Darcy Does Things Differently

story by Lara Cain Gray , illustrated by Anna Bron

DARCY Dawson Donnelly was a very distinguished dog who suddenly found himself solo in his senior years.

One blustery morning, quite out of the blue, he was bundled up in blankets and delivered through a door. In a stuffy room that smelled like his food bowl on a hot summer’s day, he sat and wondered what on earth was going on.

Darcy was not a difficult dog. All he needed to live a happy life was:

1. Something nice to eat.

2. Somewhere soft to sleep.

3. Someone to sit with when his legs let him down, which happened with frustrating frequency as the years passed.

But suddenly everything had changed. Darcy snapped at a woman with rough hands as she tipped him into a cage and closed the door with a CLINK!

Soon a tall man with knobbly knees placed a bowl at Darcy’s feet. It wasn’t his favourite, roast beef with gravy. Darcy wasn’t happy.

‘Get some sleep, mate,’ said the man, placing a rough rubber mat into the cage. It instantly made Darcy’s tummy itch. He missed his usual cosy rug. He absolutely wasn’t happy.

As he snoozed, Darcy dreamed about his someone. He missed roast beef with gravy.
He missed his comfy basket. But it was the
someone he missed the most. His someone had handed him over to someone else. It had been a curious and confusing kind of day.

The next morning, a woman in a white coat lifted Darcy off his mat. She poked him. She prodded him. She plonked him into a pen, where several other pooches begged for attention. Up on their back feet, eager and alert, the pooches watched the comings and goings.

Well, Darcy did things differently. He was not eager. He did not beg. He found a quiet corner and sat. Soon, a parade of people approached the pen, assessing each animal.

‘Look at this one! He has pretty brown patches!’

‘Oh, I prefer this one! She’s all white and fluffy!’

Darcy did not have pretty brown patches; nor was he white and fluffy. None of the visitors seemed to notice him at all, which suited Darcy just fine.

A poodle named Petal posed prettily as a family came near. A small boy, with an even smaller voice, watched Petal prance. ‘Hooray! This dog’s for me.’

Darcy did things differently. He didn’t prance and he wouldn’t pose. His legs wobbled when he stood for too long.

Petal was gently lifted out of the pen. It seemed she had a someone now.

Billy the bulldog wasn’t left for long either. Billy had a noble stance with a proud and purposeful bark. A decisive young lady, with security in mind, took note. ‘Hooray! This dog’s for me.’

Darcy did things differently. His bark was quiet. In fact, when he was particularly perturbed, he sneezed! Billy’s barking got on Darcy’s nerves. Good riddance! But Billy had a someone now too.

Day after day, Darcy watched the people parade. Each prancing, posing, purposeful pooch clambered out of the cage into the arms of a new someone.

Then Darcy met Dawn.

Dawn walked with a limp and came to visit at a quiet time of day. She wasn’t interested in prancing pooches. She didn’t care for eagerness and energy.

‘I’d like a different kind of dog,’ she declared.

So, Darcy still does things differently, but Dawn thinks that’s just fine. She gives him plenty of tasty treats, sometimes even roast beef with gravy. He has a soft, cosy rug. Dawn knitted it herself, just for him. At the end of each day, Darcy sits at Dawn’s feet and gives his tired legs a rest.

Darcy and Dawn have decided that differently is the nicest way for things to
be done.