly because she felt younger and cleaner afterwards. But for Heidi it was a completely new experience. She was frightened. The volunteer understood this and was very gentle with her. Because Heidi was so small compared with most of the dogs it took only twenty minutes before she was dry again. She decided that she liked a bath.

Gloomy appeared. "I watched you two. You're very brave! I hate baths. I try to avoid them. Why have a bath when you only get dirty again? “

"Gloomy, if you have a bath that means you are clean. If you are clean then you feel better."

"I prefer to stay dirty all the time. I like to be dirty. If they clean me or bath me I don't feel better. I feel worse. And I don't sleep properly. I wake up because I smell clean. I just am not used to it and I don't like it. And by the way, what were you two doing over by the gate today?”

We can't tell you because it's a secret. But we shall need your help, and when we do, obviously we shall tell you what the secret is."

"I bet I can guess, but I shan't say anything. Your secret is safe with me!"


That afternoon was Sunday and one of the humans from the town came in especially to take Kiki for a walk. When this human saw Heidi she asked lots of questions. The other volunteers explained how the two were together and seemed to be good friends.

"Then I shall take both of them with me! If that's okay?"

"Of course you can take both. Thank you very much. We're sure they will behave well but don't go too far. And Heidi doesn't know what traffic is, and so don't be surprised if she seems frightened. She is quite small and you could pick her up to cross the road. If she begins to shake or shiver then you will know that she is frightened. Then give her some love and attention!"

And so they left the refuge and were taken on their leads with collars through the town to a park where there was a lake. Heidi was fascinated by all this. She had never seen so much water. The volunteer took them both off their leads and let them explore. She knew that Kiki was safe and would not run away, and expected Heidi to follow her. After all, Heidi had followed Kiki since she arrived at the refuge. She was right. Heidi continued to follow Kiki.

But to Heidi’s surprise, Kiki jumped into the lake and began to swim in circles. Heidi just stood there amazed and impressed. "If she can do that, so can I," thought Heidi. "But not today, certainly not today!"

Heidi went to sleep that night, strangely happy. Mainly because of her friendship with Kiki, but also because there was that promise of adventure! What might tomorrow bring?!





Henry's story - a night escape through the forest and into town - the food burglars

There were two or three weeks of rain and cold wind before the two dogs could begin to plan leaving their refuge. But finally the rain stopped and although the wind continued, the sun shone again. The two dogs sat outside Kiki's kennel and planned what they would do that night. Kiki thought it would be a good idea to talk to some of the other dogs and find out if any of them suspected their plan to leave the refuge. They started with Gloomy.

"Gloomy, has anybody ever tried to escape from here?"

"Why do you ask? You aren't thinking of escaping are you? I told you the outside world is dangerous. Much safer to stay here!"

"We don't want to run away," said Heidi, "but we think that some of the dogs who have been unhappy must have tried. And we wondered how they did it. Just curious."

"There was Henry,” said Gloomy. He was very unhappy because he could not understand why his family had put him into the refuge. They brought him here in a car, put him outside the gate with a bowl of water and a lead and drove away. We all felt very sorry for him and could not understand why his owners behaved like that. It was a long time before he got used to being here. He didn't eat his food and he got thinner and thinner. He tried to escape when they took him for a walk. He ran across the street after his volunteer left him outside the shop while she went in to buy something. The lead could not have been very strong. There was a lot of traffic and he was very lucky.

He ran through the traffic and into the park. I think he remembered the park from a previous visit. Anyway, somebody saw him and noticed the lead and caught hold of the lead. He also noticed how thin Henry was and took him to the refuge. Henry tried to escape again as soon as he saw the refuge and the man asked the volunteers lots of questions. He must have felt sorry for Henry because the next day he came back and offered to give a home to him. We never saw Henry again."

"Every dog here must have a story to tell, some happy, some sad. Was your story a sad one?"

"A sad one, but it was a long time ago. One day when I'm in the mood I'll tell you. But most of the stories here are sad ones. Fortunately, most of us can forget, but it takes some time and you can never completely forget. The worst thing is that you can't communicate your story to the humans. And they can't communicate their stories to us. If we had the same language life would be so much easier. I expect the humans have the same problem.“

Heidi and Kiki looked at each other. They both thought the same thing. They both wished they had not asked the question but at the same time they knew they had learned something. They also knew that they had to think very carefully before escaping. They had to plan.

But first,”said Kiki, “we need a 'practice escape'. We'll try tonight and be back well before breakfast!”

That night they left through the short tunnel they had prepared on the previous night. In fact the ground was so soft that it had taken them only an hour to complete. They went to where the forest began.

I don't want to go through the forest,” said Kiki. “It looks very dark and that's frightening. But we have to go through it because that's the only way to get to the town, without being seen near here. And in the town we'll find some food -  good food!”

And so they went through the forest, but it was not as difficult as Heidi thought it would be. The paths were very clear especially in the moonlight and could be easily followed. There were all sorts of strange sounds - probably birds trying to get to sleep - and after only minutes they found themselves on the other side of the forest. Then they had to cross a field -  again in the moonlight -  and they hoped that nobody would see them. It was after midnight and most people would surely be asleep. When they arrived on the other side of the field there was a road, and they had to cross it. Heidi had never done this before on her own and without a lead. After crossing the road they saw a row of houses in front of them and Kiki immediately went to one of them.

This is the house we want -  we'll go through the hedge,” said Kiki, ”that's the quickest way and it's the safest.”

I'm afraid,” said Heidi, ”You said that it wouldn't be dangerous but it is! Why don't we we simply try the front door? I think that would be  easier.” 

