So much depends on a good dog watching a red wheelbarrow……
This story leads on from these two stories and it will enhance your reading pleasure if you read them first…..
I didn’t tell her straight away.
How do you tell your mistress that her boss, the person who helps her to get the money to buy dog food, pushed someone out of a window.
I have no idea why he did it, and it probably wouldn’t help even if I did.
Dogs understand that killing is serious. We only kill to obtain food and to protect our pack.
Humans, on the other hand, seem to kill for all sorts of reasons; sometimes, even for fun.
That I will never understand.
After I found the body in the garden all hell broke loose.
Pretty soon, the house and the gardens were swarming with men in uniform.
I heard someone say that they were policeman.
I’d only met one policeman up until then.
His name was Officer Eric, and he was very kind. He worked in the police station in the village where we lived.
He knew my mistress and he saved me from the new dog catcher.
The old dog catcher knew me very well and he would scratch me behind the ears when he saw me walking by. He knew that I always went home when I was finished traveling, and he also knew that I don’t cause trouble.
The new bloke didn’t know me from Adam, or Eric, for that matter.
He grabbed me.
Now, normally I wouldn’t let anyone get that close without giving them a ‘back off’ bark, but he confused me. He smelled like the old dog catcher; he must have been wearing his uniform; that’s why he got close enough to grab me. I would have bitten the bastard, but he had this long stick with a loop of rope on the end and I couldn’t get at him.
Officer Eric must have been driving by when all this kicked off because he came over and said something to the new dog catcher.
He had to raise his voice a bit and point to his policeman’s badge but eventually the new dog catcher let me go. That was my opportunity to bite the cheeky bastard, but I thought better of it and went and sat next to Officer Eric. He gave me a pat and told me it was going to be okay. The new dog catcher gave me one of those looks, and I knew I was going to have to keep an eye on him in the future.
Officer Eric gave me a ride in his police car.
I love riding in cars.
He even turned on the siren which made me howl.
I wasn’t upset or anything, I just need to howl when I hear a siren.
Officer Eric often turns on his siren when he comes to visit, just to watch me howl. Sometimes he even joins in.
I like Officer Eric. He saved me, and one day I will get to return the favour.
Officer Eric wasn’t called to the house with the dead body but a lot of other policemen were.
They asked a lot of questions, but they didn’t sniff anyone which seemed silly to me.
It took me a little while to find the person I had sniffed when everyone came to see the body.
I’m still a bit annoyed that they would not let me keep it; I found it after all.
My mistress explained that humans don’t think like dogs, and dead bodies have to be examined [whatever that means] and then buried in the ground.
That bit I understood.
If you don’t bury stuff in the ground other dogs might come along and steal your stuff; so at least humans understand that bit.
I got to thinking about how long it would take to dig a hole big enough to bury a human in and I worked out that it would take at least half a day. That’s a lot of time, and I think that I would be very sleepy and very hungry by the time I had finished. Fortunately, they didn’t ask me to bury anyone; even though I could have if they’d asked me.
By the time that the short, chubby, French sounding gentleman with the funny moustache had gathered everyone together in the library most of the humans had changed clothes and bathed.
This made my job a lot harder; but not impossible.
On a good day, if you breathed on me after eating Spaghetti Bolognese, I could tell you what all the ingredients were, and whether or not you used enough Oregano.
I’m that good.
I thought I had narrowed it down to two people but I was hampered by not being allowed to wander around while the short French-speaking gentleman was talking. He got quite annoyed when someone called him ‘an annoying little frog’. Personally, I didn’t think that he looked like a frog at all.
I thought he looked more like a large possum but apparently he thought that he looked like ‘an annoying little Belgian’.
I’m not sure, but I think that is some sort of Hedgehog.
I was a bit confused by all this, but very soon I got my man.
I heard it before I sniffed it.
The sound was very soft.
The sort of sound that only dogs can hear.
My mistresses’ publisher farted.
My mistress calls farts ‘blue smoke’, which is silly because they don’t have a colour, but they do tell you a lot about the person, or dog, who lets one go.
Roast beef, potatoes, peas, rice pudding, and a Cuban Cigar for ‘afters’; not to mention a rather nice Port.
But it was the Cigar that gave him away.
