Scuffy the dog had only been at his new house for a week, and although there was still lots more to explore in the house, but he wanted to go out into the neighbourhood too. Ginger, the house cat who lived next door, who he had made friends with, was unsure about this, in case he got lost. But, seeing that Scuffy really meant to go, she suggested that she go too, to show him around next week, because everyone would be too busy to notice.
A week later, Scuffy leapt eagerly to the front gate as soon as the children of the house had disappeared. Surprisingly, Ginger simply pounced over it.
“How do you do that?” asked Scuffy curiously.
“Practice.” replied Ginger as she unlocked the gate with her furry orange tail. “Now, quick!”
Cautiously, Scuffy stepped out. Cling! Ginger had shut the gate.
“Where are we going?” asked Scuffy.
“I’m going to take you to the park.” Ginger said. “There aren’t that many people there at this time of the day, and my friend Barker, who is a dog too, lives there, as a stray.”
“You must have a lot of friends.” Scuffy remarked as he followed Ginger down the road.
“I refer to myself as a dog, so I do have a lot of dog friends.” Ginger replied, but without looking behind.
Scuffy looked around to see if there was anything interesting happening on the street. Right in front of him, a big jolly lady was wearing a maroon hat with a blue feather. Scuffy smiled, but Ginger backed away at once. She stepped into a pile of dead vines and hissed, “Duck to the side! Duck to the side!”
Scuffy had heard of an animal called a duck, and looked around to see one. Ginger was still whispering to him. Then suddenly she shrank back. The big lady had approached them. There was a greedy smile on her face.
She bent down to look at him and laughed shrilly. “A golden retriever, I see.” she stroked his fur. “You are obviously, or else you wouldn’t be so clean. Just good enough. Just good enough to sell.”
Suddenly, Scuffy understood the urgency in Ginger’s voice. This lady intended to sell him! She picked him up, cradled him in her arms and kept on walking.
Scuffy wasn’t pleased when he was put in a dirty cage in someone else’s house. He was longing to be back at home, where everything would be alright. The lady had left the house a few minutes ago to go shopping. Scuffy had never felt so lonely and scared, not even at home.
“You didn’t expect me to abandon you, did you?” A familiar voice came from behind him.
“Ginger!” cried Scuffy as he turned around.
Ginger smiled. Flicking her tongue, she let the cage lock flick open with her tail.
“Thank you!” Scuffy burst out of the cage.
Ginger laughed and said, “That’s alright. I’ll open the window for you, and just follow me. I’ll do the rest.”
Scuffy threw himself out the window as Ginger pushed it open. She pulled it down and hopped onto the grassy area that Scuffy was standing on. Scuffy followed behind and leapt onto the pavement.
“Good,” Ginger gave him an approving look. “Now do you want to go back home, or meet my friend Barker at the park?”
“I’ve had enough excitement for one day, and I’m exhausted.” Scuffy said. “I’ll meet your friend Barker another day.”
And so, the dog followed the cat down the smooth pavement, back home.