And how would you try and do that if the door is closed? Are you going to ring the bell or try the knocker? I don't think so! But they have a big dog flap in the front door and it's never locked. Then we can go into the kitchen and see what is available.”

Why do they have a dog flap?

Because there used to be a dog there. The dog was badly treated and ran away. This meant that they had to look for the dog, and so they came to the refuge to try and find her. However, although the dog was certainly there, it was in such a poor condition because of the bad treatment she had received that the volunteers decided to hide her. Ever since then the owners have left the dog flap unlocked, with food on the inside, in the hope that the dog will return. But it won't!”





A moonlit night in the forest – a very sad meeting – determined to find a solution

And so they approached the house and entered via the dog flap. There was a light on in the hall but as far as they could see there were no other lights on in the house. They hoped that there was nobody there or at least that there would not be anybody awake.

"We must be as quiet as possible," said Kiki. “They are not animal lovers and so why they were so upset about the dog, I have no idea! We shall go into the kitchen and, if they have done what they usually do, there will be some food there in case the missing dog turns up."

They went very quietly from the hall into the kitchen and were delighted to see on the kitchen floor, in the corner, two dishes of food - one contained meat, the other contained vegetables. The smell was very good indeed!

"Do they do this every night, do you think?" asked Heidi.

"I have no idea but the food is always quite fresh."

"But what do they do when they discover that food has been eaten and the dog is nowhere here?"

"Ah well - they know that one or two other dogs sometimes come in and eat the food - and remember, we don't come here every day - and so they don't know which dogs eat the food. They just hope that the dog that they had will come back to them."

"Seems a daft idea to me," said Heidi, "but I'm very grateful. It's absolutely delicious.”

"OK - well, you eat what you want and I'm going to stand by the door just in case somebody comes downstairs."

Heidi ate and ate!

Somebody did come downstairs, very quietly and in bare feet! Kiki was standing just inside the kitchen door and could see only halfway up the stairs. A very large, tall man began to appear. Kiki froze but Heidi carried on eating. However, something about the man caused Kiki to look more closely. He was crying. Not noisily but silently, tears running down his cheeks.

Can't you bring her back here with you, from wherever you are? I miss her so much. It was all my wife's fault. She had no love for her because she was jealous of her love for me. She treated Bella so cruelly when I wasn't here. My neighbour told me. When she finally left I was alone and thought that Bella  would know and return to me. But that was six months ago and she still hasn't appeared.”

At this point Heidi stopped eating. She had not heard the man speaking because of the noise she was making in eating so greedily. The man had been speaking very softly. It was now Heidi's turn to freeze.

Kiki moved slowly forward across the hall and started going up the stairs. When she got to the man she stopped. The man had stopped and seated himself on the stairs just above Kiki. From there he leaned down and forward placing his hands on either side of her head. Very gently and very slowly he stroked her head.

Kiki's tail started to wag, slowly at first and then faster and faster.

Heidi had no idea what to do. She could not simply run away and leave her friend in this strange house. On the other hand, maybe this was a very dangerous situation. If she ran away then Kiki would  surely immediately follow her - or would she? Something strange was happening here, and so she remained frozen, fascinated by what she was observing.

However, Kiki turned, went back down the stairs, looked at Heidi and indicated that Heidi should follow her. They went across the hall, through the kitchen and out through the dog flap. They then went very slowly along the garden path and across the road into the forest.

They had started the adventure well after midnight and now that it was time to return they could see that the sky was getting lighter. That meant that sunrise and dawn were coming. As they started along the footpath through the forest, light began to appear from above the trees. They both walked quite slowly because it was clear that Kiki was deep in thought. It was still light in the forest from the full moon above the trees and they did not have any difficulty in finding their way. In fact, the forest was quite wonderful. It had wonderful smells and lots of very small secret movements, as well as bird song. After another twenty minutes they came to the other edge of the forest and from there they made their way to the refuge.

When they arrived at the refuge wall they went through the short tunnel and came out, as before, inside the refuge. Then they carefully filled in the hole which was the entrance to the tunnel and moved some of the rubbish to disguise the entrance. All this time there had been no communication between the two dogs because they both were thinking deeply.

They went to Heidi's kennel and sat down in front of it. There was still a moon in the sky but dawn had definitely arrived and the stars had gone.

What are we going to do?” asked Heidi, “we must do something.”

I haven't any idea!” replied Kiki, “but then we won't get far without the help of Sparkle.”

Why him?”

Because they are great friends and have been together since Bella arrived. It really is a difficult problem because Bella has such bad memories of that house. How can we convince her that things might be much better now? The woman has gone and it was she who was cruel, not the man.”

Let's sleep on it.

Best idea yet. After all, tomorrow is another day!

And so to bed they went.









Kiki dreams of her youth. Sparkle solves the problem.

Later that day the two friends went to find Sparkle. It wasn't difficult. Sparkle was large and handsome. He came from the mountains of Portugal where he had taken care of sheep.

One winter he got lost in the snow and found himself in a tiny abandoned village. A passing traveller gave him food and drink then took him to the refuge, because he thought that there he would have the best chance of being adopted or returned to his home.

When Bela arrived, the volunteers immediately took her to Sparkle and put their kennels side by side. Bella was thin and ill. She shook and seemed afraid of everybody and everything. Sparkle was calm, confident and strong. It was a perfect match. He didn't understand when they hid her from visitors, but he thought there must be a good reason.

Kiki and Heidi told him about last night's adventure. Sparkle listened to every word then said, "I'll sleep on this."

