Dear old Alfie. He was Sixteen and feeling very old and slow. His left leg was very painful and it was very difficult for him to move about easily, but he soldiered on regardless.

Alfie was very sad. He had such a loving home for fifteen years but when his master died he was put out on the street.

“No one wants an old dog like me,” he whimpered and hung his head while he limped down the street.

Alfie had learned very quickly how to survive as an abandoned dog. He had worked out which restaurants threw the best food away and which restaurant owners didn’t mind him sniffing around. A few were kind enough to leave a bowl of water out for him. Other owners were wretched, kicking and pouring water on him when he ventured on their turf.

Winter had arrived and it was bitterly cold. Alfie tried to find refuge anywhere he could. Sometimes he managed to find a cardboard box to shelter in, but most of the time he had to sleep out in the open, huddled against someone’s doorway.

There had been a spate of burglaries in the neighbourhood and people were concerned that no one had been caught.

One evening around midnight, Alfie was looking for shelter when he heard someone scuffling around in the ally where he looked for food. As he approached his favourite restaurant, he saw a man trying to climb through the window breaking the glass. Alfie could feel something was wrong and started to growl. His growl soon turned into a bark and the man jumped down from the window and tried to run away. Suddenly the upstairs lights of the restaurant went on and the owner looked out of the window. He could see Alfie barking like crazy and ran downstairs to see what the matter was. The restaurant owner was astonished at what he saw when he opened the door. Alfie had taken the burglar prisoner not allowing him to move an inch.

The police were called, the burglar was arrested and the restaurants daughter convinced her father to take Alfie in, on the grounds of him being an amazing guard dog.

Alfie spent the rest of his life in a loving home, eating wonderful food and growling from time to time just to let them know he was keeping guard.

Goodnight Sleep Tight

Angelica Galea Young

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