Every afternoon a group of dogs gather under the old oak tree up on the hill where they have the perfect view of their neighborhood. They rest under its shade while they wait for the children to arrive home on the big yellow bus.
There are quite a few dogs living in this neighborhood. Of course there is Kirby, a little Dorkie who lives with his human mama. There is Kai and Dovah, two huskies that live with their human mama. Jack and Toby, a chocolate lab and a golden lab, who live with their human dad. Mr. Magoo, a schnauzer, who lives with his human pawrents and three children. He is considered the wise one since his human dad is a professor who loves knowledge. Mochi, a standard poodle, who lives with her two dads and two children that came here from far away countries. And finally the fashionable yorkie trio, Douglas, Basil, and Annabelle, who live with their human pawrents. There are also a few cats and even a hamster but that’s another story.
Most afternoons are lazily quiet but on this particular day there was a lot of commotion at the house next door to Kirby’s house. Big trucks and cars were in the driveway and people were unloading lots of boxes and furniture. The dogs knew a family was finally moving into the empty house that had seemed sad for such a long time. They saw several bikes and toys which made Kirby very happy. He loved all of the children in the neighborhood, especially since he didn’t have any children of his own.
Suddenly Mr. Magoo grunted in dismay which immediately alerted all the other dogs. “What is it?”, Toby asked. “Oh dear”, said Mr. Magoo, “They have a dog but not just any dog, it’s a pit bull.” All eyes turned to see the large dog walking up the walkway to the front porch. Kirby thought she was very beautiful with her gray and white fur covering a sleek muscled body. She was wearing a pink collar with a pretty pink daisy. “She looks like a nice dog. What’s wrong with a pit bull?”, he asked as he watched her enter the house with a young boy holding the end of her leash.
Mr. Magoo, being very concerned, told them everything he knew about pit bulls from what he had heard and what he had seen on tv. The more Mr. Magoo talked, the more worried Kirby became. Such a bad dog was now living right next door to his house. How would they keep all of the children safe? How would he keep his mama safe? Most of all would he make it to the old oak tree since he would have to walk right past the pit bull’s house, not once, but twice every day.
The new family had four young children. Kirby was always a bit confused whenever he saw them playing in their backyard with the pit bull. She did seem to care about them. She was always so gentle with them. Over the next few weeks there were many times Kirby ventured into the neighbor's backyard with his mama. He really liked the children and the pit bull never acted like she wanted to hurt him. Kirby learned her name was Daisy which sounded like a sweet dog's name, but just the same, Kirby was afraid thinking maybe she only acted good when her people were around.
The first time he went into her yard Daisy eagerly trotted toward him to say hello but she stopped as he ran behind his mama's legs. She saw his body trembling and the fear in his eyes. She kept her distance from him from that point on. She wasn't the type of dog to hold a grudge so, as she watched him play with her human children, Daisy knew she would protect him if the need ever arrived.
It quickly became a daily ritual when the dogs would meet at the tree and then watch Kirby leave his house to join them. He was now always the last one because he waited until the very last minute to summon up all of his courage. He would walk to the end of his front yard near the street always seeing Daisy waiting on her front porch. Knowing she was watching him Kirby would take a deep breath and fly like the wind running as fast as he could across her yard not slowing down until he knew he was safely past any danger. He never noticed her prance down the steps, lower her head with such sadness as he zoomed by, and then slowly walk back up the steps to her porch. She never tried to catch him but he just thought that was because he was one of the fastest dogs in the neighborhood. All of the dogs on the hill would bark and wag their tails as soon as he made it which made him look very brave indeed. Mr. Magoo had told them how mean pit bulls were so inside he knew he was so very afraid of the day she might catch him.
This went on for weeks and weeks until the night Kirby’s world would be turned upside down. The night that would change everything in the neighborhood. No one noticed Kirby running into the woods behind his house just as the sun was setting. No one except Daisy, the pit bull who lived next door.