He went behind Bella's kennel where Bella was waiting. She was curious but learnt nothing. Sparkle just looked at her with great sympathy and said, "Tomorrow."

Kiki and Heidi returned to the other side of the refuge. Kiki said, "Like he said, he will sleep on it. Just wait. He's an oracle."

"What's that?"

"When you don't know the answer to a problem, Sparkle always does. However, he's not pessimistic like Gloomy. But if it's a big problem he always has to sleep on it.”

"Like Dozy."

"Yes, except Dozy only sleeps."

The evening and the night came, but Heidi couldn't sleep at all. She couldn't stop thinking about the man on the stairs, the water in his eyes - water which rolled in drops onto his cheeks - and his sad unhappy voice. She also couldn't stop thinking about Kiki's wagging tail.

Kiki, on the other hand, was fast asleep, but her legs were kicking and she made small noises. Why? Because she was dreaming. In her dream she was running across a field of beautifully soft green grass - running faster and faster. Far in front of her she saw a yellow ball bouncing and knew that she had to catch it. Finally, she got closer and managed to trap the ball with her teeth. She turned and ran back the way she had come. Then she saw her owner - an elderly man with silver hair and a broad smile.

Come on Kiki, over here, bring it here!” As Kiki approached him the dream began to fade and she fell into a deep sleep. She relaxed, her legs relaxed and her body stopped twitching.

The two friends crossed the refuge as soon as they had eaten breakfast. Sparkle was waiting for them, sitting upright outside his kennel. There were lots of crumbs on his chin and whiskers.

Well, you want to know what the Oracle thinks. Don't look surprised. I know every dog here calls me that, but it's not really true. I'm just brighter than the average dog. You see, I had to think quickly and often when I lived up in the mountains, I had a lot of sheep to look after and had to protect them from the wolves.”

You must miss that life. It can't be very exciting here,” said Heidi.

Sometimes I do, but other times I just enjoy having nothing to do.”

Have you thought of a solution?” interrupted Kiki, slightly impatiently.

Yes. I shall take Bella out through the tunnel tonight and do exactly what you did. I shall also go upstairs and make sure the man is living alone or, at least, not with that cruel wife. After that, Bella can decide whether she can face returning.”

How do you know about the tunnel”, asked Heidi.

We all know about it, even the humans know. They don't worry, because they are sure any dog wanting to go out will nearly always return. If they don't, it's because they have found something better.”

Have you told Bella your plan?” asked Kiki.

Yes, and because she always feels safe with me she has agreed to go. And you two must stay here!”

At that moment Bella appeared from her hut. Heidi thought that her eyes looked alive with excitement.

Heidi and Kiki looked at each other, stood up and walked away back to the kennels. They agreed that Sparkle's solution was really the only one. But Kiki seemed a little sad.

What's the matter?” asked Heidi.

I dreamt of my owner last night. He looked younger than I remember. We were in a beautiful park. He threw a ball for me and I ran and caught it. He called me and I ran back to him. I can see his face now. We were both much younger. I was so happy then! I hope Bella discovers what she wants. I suppose if Sparkle returns alone we shall know the answer.”

Yes, I suppose we shall,” Heidi added, “and we shall envy her. We all have a past here. That's why we're here, and we just have to hope for a happy future. I just want to belong happily to the right human.”

Bella did not return.

Sparkle appeared in front of them the following morning.

You'll be delighted to know that Bella is now a very happy dog! So am I. We often bring happiness to humans but not so often to other dogs.

I checked the place very thoroughly and very quietly before letting Bella go upstairs. She sniffed her way around the master bedroom several times, but didn't find any trace of the woman. We must have made a noise because the man appeared just as we finished our inspection. I wish you had been there if only to see the reunion of the two. The man knelt down and held out his arms. Bela made all sorts of noises and licked his face a hundred times. I thought her tail would fall off.

I usually know when I'm not wanted and so I left as quickly and as quietly as possible. But the man called out to me when I got to the bottom of the stairs.”

Thank you, thank you, thank you!” he said, “Please come here whenever you want, and bring your two friends with you. You will always be most welcome. I'll make sure there will always be something good to eat!”

I must admit that I felt a bit tearful myself,” said Sparkle,”So congratulations you two. You did a fine job. It wouldn't have happened if you hadn't become burglars!!”


Chapter 6

Persian – cats – Henry – the history of the refuge – a view.

Days in an animal refuge can be long. Summer becomes autumn, which becomes winter, and then comes spring. But even a day can seem like a year when you have have nothing to do and nowhere to go, and nobody to keep you company. Heidi was bored, so bored. Kiki was asleep and Heidi wished she could kill time so easily. She decided to wander around the refuge. Surely not all the dogs were asleep?


The refuge was a field which a farmer sold to the animal charity for very little money. He also paid for the kennels, water and extra fencing. There was plenty of space and Heidi decided to visit some of the parts she had never visited before. She especially wanted to visit the cages, which she had noticed from a distance on arrival. She could see that there were no dogs near the cages.


We don't like cages,” said a dog voice behind her, “and we don't like cats. There are both here.”


Simon had followed Heidi all the way here. He was an Alsatian and was famous for escaping, but always returning.


I know what a cage is but what's a cat?”


Well, in these cages there are cats. There are also some big cages just for dogs; but only bad tempered or dangerous dogs, and very sick dogs”


But what is a cat?!”


Look and see!”


Heidi went closer to the cages. She looked in and saw what looked like small dogs, but they made a strange noise when she was close to them. They stood up and hissed.


Now you know. They have claws which are like knives and they scratch you quite deeply sometimes.”


