A dead body smells funny.
Not funny exactly; more strange than funny.
I found it, and it’s mine.
Humans aren’t supposed to smell like that, and they aren’t supposed to lie that still.
I sniffed where the breath should be and nothing came out.
I’m definitely claiming it but I’m not sure what to do with it.
I need help. I need my mistress, and the best way to get her to come is to bark really loud.
I have different barks for different occasions and she seems to understand most of them, which is great because it means that we can share stuff. She likes my ‘happy to see you bark’ best of all, even if it does wake everyone up when it is dark outside.
That’s another thing; why do humans insist on wandering around after it has gotten dark? Dark means it’s time to go to sleep. Every dog knows that. You need your rest. When the sun comes up you may have to go hunting or look for water and you don’t want to be tired; it could get you killed.
Killed; that’s the word I was trying to think of.
This human has been killed.
Maybe he wandered too far away and didn’t have the protection of his pack.
I sniffed him all over and I don’t think that he has had a bath recently.
Humans wash way too often.
They also try to disguise their smell with other smells. It makes it difficult, but not impossible, to tell where they have been, what they have been eating, and who they have brushed up against.
We are away from home and I don’t know all the smells around here and I haven’t worked out where the danger might come from so I was out early, thanks to a door that was left open. I was having a wee and good look around.
It’s my job to keep her safe.
She reckless at times and I’m not talking about her driving; I rather like the way she drives and I love being in her car.
My barking, which was only for my mistresses ears, has attracted a couple of other humans.
I’m trying to tell them that this body is mine, but they don’t seem to be listening.
I don’t want to have to bite one of them because that causes all sorts of trouble; except for that one time when that young fellow was rough housing with my mistress and the game got too rough and she started to cry out. She called my name and I naturally thought that she wanted me to join in with their game; which didn’t happen all that often.
I ran into the room and landed on top of this fellow who was on top of my mistress. He seemed to be winning the game and he didn’t like me joining in. He tried to swipe me with his arm, but I was way too fast for him. Then, he rather loudly used a few words I didn’t understand and tried to kick me while still holding my mistress down. It was then that I realised that this wasn’t a game and my mistress was very frightened, so I did what any responsible dog would do, I bit him on the arse. That’s the correct word, isn’t it; arse? Drew blood, and he used a few more words that I hadn’t heard before. I checked with a friend who has a man for a master and he said that he hears those words a lot.
It seems that biting this fellow was the right thing to do though I wasn’t thinking much at the time, I just reacted to my mistresses fear.
I didn’t get into trouble or anything.
I even got an extra bone and lots of cuddles, which I don’t particularly like, but I put up with it because it makes her happy.
We didn’t see that fellow again so I never got to find out how well his bottom healed. I was a bit worried because the bite was in a place that he was going to find difficult to lick. I hoped that it wouldn’t get infected.
Now, it’s really getting difficult.
A whole bunch of humans are trying to deprive me of my dead body.
“It’s mine, get off”.
No use; there are too many of them.
I can hear a few words that I know. Someone said ‘fell’, and someone else said ‘pushed’. A whole bunch of people said ‘dead’.
I could have told them that.
I could have told them who pushed him if they had bothered to ask. I recognised the smell on his back. It was different from all his other smells, and I thought it might belong to someone else.
That ‘someone’ just walked past me.
Thank goodness, my mistress is here. She’s sure to ask me who did it. She’s very smart and it’s my job to keep her safe.
I wonder if it will be harder to keep her safe if I tell her who the killer is?
Should I just keep quiet and keep an eye out, or should I tell?
Artist Lawrence Wilbur
Artist Leonid Afremov