Stage One

Darcie is a baby pug who finds a new home with a tall man and his partner. But as it turns out there is another pug sharing the same master. A much older Ellie welcomes Darcie to the family. A brand new home is a very big shock to a tiny pup, and Darcie finds life very hard to take in. Darcie needs to learn so much to catch up to Ellie; but training is harder than she thought. (DanTDM fanfic)

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1. A New Home

Darcie wiggled to the edge of the mesh and peered out, watching the little girls closely. They squealed at the kittens in the opposite enclosure, ignored the mice; and stared at the snakes. Her tail wagging hopefully, Darcie awaited her scratch on the ears or belly rub. Dingo and Bandit, her two litter brothers, ran back and forth in the cage, yipping loudly with their ears flopping. While Lady, Darcie's only litter sister, took the opportunity to eat the pup's dinner. The two human girls and their father dashed from one side of the little shop to the next; squealing and whining all the way. Finally, they reached the puppy enclosure. The first little girl had light hair, like the white kitten that mewed all night. The second girl had dark hair; like Bandit's silky black ears. They both had sky blue eyes, and seemed about the same age. The father was short and stocky, wearing a strange red object on his head that covered his hair. He watched the girls but didn't seem excited at all. Both girls picked up the border collies, yipping at their father until he repeatedly shook his head. They stroked the beagles, scratched the terriers; until they reached the pug puppies pen. By this time all the puppies were jumping against the mesh, yipping loudly. The dark haired girl smiled and reached down into the bundle of tan and black, picking up Dingo. The light haired girl picked up Lady, but promptly dropped her when Lady's little teeth bit into her arm. The father picked Lady up and roughly dropped her into the pen. Hearing the commotion, the pet keeper; a young, brunette walked up, blabbering in human language in which, of course; Darcie couldn't understand. After a while the light haired girl picked up Bandit and they walked out. Disappointing and tired, Darcie watched as both of her brothers were carried away in blue cages. The pet keeper's helper; a old, gray haired man, took the puppies to the back where mother awaited. As soon as the door was slammed shut, mother's face was full of emotions. 

"They took Bandit and Dingo," Lady explained, actually seeming a bit upset. Mother's ears flopped and she sat down heavily. Darcie snuggled up to her belly, trying to comfort her. Lady curled up beside him. 

"If you get taken tomorrow," Mother's voice cut through the barks and howls of the other dogs. "Then promise me, you'll be good." 

Darcie didn't exactly understand what a promise was, but she nodded, mimicking Lady. 

"That's my good babies." She whined, licking their heads as she laid down to sleep. Darcie closed her eyes, feeling the cold gap where Bandit's body used to warm him. She tried to sleep without the loud breathing of Dingo. She suddenly felt very vulnerable. What would happen to her if she was taken away? What if she never saw mother again? The thoughts were too hard on her little brain, and soon she was taken into little doggy dreams. 

Morning meant more sitting in the cage and waiting. The pups were fed their meal of soft meat and taken to their little enclosure. If felt different; without Dingo and Bandit. But that's how it had felt when Violet had been taken. She had been the youngest; and was soon gone. Shuffling into the soft blanket, Darcie laid her head on her paws and watched as people walked in and out, buying pets from lizards to parrots. Some people looked at the puppies but no one bought pugs. 

"I wish I wouldn't have bit her." Lady's high voice surprised Darcie. Darcie cocked her head. 

"Then Bandit wouldn't have been taken," Lady's voice was flat and unusually serious. 

"At least I'm here," Darcie barked. Lady whined, turning away. 

"Yeah, sure Darcie." 

The week went by, but nobody wanted a pug puppy. Once, a half grown human boy picked up Lady, but he put her down and left without a pet. It was many days after Dingo and Bandit had been taken; Darcie was chasing her tail on a rainy day when the doorbell jingled as it swung open and a man in a hoodie entered closely followed by a woman. The man shut the door and pulled back his hoodie. Darcie rushed up against the cage, barking hysterically. Finally some excitement! She was tired of waiting for so long in the small cage.The woman had golden hair and wore a blue jacket. The man had brown hair that hung over one of his eyes. Strange round things were around his wrists and black circles were in his ears. He spotted the puppies, eyes roving over each pen. Darcie barked louder, her little bark going over the loud barks of the golden retrievers. The man's eyes locked on Darcie's pen, and the girl spoke up and pointed; right at Darcie. The two walked over to the pen, staring down at the little pug pup. 

"Growl at them Darcie," Lady hissed. Darcie cocked her head, she had never thought of growling at a human; it seeming unthinkable. The man said something to the pet keeper and she nodded. Then he reached into the pen, hands reaching for Darcie, gently, and lovingly. Thoughts flashed through Darcie's head so fast it seemed everything was frozen in time. She thought about Dingo and Bandit; as they were carried away. She thought of mother's words, "Be good." Was growling being good? Or was she just trying to stay with her mother. She thought of the stories lady would tell about puppies being kicked by their masters. She thought a lot, then looked up into the blue eyes. They were kind, they were gentle. What was there to fear? Looking back at Lady's worried eyes, she yipped and jumped into the man's arms. The man laughed, scratching her ears and rubbing her back. Darcie's tail went back and forth like a hummingbird's wings. Lady jumped against the mesh, barking loudly,

"Bite him, jump out of his arms!" but Darcie ignored her. She knew that even though it meant leaving his mother and litter sister, the man was meant for him. The woman smiled and took Darcie from her partner's arms, cuddling him against her. Darcie yipped and licked her face. She giggled. The man picked up Lady, but she growled. Surprised, the man set her back into the pen. The woman carried Darcie to the desk. He looked back at Lady, her face sad but at the same time confused. Lady shook her head, growling. Darcie guessed she didn't like that Darcie didn't listen to her. The Man made some marks with a stick on a flat white thing, gave the pet keeper some strange smelling green flat stuff, then held out his hands to Darcie. Quickly; Darcie jumped into the man's arms, excited. The pet keeper scratched Darcie's ears one more time, then the man followed the woman out the door. Looking back, Darcie saw Lady through the window. She barked loudly, the meaning deep and soft. Darcie read it clearly. "I will miss you"

Even as much as she was going to miss her family, her excitement for life with the floppy haired man and pretty woman was more than she could explain. And she was ready for adventure with her new masters. 

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