Heidi was fascinated. One of the cats stood up, stretched and looked steadily at Heidi.


Maybe that one likes you. Some dogs and cats become friends but usually they are enemies. I had a cat friend once. She used to jump on my back and I would run around in large circles as fast as possible. She never fell off! It was great fun for both of us.”


Back on the other side of the refuge, Kiki woke up. She had slept deeply and her only dreams were still of her early days with her owner. It was nearly always the same dream.

She stood up, stretched and scratched, then she looked around for Heidi. There was no sign of her. She decided to look for company and saw Gloomy digging at the ground beside his kennel.


I buried a bone here two weeks ago and I still can't find it. I've never heard the sound of digging at night and I'm always here outside during the day.”


I saw you being washed last week. That was over there and a thief only needs five minutes” said Kiki, “Anyway, forget about it. They will soon notice and give you another. Changing the subject, I want to ask you about the town outside. I know you don't go out now but you used to go. What's it like? I've only seen the forest and footpath at night. When they take us out during the day it's always the same route, across the road, round the lake, through the park. There must be other places.”


There are many,” replied Gloomy,” It's mostly shops but they don't take us there because it's too complicated for them, and they might lose us. I haven't been out for a long time. It's too dangerous.”


You always say that! Next time they take us, come with us.”


I shall think about it. Where's your friend Heidi?”


She's always looking for things and sniffing everything. Probably on the other side of the field where the cats live. She's always asking about the other side and it's ages since I've been there.”


Does she know how dangerous cats are?”


I never thought it necessary to tell her. They're always in cages.”


Until they escape like you two do.”


Gloomy was getting gloomy again and so Kiki wagged her tail in farewell and went to the top side of the refuge.


From the top, or higher, side of the field she could see the countryside and the roofs of houses in the town, plus more green fields and some yellow areas with corn. There was also a river in the far distance shining in the sunlight. There were great white clouds moving slowly over the distant hills. A breeze blew gently across her nose and ears. It was all very pleasant and made her want to escape again. With Heidi, of course.


By the way, where was Heidi?



Heidi was fascinated by the cat. The cat's eyes were dark green and the ears had a pointed tip. The fur was very long and pale grey. Still it did not move but gazed steadily at Heidi. Heidi started to bark. At this the cat sat down but carried on gazing.


That didn't work, did it? You'll just have to be patient,” said Simon, “they usually just walk away if you make a lot of noise. He must still be interested in you. It's unusual for a cat to be interested in a dog. Maybe he wants to be friends. He's a Persian cat - very handsome. It's an honour if he likes you. Even some of the humans get the cold treatment from him.”


At this point, the Persian stepped forward and made a strange noise such as Heidi had never heard before; except when a human accidentally trod on a dog's paw.


I think I will leave you to it,” said Simon, and started walking away. “See you later.”


As soon as Simon had gone the cat spoke and Heidi jumped!


I can speak and understand cat, dog, and some bird,”said the cat,”aren't I clever? I'm speaking dog now just for you - it sounds like cat but it is dog. Can you tell the difference? Cat sound is higher.”


Now you mention it, yes, I can.”


We can overhear everything you dogs say. Not that you ever say anything interesting. In fact, it's usually boring. You talk about food, sleep, scratching, and not much else.”


I don't,”said Heidi, getting just a little annoyed, ”Kiki and I talk about all sorts of things, and we have adventures.”


We would have adventures if we could escape from our cages.”


Well, next time we have an adventure I shall come over here and invite you, and we'll find a way of setting you free from your cage.”


Impossible. We have tried everything. If we get out, one of you dogs sees us and chases us. Then the humans chase both of us, and they know how to catch us.”


How about at night when when the humans aren't here and all the dogs are asleep?”


No, never at night. None of the cats have the courage for that.”


But you have, haven't you?”


I don't know.” The cat lifted a paw and began to study it. “I've never seriously thought about escaping at night. And even if I succeeded, I should want to be back in time for breakfast.”



Chapter 7

The trio - shops at night - two humans - Persian attacks - the Cat Garden.


Shall we go?

Kiki addressed her two comrades. Heidi just stood still and waited, ready to follow. Persian tried to feel as courageous as possible. He looked around nervously. Persian was out of his cage but he was more worried about the world outside than any danger inside the refuge. However, he had decided to trust Kiki and Heidi because they were obviously relaxed.

Whatever you do, you must stay with us,” whispered Heidi.

Right, let's go”, said Kiki.

Off they went with fearless Kiki in the lead, Persian in the middle and Heidi in the rear. This made Persian feel much safer. They went through the tunnel and out the other side. There were no lights outside but just street lights in the distance. Kiki remembered that the first time they went out there had been a full moon. Tonight there was no moon but there were hundreds of brilliant stars. They all stopped to gaze at them.

Then they continued along the path and through the forest. Persian was relieved when they left the forest. The forest had been far too dark for him. He didn't really believe that the two dogs would really look after him. And he didn't want to seem a coward. But he had had enough of cats being in second place to dogs. Now he was very excited but also a little scared. If necessary he also had the advantage of being able to climb and hide easily, especially hiding under cars. Speed did not worry him. He thought he could run as fast as any dog. His growing friendship with Heidi helped. Being the same size also helped. They were learning so much from each other about dogs and cats in general. He thought they might become an example to other dogs and cats.

Can you see those tall buildings with big windows over there on the left? Those are shops. Humans get almost everything they need there. I'll show you. Follow me.” Kiki took them as far as the shops and they started to look in the windows. There was meat, bread, bottles, fruit and vegetables in some shops and trousers, skirts, shoes in others. Although they had seen all these things before, it was somehow different at night.

