By Adrian Testo

I open my eyes and I see Master.


            He is big and he is strong.  His voice is loud.  He smells like smoke and sweat.  When he puts his hand on my back and on the top of my head, it feels good.  He takes me to his home and gives me meat.  When I come to Master, he will feed me.  When Master calls me, I will come.

            When I am in the home, it is dark and when I am in the yard it is bright.  There are smells that move in the yard and there are smells that stay in one place in the home. There are things that move in the grass and in the sky. Everything is big and I am small.  Look, Master! See me run! See me take things and run to you and away! Catch me! I am too fast! Master is laughing! I cannot leave the yard because there is a fence. When Master calls, I will come.  I cannot leave the home because there are walls and there are doors that close. When light leaves the window, Master puts me in the cage and home is quiet. But I am scared and I am hungry. Where is Master? I bark and I howl.  And finally Master will come but his voice is loud and I stop.

            Master leads me by a chain and I will follow him.  I love Master.  Sometimes he takes me on the road where there are people.  At first, their voices are warm and they are friendly.  They are men, they are women, and they are children.  There are so many smells! So many others walking here before now! I can smell if they are big or small.  Sick or strong.  Happy or sad. But as I get stronger and faster, they are afraid and they are angry.  But I am the same.  They cross the street.  They jump away.  They will not touch me if I go to them.  I wag my tail but they are cross. 


            They say and they say the bad word. Pitbull.  Pitbull.  Pitbull.


            Sometimes a woman comes to the house and she smells like Master.  She is warm and she touches my face.  I lick her hand.  Her voice is happy.  Master is happy when she comes.  But sometimes his voice is loud and her smell is afraid.  When Master's friends come, she is afraid.  There is smoke and they are drinking water that smells bad.  They are acting sick.  They are laughing but it sounds sick.  I go to help Master if he is sick but he pushes me away.

            One man comes and Master is afraid.  They are shouting and I hang my head and whine.  Master is handing him paper but he is still shouting.  When the man leaves, Master breaks things in the home and holds his head in his hands.  I go to him but he pushes me away and I sit in the corner to watch over him. 


            I will protect you, Master.  I am yours.


            Today Master takes me in the car! The air is around my head and cool and feels good on my tongue.  We stop in a yard and go into a dark house.  We go down stairs to a darker place and there are others like me.  I wag my tail and go to them but they are not like the others outside.  They are so hungry.  Their hair is raised and their tails are tucked.  They stare and they growl and show their teeth.  Master has me by the chain and I stay with him.  Master will protect me. The chain is off my neck and he is pushing me to another dog in a circle.  The dog is big and his head is low.  He is creeping to me and I look away.  I lower my body.  I roll on my back.  Master is shouting and throws something.  I get up.  There are teeth on my neck, teeth on my leg, teeth ripping my ear.  I yelp and there are men all shouting, excited voices.  Excited sweat.  There is blood on my neck, blood on my face.  I try to break free but the teeth are strong and hold.  I move this way and that way but the dog is on me and I cannot bite.  I am scared.  I want to kill the dog but I cannot move.  My eyes are soft and the room is getting black.

            Here is Master! He comes for me! Master will save me.  He throws the dog off me and takes me in his arms and his eyes are wet.  We leave the place and the bad smells.  He takes me home and puts me in a blanket and takes off the blood.  I am weak but I wag my tail because I love Master and he will make me strong.  He brings me food.  But he leaves the house and he is scared.  I wait so long and the home is so still and quiet. When he comes back, he is shaking and there is blood.  The blood does not smell like Master's blood.  He is running around taking things.  There are cars with loud sounds outside that hurt my ears and I howl.  We are in the car and the car is going so fast that I am scared and I vomit.  We leave where everything is hard under my paws and where there are sounds that hurt.  We get out where there is soft grass and lots of space to run.  There is a fence.  Master takes me in his arms and ties my chain to the fence.  I wag my tail and lick his hand but his eyes are away.  He says “sit” and I obey.  He gets into the car and it moves fast and away.  It is quiet and it is dark.  The sky is bright and the sky is dark again and again.  I am not afraid. 


            I will wait for Master.  I will wait for Master.