Dogs’ Happiness (Kuprin)

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Dogs’ Happiness
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A group of captured dogs discussed their fate and the cruelty of humans while being transported to a slaughterhouse, where one dog managed to escape, proving that a dog's happiness lies in its own paws.

One fine September morning, an eighteen-month-old pointer named Jack went to the market with the cook, Annushka. On the way, Jack lost sight of Annushka and decided to find his way home by scent. However, he was unable to pick up her trail and was suddenly captured by two men who put him in a cage with other dogs.

In the cage, Jack met a variety of dogs, including an old poodle named Arto, a greyhound, a dachshund, and a mouse-colored dog. They discussed their predicament and the injustice of their treatment by humans.

Jack — young brown pointer; frisky, confident, and curious; has a sense of humor.
Arto — old white poodle; wise, experienced, and resigned to his fate; circus performer.

Arto, who had been captured three times before, explained that they were being taken to a slaughterhouse where they would be fed dog's flesh and eventually skinned alive for their fur. The dogs debated whether they could ever free themselves from human authority, but Arto argued that it was impossible. He believed that a dog's happiness was entirely dependent on having a good master.

All the life of dogs, and all their happiness, is in the hands of men.

However, a violet-colored dog in the cage disagreed and claimed that a dog's happiness was in their own hands.

The Violet-Coloured Dog — rough, bristly, and daring; smeared with violet color; strong and resourceful.

When the dogs arrived at the slaughterhouse, the violet-colored dog made a daring escape by leaping over the fence, despite being injured by the sharp nails on top. The old poodle, Arto, watched the violet dog's escape and realized that he had made a mistake in his belief about a dog's happiness.