Can we go into these shops?” asked Persian. “Some of these things are very attractive.”

No.” replied Kiki, ” Because the shops are closed and all the humans are in their houses - probably looking at those boxes with moving pictures.”

Where shall we go now?” asked Heidi, ” I've seen most of this in the daytime when the humans take us out. Though it's quite different at night and strange without humans. Probably too cold for them. You know I often wonder about those things they put on them.”

 “Clothes keep them clean and warm,” said Persian,  “We have fur to do that.”

Gloomy doesn't keep clean. He doesn't like being clean.”

I think that's disgusting. We cats are always clean,” commented Persian.

Careful,” said Heidi,”Don't let's start an argument.”

At that moment, a pair of young humans appeared on the pavement before them. They had come out of a drinking place.

Look at those three! Two dogs and a cat. I've never seen that before. Let's see how fast they can run!”

And that's how the night turned into a nightmare.

Kiki ran across the wide road and waited on the other side. Heidi, very frightened, just stood still. Persian disappeared.

The two humans approached Heidi.

Let's grab her tail. Then she can't escape!”

The taller of the humans started to reach for Heidi's tail. Heidi knew that she couldn't run like the others because of her weak leg.

Persian reappeared. He had hidden behind a hedge. Now he leapt at the human, howling and spitting fury, with his claws extended. He bit into the human's nose and made long deep scratches in his face. Horrified by the pain and blood, the human retreated into a shop doorway.

Come on Heidi!!”

Heidi didn't hesitate. She flew across the road behind Persian to where Kiki was waiting. All three found the nearest park entrance. Fortunately, it was the one entrance that was deliberately left open. Heidi knew about this and had planned the trip accordingly. Just in case.

What do we do now?” asked Heidi.

We wait until the humans have gone,”said Kiki. “They were very young. They will have to explain a lot to their parents!”

After half an hour hiding in the park they thought it was safe to leave and find their way back through the forest.

Goodnight and thanks for the adventure,” said Persian when they arrived at the refuge.

I won't come through the tunnel. I have my own method.

What's that?”asked Heidi. She really was exhausted.

 “I'll show you. Follow me,” replied Persian.

They followed her along the fencing until they could see the roof of the cat house on the other side. Persian lead them through a break in the fencing. To their surprise they were in a garden.

Much easier than your tunnel, don't you think,” said Persian,”it didn't take me long to find the break in the fencing. But everything depends on one of the humans who leaves the cage house door unlocked and slightly open. Then she opens some of the cages. She trusts the chosen few not to try to escape.”

How intelligent!” exclaimed Kiki.

We're happy just with the garden but now I have two adventurous friends and I have have to be extra nice to the human. Goodnight again,” said Persian.

What a good friend we've found,” said Heidi, on the way to their tunnel.”And he's a cat! And so brave!”

Kiki agreed, but felt just a tiny bit jealous.

We shall see,” said Kiki.

When they finally made their way to their kennels they passed Gloomy. He was stretched out in front of his kennel.

They've been looking for you. A tall human with two of the volunteers. I heard them say that they would come back tomorrow. But they didn't seem very happy.”

I wonder what they wanted?” said Heidi.

I'm not going to think about it,” said Kiki. ” I'm going to have a long drink of water and then I'm going to sleep.”

She did sleep, but not very well. All sorts of pictures and feelings came into her head and heart. They also suggested a feeling of change, and not necessarily good change.

Heidi slept very badly, but that was because she felt the fear again. The fear of those two humans approaching her and one reaching for her tail.

I just wish I were bigger and stronger, and that my bad leg was as good as the others.”

The first light of day was in the sky before she finally fell asleep.


Chapter 8

A weekend camping – they meet Fox – lots of sport, running, exploring.

Several weeks later, Kiki and Heidi went camping. For a whole weekend! Two families had agreed to go together up into the hills, and take their caravans. They thought it would be a good idea to take the two dogs with them, now that they knew and trusted them.

A few members of the town families visited Kiki and Heidi regularly at the weekends. They nearly always took them both out at the same time. Sometimes they weren't kept together. Afterwards, back in the refuge, they could compare their day. Kiki was usually taken to the lake. Heidi was often taken around the shops. She was always looked after by one of her two humans, and never left alone. Heidi was grateful for this. She was still very nervous after her previous night trip to the town.

The place they had chosen for the caravans was high in the hills and was beautiful all around. There were several lakes, streams and small areas of forest. It was cooler than down in the town and the sun seemed brighter. They parked the caravans next to a stream with clear sparkling water. The cars were further away, nearer the road.

The first thing was food. They had to unpack it and get the cutlery -  knives, forks, and spoons. Then the crockery – cups, mugs and plates. “The weekend starts tomorrow. Any idea what to do?” asked the helper who always visited Kiki. She stroked Kiki's ears and head. Kiki immediately lay on her back and waited for for her stomach to be tickled.

Kiki, you're going to get some exercise - plenty of running and chasing. Not so much sleeping like in the refuge!”

Kiki felt very happy. A beautiful place with her favourite human! Heidi was happy too. Two days with her favourite human. All the other humans thought it a great novelty to have the dogs with them. Heidi looked up at Kiki.

Don't they have their own animals with them?”

Don't think so. They haven't got any. Not according to Sparky. He spent a few days with them once when he was ill. He said there was only a bird in a cage.”

They are strange, aren't they? Why keep a bird in a cage? Surely we would be more company than a bird.”

Yes, but more trouble. Because they have to take us out for walks, and we eat a lot more than a bird. They also have to find time because they have busy lives. And birds sing all the time.”