It was the same as the smell that I picked up when I found the body.
He was the only one who smoked a cigar that night.
I remember him making a big deal out of how much they cost.
“One of these would keep you in dog biscuits for a month boy”, he said to me. I considered peeing on his shoe, but I thought better of it.
I wanted to warn my mistress, but in the end I didn’t need to.
The little Belgian shaped person actually asked me who I thought had committed the murder.
I looked at my mistress and she said, “It’s okay Rufus, you can tell him”.
So I did.
I walked over and put my paw on the publisher. He looked at me with a mixture of amusement and horror.
The small Belgian shaped person said that he agreed with me and went on talking about it for fifteen minutes after which two policemen took the publisher outside.
Amazingly, the small Belgian shaped person never once mentioned how the killer smelled.
I just don’t understand humans.
My mistress was very happy with me and we went on an extra long walk.
I thought that she might be a bit upset that her publisher was the murderer, but she said that she was happy because it meant that she didn’t have to write anymore annoying romance novels. Now she could write crime novels and her first effort would be based on this weekend.
“We are going to be able to afford the large bag of dog biscuits when my new book gets published Rufus.”
I was very pleased to hear this, but I wondered who was going to publish this book if her publisher was in Gaol.
I didn’t wonder for long because that’s not my job.
My job is to protect my mistress, and I had done my job well.
I could hardly wait to get home and tell the other dogs in our neighbourhood about our adventure.
But first there would be that delicious ride in my mistresses’ Legonda.
Only this time I had to ride in the back because the little Belgian shaped person was coming with us.
He needed a ride back to town.
I wanted to ask him what a Belgian was but it would have taken too long, so I let it go.
I wasn’t very happy sitting in the back seat, but what can you do?
By now, you probably know that Rufus has an interesting life for a small black dog. He has been on many adventures and you can find some of the here…..
Having a Blackbird for a friend is a little unusual.
I know it.
I’m not ashamed, and when you know how it came about I think you will understand.
Her partner disappeared in the middle of last spring and she was left to bring up her two chicks all by herself; not an easy task.
She managed it very well and they flew off into the world happy and healthy and a little bit wise. Not too much though; you know how young ones are.
She had been mated to George for several years and each spring he would risk his life to bring back enough food to feed his insatiable family. I couldn’t understand why they did it, year in and year out; it seemed like such a hassle.
I’ve seen exhausted blackbird parents run into windows and get hit by cars. Blackbirds seem not to care about their own safety when they are feeding their little ones.
I don’t have any pups; at least, not that I know of.
I’ve never been partnered up with a bitch; I’m a love ‘em and leave ’em kind of dog.
Mind you, I nearly settled down with Sophie.
She was a gorgeous little blond Maltese and she lived quite close by. Her mistress wouldn’t let her out of the yard but I often went around there anyway.
We would sit by the fence and I would imaging making love to her, doggy style, of course.
She was up for it.
That’s one of the good things about being a dog.
If we see someone we REALLY like, we suggest it, and if she is willing, we get stuck in, so to speak.
I don’t have to buy her dinner and she doesn’t expect me to call her the next day, but she does expect me to find a good, juicy bone and bring it by.
It’s the least I can do for a pretty bitch.
But, there was none of that with Sophie; I just couldn’t get at her. It was driving us both nuts, but I was too short to get over that fence, so now I just dream about her.
Her mistress moved away and Sophie went with her.
That’s life I guess.
I suppose you are wondering about the blackbird I mentioned earlier. She was different to all the other birds.
For starters, she didn’t steal my fur when I was sleeping in the sun.
She would fly down and sit on that plant pot that is just by the pond and tweet very softly so as to wake me up gently. “May I please have some of your old fur so that I can line my nest?”
How could I refuse such a polite request?
“Sure thing lady. I’ll try and keep the bits that fall out in one place, and if that isn’t enough, just let me know and you can have a little bit of the fur that hasn’t fallen out. But just a little, mind you.”
“That won’t be necessary. The bits that fall out will be sufficient for my needs.” She spoke beautifully.
I could tell that she was well-educated.
It was sad when George didn’t come home that night.
She waited for him for days and days.
She must have been very hungry, but she was frightened to leave the nest in case her chicks got cold.
