Biographical Non-Fiction posted June 29, 2017 Chapters: 3 4 -5- 6... 

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The dog in the pound nobody wanted

A chapter in the book Unwanted Dog

Unwanted Dog

by Brett Matthew West

The true story of how I was adopted by an unknown stranger I begged money from in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
"No matter what may be your lot in life, build something on it." These words from Dusty West always resonated with me.

(Time out for a short commentary):

An indictment I have always held against the system is the fact nobody wants to adopt "hard-to-place" children like I was. Everyone wants adoptees to be newborns they can raise the way they want the kid to grow up. For most perspective adopters the disease of older children, their cancer, is their age. That is the unfortunate reality of life.

For "senior citizens" of the adoption world, those who are already set in their ways, most of the time they simply age out of the system at either 18 or 21, depending on the state in which they reside. I figured that would be my lot in life. However, older children have emotions and feelings too. They need to belong to a stable environment where they receive proper guidance, not just to be window-dressing.

As I reflect on these comments, the feelings I had back then come back to me in a flood. I felt like a dog in the pound nobody wanted. You know the one I am talking about. I'm sure you've all seen them.

These are the dogs who are curled up in a tight ball in the corner of their cages with their ears pinned tightly down, and the saddest expressions on their faces. Why are they demonstrating these emotions? Because they know that no matter what they do it is never going to be enough to make anybody love them and take them home. Like these unwanted dogs, I was nothing more than a toy to be played with for a short period of time, then cast aside when something more alluring came along.

One thing was certain, come what may I would not allow any thoughts of suicide to enter my mind. On many days, self-slaughter, the very act of causing my own death, would have been a viable option. I can hear the response that comment is going to solicit.

However, unless and until you have walked a mile in the shoes of an unwanted child packed inside an orphanage like a can of sardines, can you really, honestly, and truly tell me I should not have felt that way? That I should have just kept a stiff upper lip. That everything was going to be okay. For many children in my situation at that time, those words are hollow and contain no meaning.

Suicide was not my forte, and it would have been the coward's way out. After all, I was only twelve-years-old then. I just knew there had to be a life waiting for me out there somewhere beyond the confining walls of Hermitage Hall. That is what I always held on to. That singular thought kept me going. One way or another, my ship was going to come sailing in and I would go floating away on the river I was destined to discover.

Are you aware that as of the time I am penning my autobiography, which is right now, there are more than 100,000 older kids available to be adopted? But, I digress, and don't want to become a soapbox, so I will return to my task at hand now.

(Time back in):

I departed the Shell gas station I fingered the Pepsi in and whiled away most of the afternoon aimlessly meandering around the downtown area. I had no place special to go and the rest of my life to get there. For the most part, the hoards of plebians I encountered along the way ignored my presence. I was unaware of what the event was that drew so many people, but I realized some rare occasion attracted them. I did know one thing for sure, I was not returning to Hermitage Hall if I could avoid it.

After being pushed, shoved, and batted around like the little silver orb inside a pinball machine, I finally made my way to a bridge that crossed the Cumberland River. Non-stop, bumper-to-bumper, traffic whizzed by. There appeared to be about a million vehicles in all.

"If only I could be inside one of those cars heading anywhere but here," I fantasized to myself.

My yearning would remain wishful dreaming. I had no way of leaving Nashville. I had to make do with where I was abandoned. With multitudes of people milling about it donned on me I needed to find some protection. I didn't care what it was.

My reasoning for this action became, "You never know what neurotic psychopath you might confront. So, you better be prepared for anything."

I had a real good idea of where I could locate what I hunted. I knew several vagrants were often spotted under the viaduct I approached. I'd seen them from the window of Hermitage Hall's clangorous Bluebird bus while on different day trips they provided us boys. A gun. A blade. It did not matter what the weapon was. I wanted something in my pocket just in case I confronted a situation where I needed fortification.

Feeling brazen and bold is not a good combination for a young boy with nothing but time on his hands. Time, that rhythmic mocking that never slows down for anybody. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. On and on and on and on it drones. Once each precious second is gone you can never get it back again. The clock's ceaseless ticking away reminded me so much of my endless days at Hermitage Hall.

Book of the Month contest entry


Sad eyes, by GaliaG, selected to complement this portion of my autobiography.

So, thanks GaliaG, for the use of your picture. It goes so nicely with my this portion of my autobiography.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by GaliaG at

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