"The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's." – Mark Twain, Letter to W D Howells, 4/2/1899

Archive for August, 2014

RUFUS and the mysterious case of the missing dog biscuits.

Rufus looks out for a friend, and plays detective.

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Fortunately, I live in a town where it is safe to visit your friends.

I get yelled at occasionally, but I’m never in any real danger.

I know all the local dogs and I know which ones to avoid; like Masher who lives two streets over.

He’s completely nuts!

It’s not his fault; he never gets walked and eventually the mental strain got to be too much.

They chain him up now because he is such a danger; which just made him worse. On the odd occasion that I head around that way I can hear him a long time before I can see him. He knows I’m coming, especially if the wind is blowing in that direction. He just barks and growls and I think that if he got loose, he would surely kill me. I feel sorry for him but he scares the shit out of me; not…

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Office Disruption.

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Not Really.

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A Little Bit Excited.

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Expressive.

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Crossed.

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RUFUS: The mysterious case of the missing dog biscuits.

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Fortunately, I live in a town where it is safe to visit your friends.

I get yelled at occasionally, but I’m never in any real danger.

I know all the local dogs and I know which ones to avoid; like Masher who lives two streets over.

He’s completely nuts!

It’s not his fault; he never gets walked and eventually the mental strain got to be too much.

They chain him up now because he is such a danger; which just made him worse. On the odd occasion that I head around that way I can hear him a long time before I can see him. He knows I’m coming, especially if the wind is blowing in that direction. He just barks and growls and I think that if he got loose, he would surely kill me. I feel sorry for him but he scares the shit out of me; not that I show it; show weakness and you are dead-meat.

There are a few others like Masher, but mostly it’s an easy-going neighbourhood; we all tend to get along.

I make it sound like I wander around the neighbourhood a lot; I don’t. Most of the time I’m looking out for my mistress.

She’s a writer.

That means that she makes up stories and writes them on paper and other humans get all excited and want to read them.

“That’s where the dog biscuits come from Rufus”, she says to me.

Personally I thought they came from that big building where all the food is kept; the one that I’m not allowed in, but what would I know?

My mistress writes every day.

Her favourite place is in the bay window on the north side of our house. “It catches the winter sun”.

That’s another thing she often says, though usually not to me.

I sit on the rug by the fire and keep a sleepy watch; that’s my job; I keep her safe.

Human’s can’t smell or hear as well as we can so trouble often gets very close before they notice.

So far I have saved her from all sorts of things; bad boyfriends —- I bit that one on the arse; the postman —— he doesn’t deliver here any more, we have to drive into the village to collect the mail and usually I get to go along.

There is nothing better than being in an open top car with your mistress.

Bliss.

It’s my favourite thing.

She got a bit annoyed about the postman, but I tried to tell her that anyone who rides a squeaky bicycle is definitely up to no-good.

My biggest triumph was saving her from that murderer at the stately house we were staying at; but that’s a story for another day.

As I said, my mistress and I are together most of the time and if she goes somewhere she usually takes me with her, but every now and then she goes off and leaves me at home ‘to guard the house’.

Which is just plain silly: the house doesn’t need guarding; people need guarding.

The house only needs guarding if my mistress is in it —— everyone knows that.

The first couple of times she left me behind I went looking for her.

I was very worried; how was I expected to protect her if I couldn’t see her; didn’t know where she was?

After the first few times I still got anxious but she always came back unharmed so I decided to ‘suck it up’ and put my time to good use.

Us dogs are very social animals.

We don’t like everyone but we do like to find out if we are going to like them.

So when my mistress is away I like to do a bit of traveling; it’s not as much fun as traveling with her but it’s fun all the same.

I try to visit the ones who never get out, the ones who never get walked; they are in the greatest need.

There are a pair of Labradors on Sophia Grove who are a lot of fun.

He gets a bit too excited but she is calm and very funny.

She sits by the fence and gathers all the gossip from the dogs going by. She has a very exciting time and she knows everything about everyone.

If you have a secret, don’t tell her.

One or two of my friends are able to get out without their masters knowing [I’m the only dog I know who has a mistress] and sometimes we meet up or they come to my place.

I alway keep an extra bone buried for just such an occasion.

My best recent adventure involved the Beagle who lives on Ross Street. He’s the best escape artist I know but he gets into heaps of trouble for running away. He can find a way out of any enclosure but he always forgets how he did it so when it is time to go home they always find him on the outside of the fence, pacing up and down. He’s a good dog, and a good friend but really, he’s not that bright.

He’s been picked up by the dog catcher a couple of times and me and a few of the other locals have tried to teach him how to recognise the danger and what to do if he sees the dog catcher but I guess, being so close to the ground puts him at a disadvantage and he never seems to see the human coming.

His owner gets really mad at having to go and collect him. “No more dog biscuits for you Fred. All the money for biscuits went to pay your fine”.

Fred doesn’t understand the relationship between money and food so he can’t see what all the fuss is about.

