Two glossy black dogs sit by the fence: Coal, large and handsome, with a serious expression on his face; Indy, small and wiry and with mischief in her eyes.
INDY: Hi, I'm Indy!
COAL: And I'm Coal.
INDY: We're two of the first residents of Full Moon Farm that you see when you visit. Which is pretty cool.
INDY: Oh don't pay attention to him. He can be unsociable at times. But he's also my boyfriend and he can be lots of fun. He's just not as used to people as I am.
COAL: They can be scary. That's why I like to stay away from the fence sometimes.
INDY: I know what you mean, but I like it. People moving around and laughing. Makes me want to run, run, run! I just wish we had a nicer place to do it in. I think this one's falling apart.
COAL: I wish we had more places to hang out behind. You know, just in case. Besides, all those crowds don't need to be staring at me.
INDY: Don't mind him. His sponsor thinks he's a prince or something.
COAL: I am a prince.
INDY: That he's more handsome and regal than anyone else.
COAL: I am more handsome and regal than anyone else.
INDY: That he's a big wimp.
COAL: I am a big – hey, wait a minute!
INDY: HA HA HA HA HA! Really, though, he's pretty cool. He came here when he was only a little princeling, about five months old, with his brothers and a couple other wolfdogs. His brothers found homes, but Coal stayed here. I'm glad he stayed, though. I'm glad to have people in my life like him and Nancy and the volunteers, who love me just as I am, and aren't going to dump me.
The two of them sit at the fence, and Coal gives Indy a lick on the ear.
COAL: She had it pretty hard, you know. She had a family and everything. Then they got a new puppy, and Indy and the new puppy didn't get along. So they got rid of Indy! They just took her to the pound and left her there. Even worse, they told the people at the pound that she's a wolfdog. That meant no one else could adopt her. I mean, really, does she look like a wolf to you? If there's any wolf in there, it's because she ate one.
COAL: Or maybe somebody read her a book about a wolf.
INDY: Nuh uh. Nancy said I might have one wolf hair on my tail.
COAL: Well, maybe. But you look like a little black dog to me. But a beautiful one.
Indy leans her head against Coal's chest.
INDY: I'm glad we're together. I just wish we had a little better space, you know? For when we play tag or race each other. We'd be able to go faster near the fence. They keep fixing it and things still keep coming undone or sticking out. How come they don't just fix it for good?
COAL: It's because of all the stuff they would have to make the new pen with. It costs money. You know what that is.
INDY: I know they have to give it to other people for our food and to the vet so they can keep us healthy.
COAL: Well, they have to give it to people for fence posts and stuff like that, too. Without those things, we're stuck.
Indy looks sadly at the ground.
INDY: Why can't we get the money? Doesn't anybody have some extra that they can give us? Don't they care about us?
COAL: I think they just don't know about us. They don't realize that the only money we get is what they give us. And that's barely enough to keep us fed. I think they would care if they knew.
INDY: Do you think they might give us some if they knew how happy they could make us, with new pens and all, and new houses, and things to climb up on so we can look at the world from the top? Maybe?
COAL: Maybe. If we can find a way to tell them. If we can get them to listen.
INDY: Then maybe we could run all over!
COAL: And we could have more bushes and trees.
INDY: So you could hide!
COAL: Those are my thinking places!
Indy jumps up, playfully bopping Coal on the nose.
INDY: Think about running!
She starts to run around the inner area of the pen, Coal close behind, skirting the few bushes that have survived their raucous play.
After all, there are only so many safe places to run, only so many places for quiet contemplation, in a very old pen. Coal
Please help us build Indy and Coal a new enclosure. Please donate to Habitats for Howlers here: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/habitats-for-howlers/