I can sing!” objected Heidi.

No, you can't. You can only bark, and that's not at all musical.”

Well, we can protect them. We can warn them by barking.”

I can also attack a stranger. That's useful. You're a bit small for that. But you've got good teeth, like Persian. I wish I had claws like his. That would be very useful.”


This conversation was going on with in only two or 3 feet of the humans. The humans were all talking at once, because they too were happy and excited. Humans can't hear dog conversation. Dogs can hear humans talk but they don't listen to it because they don't always understand it, or they find it boring. Sometimes the rise and fall of the voice, plus the loudness or softness, can help. Otherwise, it's a waste of time.

The next day - Saturday - everybody was up early. By 10 o'clock the younger humans were walking in a group through the fields. Only Kiki accompanied them. Heidi didn't trust her leg.

Kiki ran around in circles, then ran ahead and kept running back to check that the group was still with her. It was on one of these runs that she met the fox.

Kiki was so surprised. She spoke completely without thinking.

"You look just like my friend Heidi!"

"I'm a fox. Do you have a fox for a friend?"

"Of course not. She is a dog."

"Shall we start this conversation again?"

The fox sat down and stared at Kiki without blinking.

"I'm here with some humans. They brought us here for a weekend holiday from the animal refuge in the town,"said Kiki.

"Ah," said the fox, "They used to have chickens there too. Very tasty. You're in my territory here you know. Although you're probably big enough to look after yourself. I'll show you around. Come with me."

There followed one of the most interesting days in Kiki's life. There were lots of smells, and the fox explained each one of them. High places with views, remote hidden places where a fox could feel safe. Fish in the streams to catch if you were quick enough.

"What's your name?" asked Kiki.  

"We don't have names - that's for humans and their pets. Let's go and meet your friend Heidi." 

And so it was that Heidi was introduced to the fox, very discreetly. Away from the humans. Kiki was fascinated. Heidi and Fox looked so similar – the same face and tail especially. And the same size.

"I'm off," said Fox, "I have a family to look after. I'll find you tomorrow. Goodbye!"

And that was that. Animals don't waste time on long goodbyes. They just go.


"Yesterday I said no adventures! And you disappeared, Kiki. Today you will have to spend some time on a lead." The human looked severely, then kindly at Kiki. Kiki lowered her head.

Sunday was a bit different. It got colder and there was less sunshine. Nobody went far from the caravans. Children played games and many of the humans just looked at their phones, hour after hour.

"What are those things they hold in their hands all the time?"

"No idea," replied Kiki, "they've got all sorts of strange things. Nothing to do with food or comfort."

The two dogs decided to join in the games. The games were all about chasing each other or chasing a ball. Heidi was very good with the tennis ball. Kiki preferred the football. Everything was fast and noisy.

Heidi chased the small ball under a hedge. And there was the fox, sitting and watching.

"Enjoying yourselves?" asked Fox.

"Come and join us!" exclaimed Heidi.

"No thanks – I can't trust humans. They're used to hunting me. I'll just watch from under here."

"We mustn't disappear. Or they'll put us on a lead again."

"See you later then," said Fox.


Heidi envied the fox and his freedom. She thought it must be wonderful to go anywhere at any time. In fact, she said this to Fox. But he just stared at her, then said, "Yes, but I have problems you don't have. Mostly family and feeding them. And protecting them. And staying out of danger generally."

The children were calling Heidi. Reluctantly, she returned to the games.

That evening the humans lit a fire and ate their dinners around it. The dogs were given delicious pieces of chicken. This made them both think of Fox. When nobody was looking Heidi took a large piece and left it under the hedge where she last saw Fox. Soon after dinner the humans decided to go to bed. They had to return home very early the next day. Monday meant work or school for most of them.

Kiki and Heidi slept by the fire until it went out , then they moved over to the caravan doors which stayed open through the night. They were both on very long leads. But they were happy to sleep under the stars on such a fine night.


Chapter 9

Snow – Christmas – Kiki departs – Gloomy and Persian sympathise.

The journey back only took an hour. Kiki and Heidi were left at the refuge and immediately went to bed again!

Days and weeks passed before anything interesting happened. Summer turned into autumn, autumn into winter. Leaves on the trees everywhere changed from green to brown and gold. Then the leaves fell and there was a carpet of them all over the town and countryside. When the trees were bare and the temperature dropped, winter had arrived. Soon it would be Christmas.

The dogs weren't aware of time and seasons. But they knew dark and light, hot and cold, wet and dry, sunshine and clouds.

They also knew wind, and most of them hated it except in very hot weather.

When the blizzard arrived they all sheltered in their kennels. Snow fell in thousands of flakes. The ground was soon covered, then became thick with snow. Humans and dogs made footprints.

"I know where you've been," said one of the dogs, "I followed your footprints. A few of them weren't as deep as the others. That's your weak leg, isn't it? You can't put so much weight on it."

Heidi hated to be reminded of her leg. It was embarrassing.

"How did it happen?"

"I was hit by a car. My humans did nothing about it, except to bring me here."

"Do you think you will never find a home because of it?"

Kiki growled at the dog, who soon shut up.

Heidi limped back to her kennel feeling very depressed. The others made comments about her leg – cruel comments. It sometimes seemed that only Kiki never referred to it.

Christmas day arrived. The humans brought extra food, and nearly all the dogs were taken out for short walks. The refuge was decorated with lights and a Christmas tree.

When New Year arrived, there were also some new human helpers, full of enthusiasm.

"Why the new humans?" Heidi asked Gloomy.

