RUFUS: The mysterious case of the missing dog biscuits.
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.
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.