Ella and Penn grow much closer, partially due to their shared love for music. When the rest of the Kimballs aren't home, Penn and Ella spend time in Penn's room listening to jazz. At night, he teaches Ella to swim in the garden pool.
Ella and Ruby go for a walk, and they run into Jayne, one of Ruby's schoolmates. They decide to have a play date to dress up their pets. Ella is excited to become friends with Jayne's pet, Missy, but she soon finds out that Missy is jaded and mean.
Missy tells Ella about the horrors of life as a pet. She explains that as Ella gets older, the Kimballs will tire of her. They will sell her off to the highest bidder, and Ella will no longer be safe or have a life of ease and pampering.
30. The Truth
Ella is haunted by what Missy told her. When Ruby and Ella get home, they are welcomed by the eldest Kimball sibling, Claire, and her fiance. Claire is openly resentful towards Ella. She can sense the connection between Penn and Ella, and she warns Penn of their father's wrath.
Ella overheard the conversation between Claire and Penn, and she is hurt by what was said. She runs to Missy's house in hopes of confiding in her. Ella suggests that the two run away, but Missy doesn't want to waste the few more years on comfort and pampering that she has left. She screams for her owner, claiming Ella tried to kidnap her.
Mr. Kimball was furious when he came to pick up Ella. Once home, Ella was shackled to her bed or to a wall at all times. Ella overheard Mr. Kimball say that he was going to get Ella spayed, and Ella was horrified by that. Penn spoke to Ella later that night, and the pair decided that Ella needed to escape. It is revealed that the old pet wasn't sick, she was pregnant.