Tatjana paused to make sure she had heard correctly and to locate the source of the whine. Then she sprinted off, through the archway into the inner courtyard of the apartment building. She ignored the heavy backpack being thrown on her back and her heart pounding with fear. Yes, she was afraid of what she would discover. The whimpering grew louder. Then finally she saw it, five young boys throwing stones at a small ball of fur. Booming laughter accompanied their macabre game.
The boys were tall and muscular. Any one of them could have knocked down the slim Tatjana with just one blow. Still, she pushed her way through the animal abusers and snatched up the small, whimpering bundle of life. It didn’t resist, for it had no strength left. The stones were now pattering on Tatjana’s back. Now she was glad that she hadn’t thrown off the big, heavy backpack. With a flowing movement she sat up, clutching the ball of fur tightly to her. But now she faced the tallest of the five boys. He stood there, legs apart, looking at her with a hateful look. He seemed determined not to let Tatjana pass, not with the victim of their torment in his hands. Feverishly she thought about what to do. He was strong, the attacker, but she didn’t rate him as particularly agile. So, she motioned to pass him to the left, and as he clumsily slid a foot in that direction, she drove past his other side and ran like she had never run before. She was sure these guys wouldn’t catch up with her. After all, she was the best runner in her school. But she didn’t stop until she was sure she wasn’t being followed. Only then did she look at the small bundle in her hands. It was a young dog with black fur and large paws. He was trembling all over. Tatyana could not say whether he was seriously injured. Nothing could be seen from the outside. But he must go to the vet as soon as possible. So, she started walking again. Ten minutes later she was standing breathless in the vet’s office. It was crowded. She was eyed suspiciously by those present. „Don’t push yourself, I was there first,“ they seemed to want to tell her. A young girl in a white coat, who identified her as a doctor’s assistant, approached Tatjana to ask her about her concerns. She hastily told the story, whereupon the girl in the white coat turned and disappeared into the treatment room. A few moments later the door opened again and Tatjana was invited in. She did her best to ignore the hateful stares that pierced her back. It was an emergency, after all, but she didn’t have time to discuss it.
Dr. Wagenscheidt, the veterinarian, asked Tatjana to put the trembling ball of fur on the examination table. As if the little one had known that he was now safe, he allowed himself to be felt without resistance.
„Well, nothing seems broken,“ said Dr. Wagenscheidt finally. Tatjana breathed a sigh of relief. Anyway.
„But I can’t say if he doesn’t have internal injuries. He seems to be a very sturdy little guy. Take good care of him for the next few days and watch him closely,” the doctor instructed Tatjana, “How could that happen? Why did your dog fall into the hands of these hooligans?” „That’s not my dog,“ Tatjana explained, „I just saved him. I don’t know where it’s from or who it belongs to. All I knew was that I couldn’t leave him there. They would certainly have stoned him to death.” During the last words, Tatjana realized what these guys had done and felt tears welling up in her eyes, tears of anger and disgust. But she didn’t want to cry.
„He’s not chipped either,“ the doctor said musingly, „Then take him home and come back in a few days.“ With that he maneuvered Tatjana to the door.
„But what about the bill,“ she asked shyly, „I don’t have any money on me.“
„It’s okay. I would be happy if more people would show so much heart, „explained the veterinarian.
Shortly thereafter, Tatjana was standing on the street with a puppy in her arms, which had meanwhile fallen asleep from exhaustion. „What will my mother say?“ It finally crossed her mind, „What will happen to the little one if I am not allowed to keep him?“ With a heavy heart she started on her way home.