Which brings me to the adventure.

When Fred’s master finally let him have dog biscuits again, they kept mysteriously going missing. His master got really mad and accused Fred of somehow breaking into the storage shed and stealing the biscuits.

Fred didn’t do it; he told me so, and I believed him.

It took a little while but I worked it out.

It involved the Dingoes that live on Sandells Road.

Dingoes are almost as good as Beagles at escaping but the difference is that they know how to get back in and make it look like they never left —- pretty smart.

They knew that Fred wasn’t all that bright so they hatched a plan.

The female Dingo engaged Fred in a little ‘conversation’ while the male climbed the fence, opened the shed door with his teeth and carried off the tin containing the biscuits, after first closing the door ——- very clever; classic diversionary tactic.

But they didn’t reckon on me.

I caught them at it one particularly fine spring afternoon when my mistress had left me at home ‘to guard the house’.

They were so embarrassed at being caught that they promised not to do it again, and as everyone knows, a Dingo’s word is their bond.

All this made Fred very happy and his master stopped being annoyed, and I was a hero for a couple of days but you are only as good as your last adventure so I went looking for my next one.

It didn’t take me long to find it.

It involved a bucket, a bunch a sea crabs and a time bomb, but that story is going to have to wait for another day.

My mistress is due home very soon so I have to get back.

I look after her; it’s my job.

 

You can find some of Rufus’s other adventures here………..
https://araneus1.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/rufus-goes-to-the-country/
https://araneus1.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/rufus-finds-a-body/
https://araneus1.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/rufus-and-millie-not-a-love-story/

Sightseeing Dog.

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Boof Needs A New Home.

Even though this story is ultimately about Boof seeking a new home, reading the previous story ‘Boss Lady’ will help you to understand why and how Boof came to find his new owner.

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Fiction: Short Story.
If you read ‘Boss Lady’ first you may find that it enhances your enjoyment of this story.

The old bloke blew up and I’m on the run.

Not that I blew him up, not directly that is, but there seems to be a consensus of opinion that I had something to do with it. It’s a consensus of one, but despite the statistically small sample, I’m inclined to agree.

An old photograph started it all.

My dad loved photography and I grew up surrounded by chemicals, photographic paper and drying prints. I even learned the lingo and I was mixing precise amounts of appropriate chemicals before I learned my times tables. I knew about paper grades and apertures and long lenses well before I knew why girls were put on this earth. When I did work out why girls were here it did me no end of good to be able to take portraits that flattered.

I didn’t own a motorcycle but I did have a camera.

It was a photo that got me into this mess; whatever this mess is.

That’s the largest part of the problem; I’m on the run, trying to stay alive and I haven’t got the faintest idea why someone wants to kill us.

Yes, there is an ‘us’; my friend Malcolm.

He’s not very happy with me at the moment because these same mysterious ‘someones’ are trying to kill him as well.

Personally I think he should be very happy.

He’s been mixed up in conspiracy theories all his adult life and he’s never seen any action.

Now he is in the middle of a real life, do-or-die conspiracy.

Isn’t that what he has longed for?

Apparently not.

File it under ‘careful what you wish for because you just might get it’.

It’s true that Malcolm is mad at me but he didn’t have much time to really get going because we really needed to ‘get going’.

We both knew, without saying it out loud, that running was probably a waste of time.

These people find people for a living ——- then they kill them for a living; but a few days freedom was not to be scoffed at.

We knew that there was a good chance that they would catch at least one of us so we made a pact; if they got one of us we would give up the other one’s location.

I know that sounds a bit strange but we are both basically cowards and not enamoured with pain so it seemed easier to just cough up the information.

I was heading North and Malcolm was heading West, and that was as much as we knew of each other’s destination.

It seemed reasonable to assume that they would pit one of us against the other so we devised a plan.

If Malcolm got caught first he would include the word ‘pineapple’ in any email he sent me and I would use the word ‘mining’ if they had me. If they demanded that we lure the other one out into the open, these code words would not seem out-of-place in an email, because both of these words have a direct relationship to the areas we were headed to.

I always have a heap of cash on hand but it is a long way to Queensland and my old car is heavy on petrol, so a lot of my reserves will disappear into the pocket of an oil company.

Not using my credit card made sense but my car being recognised presented a different problem.

I like this car and I don’t want to dump it so I took my collection of old number plates that I have assembled over the years and put two of them on the car at my first stop.

They don’t match but as long as I don’t get stopped for speeding I should be okay.

Numberplate Recognition Software is a bitch but with a bit of luck, if I don’t draw attention to myself, I should be able to hang on to my car.

I love this car.

I stopped to change the plates at Seymour, not far from the Army base.

I’m not sure why, but my next stop was at Violet Town, the scene of a terrible train crash back in 1969.

One of the drivers died of a heart attack a few miles before he crashed head on into a train coming the other way.

It was a huge story when I was a kid.

