Summer holidays were one of the best parts of Keti’s life. Early June every year she headed to Western part of Georgia, to a beautiful village in the mountains with breathtaking views. This was a very special time – spending long days with summer-time friends and cousins, who also used to visit the village from different towns of Georgia.
It was so much fun to live in a two-floor house with her grandma, uncle, aunt, and 7 cousins. Also, a dog named Nakhula, which translates as “accidentally found”, two cats, chickens walking peacefully in the yard, cows and pigs in their part of the kingdom. One beautiful summer day, a new member appeared! Keti and her cousins were playing in the yard when they saw a medium-sized light brown dog with small spiky ears. He was standing half way through the yard waiting for the invitation to get closer to the kids. Nakhula, their dog, barked twice in a sign of invitation and in a minute kids could see two dogs eating bones from the same bowl. “Hey, Tsuga, where did you come from?” Asked Keti. Tsuga is a common name for dogs in Georgia. If one does not know a dog’s name, they can easily get the dog’s attention by calling it “Tsuga”.
A couple days went by and, Tsuga kept coming back every single day. It got to the point where it was such a common guest that Keti’s family decided to keep the dog. One day, grandma announced that she was missing her chickens. In such cases, the first suspects were always dogs. Nakhula, as their long-time dog, had strong credibility, so Tsuga became the suspect. Keti remembered what people in the village would do to the dogs not making the right decisions about what to eat and what not to eat. Therefore, she got very concerned and whispered to Tsuga: “You better behave, ok?” The second day, grandma was missing more chickens. But missing their own chickens became less of a concern when in the afternoon the neighbor showed up saying how she saw our Tsuga chasing and supposedly eating her now-disappeared chickens. When Keti’s uncle heard that story, he instantly said: “We should kick him out.” This was exactly what Keti was so scared to hear. That night Tsuga was locked in a dog’s house. Nakhula spent the night sitting by that house and exchanging low barks from time to time. That night Keti was dreaming how she and her cousins played with Tsuga happily, but all of the sudden a storm started and, after it was over, they could not find Tsuga.
Keti woke up late in the morning as she always did during the summer – no need to worry about being late for school! - but she stayed in bed longer than usual that morning. She was afraid to get up and see Nakhula alone again. Keti’s fears were true. Tsuga was gone. “Your uncle put him in a car and took him to a different village so that he does not come back,” grandma told the seven kids while having late breakfast. So the verdict was official. “How can my grandma, such a nice and kind person, be so heartless? How can she be so calm telling children that her son just abandoned a dog?” As if grandma read Keti’s thoughts, she continued: “We all will miss Tsuga, but I am sure he will find another kind family in that village and also stop eating chickens.”
The following three days were very gloomy. Nakhula refused to eat and bark, kids were not cheerful either. Keti was no longer greeting her uncle in the evenings with jumps and joy. “What’s wrong?”, the uncle asked one evening, and then left the room without waiting for the answer. He knew what was wrong. It rained heavily that night. Keti dreamt about Tsuga who was hungry and lonely in the heavy rain and had nowhere to go. All doors were locked for him.
The rain was gone in the morning. The sun was shining brightly. As the kids were eating late breakfast, Keti noticed that Nakhula began to act strangely. He was happy and excited but he was hiding this happiness. He was staring at dense bushes of flowers. Everyone rushed to the bushes and they saw Tsuga hiding there. Kids screamed with happiness. “Shall we tell grandma or not?” Keti thought to herself. But there was no need to worry about that. Grandma was already there and she seemed to be even happier than everyone else.
The entire day was full of happiness. The dogs and the kids were chasing each other, playing and having a lot of fun. All of a sudden they heard a car approaching their house. It was the uncle. As soon as Tsuga heard that sound, he rushed and hid under the bed in grandma’s bedroom. Keti made a deep breath and started: “Uncle, I have to tell you something, but you have to promise that…”. “What? Is Tsuga back?” interrupted the uncle. Kids were not sure what this question meant. But soon everything was clear. “Well, I hope he learned his lesson and will stop eating chickens”, said the uncle. Kids could see how relieved and excited he was and rushed to grandma’s room to get Tsuga and tell him that he was safe.