"It's a tradition. That means something they always do at the beginning of the year, then forget to do. They resolve to help other humans and animals, then they find they haven't any spare time to help any longer. Let's see if they find me a real home. Like lucky Kiki."

"What? Why lucky Kiki?"

"She's got a home. Went early this morning."

Heidi suddenly felt the earth open under her. She limped off to Kiki's kennel but it was empty. She searched everywhere. No sign of Kiki.

She went to the gate where one of the helpers was drinking coffee. The helper put down her coffee then approached Heidi and stroked her head. Then she picked her up and held her. There were tears in her eyes, just like that human who missed Bella. She carried Heidi back to her kennel and gave her some extra food and stayed for a while. But Heidi wasn't hungry. She lay on the ground in front of the kennel, on the snow. She looked, and was, so unhappy.

A few of the dogs took pity on Heidi and in time Heidi appreciated this. And she worked hard at making a few new friends. She became popular. The humans noticed this and gave her little treats. But very discreetly, so that the others would not become jealous.

Sparkle told her that she could share his kennel – which was very big – when it was very cold. Heidi was grateful for this. She visited Persian in the Cat Garden sometimes at night. Even Dozy sometimes woke up long enough for a short chat. Although he often fell asleep in the middle of a sentence. Gloomy had lots of things to say on the dog life in general. Although they all helped Heidi to forget, she certainly didn't completely forget Kiki. She still hoped that one day they might meet again.


"Life in a refuge is not so bad," said Gloomy one day, when Heidi looked especially downhearted. "Unless you're in a human's home, the alternative is life on the street or in the wild. You don't know where your next food will come from. You may have no idea where to sleep. Some humans shout at you or chase you. Some kick you. I know all this because I have lived like that, and so have many others here. If you're ill you may die. Even when you're young it's best to join a gang of dogs. That protects you from humans, but it also makes humans afraid of you. The next best thing is to work for a human - that way you appreciate each other. Being a pet wouldn't suit me."

"What do you mean by work?" asked Heidi.

"You can be the eyes of a blind human. You can look after a farmer's sheep. You can guard a house – but it's best to be big and a bit fierce and bad-tempered for that."

"Why wouldn't you like to be a pet?"

"Because you have to feel the same way about them as they feel about you. Sometimes it works very well. But sometimes the human makes you feel like one of their puppies. I couldn't stand that! I prefer life here. But that's just me. I am a happy prisoner."


Later, Heidi thought about this. Maybe that was why they hadn't taken her as well as Kiki. They didn't want to share her with another dog.


Persian had his opinions too. One night when Heidi really couldn't sleep, but she didn't know why, she went to the Cat Garden. The door to the cages room was slightly open. She pushed her way in and looked up at Persian's cage. She could see he was asleep, but then cats were always asleep. Heidi stared hard until Persian finally opened one eye.


"Long time no see!” said Heidi.

"I'll come down. See you in the garden."


There were lots of areas with soft earth and some with grass. They lay on the grass.


"Couldn't you sleep?" asked Persian.

"No. It's probably because of Gloomy. He made me think."

"What about?"

"Oh, a dog's life. And how difficult it would be if we weren't here in the refuge."

"He's right. It would be very difficult. Every dog and cat here has a story to tell about their lives and why they were brought here. Nearly always stories of neglect or cruelty. You must be thankful, young Heidi."

"Does that mean that Kiki may be unhappy where she is now?"

"If she is, then her humans will know it, and eventually bring her back. Now let's talk about something else!"




Chapter 10


A swim - a picnic – the other side of town – a surprise.


The hours and days sped past. Winter gradually became Spring. Flowers grew in the Cat Garden. Heidi and Persian began to make quite regular and frequent trips into the town and neighbouring countryside. They even visited Bella's home where they were made very welcome by the human. He seemed surprised by the unusual combination of dog and cat visitors. But Bella was just happy to see them. Sometimes they stayed all night and went home at dawn. However, usually they stayed for just an hour then continued the night's adventure.


"I've never been to the other side of town. Is it a long way?" Heidi asked Bella one night.

"We have been there because my owner has friends there. But we always go in the car, and I can't tell how far it is."


Heidi was, as always, wondering where Kiki was. This wondering just made her sad. Her tail and ears dropped. Her eyes went dreamy. Bella and Persian looked at each other. What could they do to help? Nothing, it seemed.


Back at the refuge Heidi must have made an impression on her favourite human helper, because the human could see that Heidi was still unhappy, and gave her more attention than to the others. This was a mistake. The other dogs became a little jealous and started to ignore her. This hurt.


Very early one fine morning, the human helper appeared in front of Heidi's kennel.


"Come on Heidi we're going for a walk and then a ride in my car. I'm tired of you looking unhappy, and so are some of the dogs. A day away from here will make you feel better. You will see other humans and dogs. I hope that will cheer you up."


Heidi couldn't understand any of this, but she liked the human, and the sun was out, the air was fresh and she'd had a good breakfast.


Lead, collar and harness were produced. They got into the car. Heidi sat in the front passenger seat with the window open. Cars were a mystery to Heidi. It was only the second time she had been in one. But she knew that it meant no walking. That, because of her fourth leg, was always a good thing.


They stopped on the other side of the lake, which was a mistake because it reminded Heidi of Kiki swimming. Nevertheless, this time it was a bit different because Heidi was placed into the water – still with her harness, which held her securely while she tried to swim a little. Her human was very patient.


"Why doesn't she adopt me?" thought Heidi, "then I would belong to someone, and that's what I want more than anything!"