Being late in the day, I decided to check into a caravan park and stay the night.

As it turned out, I stayed three nights.

I just wanted to be off the road for a while.

The caravan park was nice enough, situated near a stream with lots of mature Red Gums, growing on the banks.

A couple of the residents looked as though they were permanent.

One bloke in particular caught my eye.

He was two spaces down from mine and he owned a big brown dog named ‘Boof’.

He treated that dog very badly and I made a mental note to kick him in the head if I ever found him lying somewhere drunk; which was a district possibility.

In the end, I did the next best thing.

After spending three pleasant days sitting and eating in the Violet Town cafe I decided it was time to hit the road again.

I paid my bill and when I got back from the office Boof was sitting next to my car with a look on his face that said, “Please take me with you”. What was I supposed to do, leave him there to be abused by that half-wit?

Boof rode ‘shotgun’ and didn’t even glance as we drove past his old home.

He took to traveling like he had been at it his whole life.

I got the feeling that he had been practicing for this for a long time. He was patiently waiting for the right person to come along so he could escape his miserable existence.

Now there were two escapees heading north, and one of them had more sense than the other.


Rufus and Millie: Not a Love Story.

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Given the choice, I’d take humans over Magpies, any day.

I’m sure there are good ones out there; Magpies, that is. But on the whole they are a cheeky bunch of bastards.

I’m not lumping all birds in with Magpies, mind you.

Some of them sing a beautiful song and go about the business of living without making my life more difficult; and more power to them.

Apart from the ones who swoop around the neighbourhood my first ‘up close’ view of a Magpie was Millie.

What a strange name.

I can see a person being named Millie, but a Magpie; I ask you?

I guess the human who was looking after Millie liked the way it sounded, either that or it was the name of his former girlfriend.

I guess I’ll never know.

I’m just a dog after all, and no one tells me anything.

That’s not completely true; my mistress tells me stuff all the time.

She reads me her stories, when she is finished writing them, and she asks me what I think.

I can’t tell her of course, but she seems to sense when I like one and when I don’t. I try to let her know by wagging my tail or howling. She seems to know the difference.

Her stories are a bit ‘kissy’ and ‘loveydubby’, but I try to overlook that stuff.

I’m interested in the plot.

I particularly like it when there is a dog in it doing wonderful things. Like Rex The Wonder Dog. He’s German, but he doesn’t bark with an accent. He gets to solve crimes and bite bad guys, and no one tells him off. 

But, back to Magpies.

Millie had lost her tail feathers when she was attacked by a cat, and this human my mistress knows took her in and looked after her until her new feathers grew back. His name is John and you can just tell that he is a good human; at least I can tell. Dogs know stuff, we can smell good people. It’s hard to explain but there is a glow about them, and they smell good. I’m sorry if that sounds a bit vague but I’m a dog after all and we don’t use a lot of words, but we do know a good person when we see one.

Millie had the run of John’s house and she knew it.

She would wait while Chester and I were sleeping in the sun and she would sneak up and try to steal some of our fur while we were still wearing it!

She’s welcome to the bits that fall out, but you have to draw a line somewhere.

Chester is John’s dog, and he reckons that this is the place to be. He reckons that his owner is the best human ever. I tend to disagree and we have had a few heated discussions on the subject but these days we would rather sleep in the sun than bite each other on the arse.

Speaking of cats; what is the point of a cat?

They can’t do anything useful.

They are no good at defending anything; they just ‘leg it’ up a tree if a fight breaks out; totally pointless. Why do humans put up with them?

I heard a young human say that, ‘He likes cats, but he couldn’t eat a whole one.”

I could; not that I have, but I could; just saying.

Just to show you how ungrateful Magpies are, when Millie grew her feathers back she just flew away; never came back, not even for a visit.

John was a bit sad, but he said he was expecting it, “That’s Nature”. Well if that’s Nature, you can keep it. Dogs have a better idea of how to behave.

If a human takes you in; saves your life; rescues you; you look after him or her. You protect them; you play with them, and you keep them warm when they are cold, and most importantly, you listen to them and you try to look like you understand, even if you don’t. Humans get lonely very easily, just like dogs. I guess that’s why we understand each other so well.

I like it here at John’s place. It’s one of those houses where dogs are welcome. Some of my mistress’s friends don’t like dogs and I don’t know why she puts up with them. They sit around and giggle about stuff. What the hell is the good of giggling about stuff?

I kind of miss Millie. She was a pain in the butt, but she was part of the pack, at least for a while. I hope she is okay. It’s a cold hard world out there if you don’t have a pack to look out for you.

Sorry, I have to go.

My mistress is calling me, and that means I get to ride in the car. I always ride ‘shotgun’ even when there are other humans in the car.

I’ll miss Chester, but we will be back soon.

Maybe Millie will have come back for a visit by then. Chester will let me know if she has.

I think he misses her as much as I do, but he wouldn’t admit it.

He’s ShihTzu, and they think they’re hard.

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