My name is Chompy, and this is my story.
I live in Venice Beach with my new family. I’m the only dog in the house, and it’s a good thing because the apartment is so small. Most of the time, I sleep. My family is out a lot of the time, which is lonely for me. But I would rather be lonely and sleeping than crowded. I like to sleep all day.
I did not always live with my family. I’ve lived with other people before, and other people before that. You could say I moved around a lot, but I really haven’t moved at all. I’ve never left the place I live by the beach. I was born near here, and hopefully I’ll be here forever.
I have had many many adventures, which is why I sleep all the time. What’s the point of being crazy, anyway? I’m old enough to understand that it’s not my turn to be wild anymore. I had my fun. So I sleep.
It’s hard for me to remember everything that has happened to me, because I am so old, and because it’s not a dog’s place to remember everything. It’s my job to be a dog, not a rememberer. I sleep all day, remember?
One of the first things I think I remember is my brothers and sisters. We were all the same color, but I was the prettiest. I was always the prettiest. My brothers and sisters and I weren’t together for that long, but I was the prettiest when we were. Pretty little Chompy, that’s what my first family called me. The prettiest dog in the neighborhood. That’s why I hold my head up high, because my mom was so pretty, and I was a pretty little girl, and I had to live up to my mom. I looked just like her, orange with a big patch of white on my chest, just like my mom.
I went to a new family when I was still very little, and it made me so sad to leave my brothers and sisters. Everyone was having fun one day, and then all the sudden I had to go live with a new family, while everybody else just stayed home and had fun. I had to leave all by myself. It was so terrible, I cried and cried forever. I learned to sing at my second family’s house because I was so sad. I would sing, and my new family would sing with me, and it made me feel better. It made me feel a lot better when I would sing, and my family would sing with me, and I could just relax and let it all go. That’s why I sing, to make myself feel better, and to tell everyone around me how I feel. It’s what I learned to do when I moved out on my own.
I became very disillusioned with the world when my second family gave me away. I was always a sensitive girl, on account of being the prettiest and wanting to live up to my mom. I just wanted everything to be perfect, for me to be a star in everyone’s universe. That’s what I always wanted, but it really never worked out like that. My second family gave me away to the family across the street. They dropped me off, and I never saw them again. I was so upset again. I loved my second family because they would sing with me, and they were my first “real” family after I left my mom and brothers and sisters. I thought they were going to take care of me forever, but they gave me to a new family, and the new family had dogs.
I can’t stand dogs. I cannot handle being around other dogs. When I was a little girl, it was hard for me to play with my brothers especially, because they were always so rough. They would bite me, and try to hump me, and get in my face and sniff my behind. I couldn’t stand it, and I still can’t stand it. I need my own space, I need it, I need it, I need it. And then that’s when the real trouble began. My new family had two other dogs, a girl and a boy. What was funny was that I got along better with the boy than the girl. When I was a little girl, my brothers would drive me nuts, and my sisters would all be more relaxed. I liked sitting with them, even though they were all jealous of me, better than I liked roughhousing with my brothers. Well, the new dogs I met, the brother and sister at my new family, had been living together for years. I don’t know if they were related, but they looked the same, and acted like they had lived together forever.
I first realized something weird when I had to eat outside every night. The other two got to eat inside, where it was warm, but I had to eat outside by myself. I would eat my food, and look inside the sliding glass door at the other two, where they would be getting fed from the table. I always wanted food from the table, but my new family would never let me inside to get any. Then, the two dogs would come outside and bother me about my food. I don’t like to eat fast all the time, but when they came out, I would scarf down all my food as fast as I could. I didn’t want them eating my food.
One day, I saw one of the dogs, the girl, eating my food. I bit her and we started fighting. Her brother jumped on me, and I couldn’t stop them. They bit me hard, and I was bleeding from a few different places, most of all on the top of my head. I was bleeding all over my face. It was hard for me to think about stuff for a while after that, because the scar on my head made it impossible to push my forehead up. That’s how I think, I crinkle my forehead.
And so, the two dogs attacked me, and I got hurt. That was how I got sent to the Pound. I never even heard of the Pound until I got there, and as we walked in, I started to freak out. The Pound. The Pound. I didn’t even know what the word was, but it was loud inside my brain. They handed me over, and I went to a cage. Every dog in the place was going nuts. The Pound The Pound The Pound, they wouldn’t stop barking and screaming at each other and at the people working there. Barking and screaming, the Pound the Pound. I don’t remember much about my first trip to the Pound. I tried to sleep, but it was hard. I didn’t mind sleeping on concrete so much, but the other dogs bothered me too much so I couldn’t relax.
I honestly don’t remember how long I was in there for. One day, two people walked by my cage, and looked in. They took me home, but not to their home. They sent me to an old lady’s house, who was my new family. The old lady was by far my favorite family I had ever had. She was so nice to me, and so sweet. She was lonely because her family had died, and her own kids had picked me from the Pound to be the old lady’s new family. I was so excited because it was the first time in my entire life that I felt like I belonged in a family, like I was a part of the group. It was just me and the old lady. She knew how pretty I was too, and that made me so happy. She would talk to me and call me the prettiest dog on the block, and she would sing sometimes in the house by herself. One day, she was singing, and I started singing too, to show her that I could too. She loved it so much, and from then on, we were the singing family. Everyday, for at least a little while, we would sit inside and sing about our feelings, and about how we were still living and carrying on despite being hurt. I had just been in the pound, remember. I was always so sensitive, and being with another sensitive old lady made me so happy. I had someone who was my friend. I loved her.
I lived with the old lady for a while, and I had a great time. It was the happiest part of my life up to that point. Then something terrible happened – the old lady died. She died one night when she was sleeping, and she didn’t get up in the morning. I tried to wake her up, but she was cold and I knew something was wrong. I cried a little bit, and just laid there next to her on the bed.
I don’t remember what happened to me after the old lady died. I honestly don’t remember. I remember crying and singing for a day, just me and her, and that’s about it. The next thing I know, I was literally on the beach. It was cold, and it was wet. I was on the beach, going from trashcan to trashcan picking up food. You wouldn’t believe the stuff that people just throw away, sometimes even right on the ground. Half-sandwiches, bread, bones, all kinds of sauce. It just lays on the ground, and I would eat it.
I lived on the beach for a while, and even got a new family. It was my weirdest family because we didn’t live in a house, we lived on the beach. There were always new people coming in and out of the family, and dogs too. I lived with an old man, and then a boy. I lived with the boy for a while, until something happened to him, and he was gone. I think some other people attacked him, and kicked him out of the family, because he was gone. And then I had someone else to watch over, and then he was gone too. And then everything was gone, and I was alone again, eating out of the trashcans and on the street. I would just eat all the delicious stuff people didn’t want. It was an easy life, and I enjoyed it.
Then, I had to go back to the pound.
Then, my new family, the one I live with now, came to get me, and I haven’t left them since we met. I was alone in the cage on my very first day in the pound, when the boy and the girl came to see me. The boy sang to me, and I sang back, and they came to get me a few days later. I was sick, coughing and wheezing, and in a terrible mood, but they still came to pick me up.
I still live with the new family, on the beach. I live in heaven. I get to eat whatever I want all the time, and I get to do whatever I want, which is mostly sleep. I had a sister for a while living here, but then she attacked me, so she left. Her name was Turbo, and I hate her. She tried to eat me.
Maybe if you come to Venice Beach, I will hang out with you. There is a dog park right next to my house, where I go sometimes. I also like going to the beach to walk around and see the other people and dogs who are out. I also like going for car rides, and putting my head out the window.
My name is Chompy, and that was part of my story.