Persian had already answered this question a long time ago:

"Many of the humans already have dogs and cats - it's a question of space. You wouldn't like it. They all want to be the human's favourite. And you're just as much a prisoner. You need a situation like Bella's. One dog, one human. Devoted to each other.


Heidi was dried with a towel. Then they continued their exploration of the town and suburbs. Heidi began to feel a little of the pride that a dog can feel towards its human owner.

The suburbs became countryside again. Occasionally there were houses, houses bigger than those on the refuge side of town. Gardens were bigger too.


They came to a picnic area. This was a completely new experience for Heidi. The idea of taking the food to a small roadside area of forest which had tables and seats, and eating there – with other humans who were strangers – well, this didn't make any sense at all! Supposing other humans stole your food? Heidi knew that her food was in the back of the car. She had no intention of losing it, and remained firmly seated in the car.


But her human had other ideas. She lifted Heidi from the car complete with lead and harness. This was with one arm. With the other she opened the boot, removed the picnic box, closed the boot with her shoulder, then took everything to the nearest picnic bench and table. What did this show? Years of experience in handling dogs of all shapes and sizes!


"Okay Heidi – first we go over to that bush and you do what is necessary. I collect what you do in one of my little plastic bags, and deposit it in that box over there. Not like in the refuge. Outside the refuge you learn something new every day!"


Heidi had always been obedient with humans. She discovered that was the best way. Being disobedient just lead to a struggle or fight, which the humans always won.


The contents of the lunch-box were very tasty. Heidi couldn't complain about that. In fact, she couldn't complain about anything. The day so far had been one of her best adventures, despite being without the company of a dog or cat.


After food came sleep. That was essential in any animal's life. The human sat in the car with doors open and fell asleep. Heidi, her long lead tied to the leg of the table, could see the human easily from where she slept.


Time passed. Clouds passed overhead. The sun came and went. It got cooler. A light wind started to blow from the west. After an hour, both human and animal woke up. It was as if they sensed each other waking at the same time.


Heidi's human got out of the car, came to Heidi and released her from the table. She took off the lead and pointed to the passenger seat. Heidi understood and obeyed immediately. They drove away.

"Adventure's not finished yet Heidi!" said the human.


They didn't return to the town. They continued their journey in the same direction as before. It was still countryside but there were far fewer houses. Heidi really was grateful that there had been so little walking. Sometimes her leg hurt more than at other times, and it wasn't necessarily to do with exercise. When it rained or was very cold it hurt more. Sparkle understood this and made sure that Heidi slept in the back and not at the front of his kennel in the winter. He knew about snow and mountains and sheep. Sheep despite their woollen coats, could feel pain because of the weather. In fact it was looking after sheep that had made him so protective about Heidi.


They came to a village with a few shops and some cottages. When the shops finished they turned right and stopped in front of a high gate in a long brick wall. The human got out of the car and went to press a button in the wall. After a minute the gate slowly opened. The human got back into the car and drove through the gateway, and immediately stopped.

"Strange," thought Heidi, "what's this all about? I hope she hasn't brought me to another refuge."


Heidi, with lead attached, was let out of the car. The human, after only a few paces, stopped. The house in front of them seemed a long way away. A long curving path led to a high double door. Cream-coloured with many windows and a dark red roof, the house stood alone in a semicircle of trees. In front was a very long and wide lawn.


Heidi sheltered behind the human's legs. The gates closed behind them. No escape! Now she really began to panic. She shivered with fear.

One of the double doors of the house opened and a dog ran out. Heidi couldn't see more than just the shape of this dog because it was so far away. She had been told about bad tempered vicious guard dogs. Her shivers turned to shakes! Growling and barking, the dog slowed down. Trusting in the human and the lead, Heidi came a little way out from behind the human’s legs. She needed to see better. Gloomy always said "Know your enemy."


The strange dog suddenly leapt into the air and began to run around in circles, faster and faster. It's tail began to spin as fast as a helicopter blade! It came closer and closer.


Heidi was terrified, mesmerised and fascinated – yet this was behaviour that was somehow familiar to her. When the dog got nearer and she could see more clearly, Heidi finally understood. She leapt into the air further than she had ever leapt. She leapt for absolute joy!


Kiki !!!”


The human quickly bent down and released the lead.


The two dogs ran around each other, getting closer and closer. Finally they stopped and started sniffing each other. Then they collapsed. The human left them to it and went into the house where her friend was waiting for her.


"I have so many questions," said Heidi.


"So have I!" said Kiki.




Let us float up and away from this touching scene.

The two humans knew each other well and they had decided on the best solution for Kiki and Heidi - Friends Reunited. They led a happy life together, still with adventures, for many years and, because you will want to know, they finally died within a few days of each other. They died peacefully and happily of simple old age.

And the refuge?

Well, Sparky was finally found by his owner and was delighted to be taken back to the mountains where even the sheep seemed to have missed him.

Gloomy stayed on and refused a couple of offers of adoption. He did this simply by refusing to move. He stood with four paws very firmly planted on the ground, and growled.

Dozy just carried on sleeping, and Persian?

Yes, he found a home. Although he wasn't very keen at first. Life was really quite comfortable for him in his cage and garden. If he had known that he would have to share his new home with dogs he certainly would have protested. But yes, you have guessed it! The humans, who really did know what was best for the animals, decided to add Persian to Kiki and Heidi. The house and grounds were big, and there were no other dog or cat residents. He went on some of the dogs' adventures, but generally preferred to stay at home and just act as an Advisor.

And so, dear reader, you see that


All's Well That Ends Well.”



Copyright © 2020 by Ian M.Lister.
All rights reserved. This or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express permission of the author.