From Riches To Rags

By writerforever

Chapter 1

New York City, November 1999

The wonderful city of New York! It is said to be the place where dreams can become reality. To many people it is a paradise, to others a place where they can make a lot of money. But too Tess, the cocker spaniel, New York City was the only home she'd ever known. Tess had been bought by an elderly lady, Joanna, who lived in the 'nice' part of New York City. The neighborhood Joanna lived in was filled with rows of nice houses but not much grass was around. There was several trees though that lined the streets.

Joanna was a widow and the heir to millions of dollars. So ever since Tess was a little puppy she had lived in luxury. Joanna treasured her cocker spaniel more than anything else since she didn't have any children or grandchildren. You'd think that having such a kind owner and a nice home that Tess would be a nice dog, but unfortunately she wasn't.

Tess's story begins in the quiet neighborhood in New York City. She was lying on the big red sofa on the second floor of her home napping. That was what she mostly did other than eat. Joanna would take her for walks sometimes but they never stayed outside long. With her long furry brown ears and tan colored fur Tess was a beautiful dog. She had big brown eyes that could look so sweet and sad at the same time.

Tess yawned and raised her head up at the sound of a door opening downstairs. She stood up and stretched and then bounded off the sofa and ran downstairs to greet Joanna.

"There's my pretty girl!" Joanna said smiling and taking Tess into her arms.

Tess wagged her tail and gently licked Joanna's hand.

"I have something for my girl. Come on and we'll try on the gift I bought you," Joanna said.

She took Tess into her bedroom which was on the second floor of the house. She sat down in front of the large mirror in her room with Tess on her lap.

"Here, let me just get it out," Joanna said pulling out a beautiful red collar with a sparkling silver license attached to it.

"Isn't it beautiful? Let's put it on," Joanna said placing the collar around Tess's neck.

Tess turned and looked at her reflection the mirror and smiled. The collar was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.

"I knew you would like it. I figured it was time to get you a new collar and as I was coming home I saw this beautiful collar in the window of a shop. So I bought it for you," Joanna said stroking Tess's back gently.

"Well I'd better go and see if Nancy is getting supper ready," Joanna said sitting Tess down on the carpeted floor.

Tess watched her leave and then she jumped back up on the chair and look at her reflection in the mirror.

"Oh this is so wonderful! I can't wait to show it off to Kara and Thomas," Tess said smiling.

Kara was a beautiful white Maltese dog that lived just next door. Thomas, the Persian cat, lived with Kara and her owners. Surprisingly Thomas got along very well with Kara and Tess and the odd threesome were good friends.

Tess turned and ran out of the room and into the kitchen where Joanna stood with Nancy, the cook. Tess walked over to the door and barked.

"Oh do you want to go out?" Joanna said walking over to the back door in the kitchen.

"I bet you're wanting to go show Kara and Thomas your new collar. Well be careful and hurry back," Joanna said opening the door for Tess to exit.

Tess barked and ran out the door in excitement. As she made her way to the house where Kara and Thomas lived Tess looked down at her new collar and smiled. She threw her head up high so anyone that was passing by could see her flashy new collar. She walked to the front door of Kara and Thomas' house and barked. John, the elderly man that owned Kara and Thomas, opened the door and looked down at Tess with a smile.

"Well hello there Tess! Come on in," he said chuckling.

"I guess you came to see Kara and Thomas. They're in the parlor," John said smiling.

Tess didn't hear him nor did she understand him. Although humans talked to their dogs, the dogs didn't really understand what the humans were really saying. To them it sounded like a foreign language.

Stepping into the cozy parlor Tess walked over to where Kara and Thomas sat on the large window seat.

"Hello Tess!" Thomas, the gray Persian cat said smiling.

"Good evening Thomas. Good evening to you too Kara," Tess said smiling as she sat down beside them.

"What are you doing?" Tess asked when she noticed both Kara and Thomas staring out the window.

"We're watching that dog down there," Kara said.

"What dog?" Tess asked glancing out the window.

"See that gray mangy looking dog in those trash cans?" Kara said nodding her head to the dog.

Tess saw the gray mangy looking dog and shuddered. The dog was no doubt a stray and he looked very thin. His rib cage was showing through his mangy fur. He looked cold and afraid as he carefully and quietly looked through the trash cans for something to eat.

"Oh that poor creature!" Kara said with sadness in her voice.

"Yes, tis a pity," Thomas said hanging his head sadly.

Tess gave an impatient sigh and rolled her eyes.

"You two are ridiculous! Here I came all the way over here to show you my beautiful new collar and all you can do is watch a mangy mutt going through trash cans!" Tess said angrily.

Both Kara and Thomas looked at her in almost disbelief.

"Well my goodness Tess. I don't think that's any reason to get so upset," Thomas said licking his paw.

"Besides that poor stray down there is more important than your ol' collar," Kara said rather harshly.

"Who cares about a pathetic stray?" Tess said rolling her eyes.

"You should care. It could be you out there going through the trash cans," Kara said.

"Well I don't care about them. They're nothing but a bunch of tramps and thieves that should be shot or put in the pound," Tess said.

"How can you say such a thing about your fellow canine? I care about all of those dogs, and cats, that are homeless and out in the cold," Kara said sadly.

"Oh Kara stop being such a ninny penny. Why do you always have to be so nice to every living creature? Trust me strays don't deserve pity," Tess said angrily.

"You are truly selfish and inconsiderate Tess. You always have been," Kara said as she turned and left the room.

"Well I never!" Tess said blowing.

Thomas sighed and went and laid down in front of the blazing fireplace.

"It's getting dark Tess. Maybe. . .you should go home," Thomas said.

"Fine! I'd rather be home with someone who actually cares about me and my beautiful collar," Tess said as she stormed out of the room angrily.

To Be Continued. . .