In the end, I had to do something, so I stole one of my mistresses wooly socks.
The nest was not too high up, but I can’t climb for shit so I yelled out, “Hey lady. Take this sock and put it on your chicks and then go and get something to eat while you still have enough energy to fly.”
I pushed the sock as high up the trunk of the tree as I could, but she was too weak to fly with it.
Fortunately, it was late in the day and the flock of cockatoos was close by. They come our way late in the day. They make a terrible noise and I tend towards the school of thought that says we should bark a lot and frighten them away, but today I needed help.
The problem with cockatoos is that they all look the bloody same, and I needed to find one particular cockatoo.
Jeremy wasn’t born in the wild.
He escaped from a backyard cage and joined the flock a couple of years ago. He told me all about it one sleepy Saturday afternoon and it’s a hell of a story but I don’t have time to tell you that one just now.
It took a little while, but I eventually found Jeremy.
I told him what I was trying to do and he said he would help.
He’s a big bird so getting the sock up into the tree was no bother for him.
He’s a bachelor like I am, so he doesn’t get the whole ’family’ thing but he’s a mate, so he doesn’t mind helping out.
When he first escaped he didn’t know much about looking out for himself and he got pounced on by a large tabby cat.
He lost a few tail feathers and was putting up a pretty good fight when I stepped in.
Cats don’t mess with me, they know I mean business.
I’ve got a reputation.
Jeremy was a bit embarrassed about the whole thing and he said he could have taken that cat on his own, but he did say thank you, and we have been friends ever since.
I introduced him to the flock.
They don’t like me much due to all the barking and the chasing, but they took him in anyway; which was good.
The sock did the trick and the Blackbird got stronger and the chicks got bigger.
You can still see that sock if you look really carefully, it’s way up on the right; in that fork.
Do you want to know the nicest bit?
She brought me the longest piece of red thread, just to say thank you.
I don’t know what I’m going to do with it but I was very touched.
Maybe I’ll loan to her so that she can dress up this year’s nest, and if she doesn’t need it I know this Robin who collects red threads.
By now, you probably know that Rufus has an interesting life for a small black dog. He has been on many adventures and you can find some of the here…..
“Three minutes of happiness borrowed from a dog”.
“Friday is the best day of the week.”
My mistress says that a lot.
I’m not absolutely sure why she says it; one day is pretty much the same as another to me.
I don’t have favourite days.
There are only ‘days’, and I like all of them.
That’s not to say that some don’t turn out better than others, but at the beginning, they are all great.
The night has passed, we are rested and nothing bad happened. I probably had to chase away a possum or a fox but that is business as usual.
Now the day stretches out before us.
My mistress will make coffee after sitting on that strange water-filled chair. Personally, I prefer peeing on a tree, it seems more natural, but those water-filled chairs can come in handy. I got locked in the house once, without a water bowl. I was hungry, but it was the thirst that was the worst.
The water is a long way down and I nearly fell in.
Thirst will make you do strange things.
Somehow my mistress manages to bring home food, which is good.
She says the food comes from her writing, “Got to get back to work Rufus, that’s where those dog biscuits come from”. That doesn’t make sense to me, but I try not to worry about it too much.
That’s her job and my job is to protect her; I take my job very seriously. I’m at a bit of a disadvantage because I’m not very big.
I have friends who are big, the Dingoes who live close by for example. They would come in handy if a fight broke out.
I sound worried, but I’m not; it’s very quiet around here, but you never know, and you should never drop your guard.
That’s what Bluey told me.
He was a very old Greyhound.
He was big, and I do mean big.
He was once a champion runner. He could run really fast. He was very wise and he risked ridicule by befriending a small dog.
Actually, I was only a pup and I didn’t know that I was supposed to be afraid of him; everyone else was.
I wandered into his yard one sunny day and the young dogs I was playing with started shouting at me to come away.
I was young and I didn’t listen.
They ran away, but I kept on walking.
Next thing I know there is a giant shadow over me.
I turned around and there was the second biggest dog I had ever seen. The biggest dog I had ever seen was Tinker Bell.
He was as thick as two short planks, whatever they are, and he didn’t live very long.
He had an argument with a bus and the bus won.
Dumbest dog ever.
So there I was, in the shade of a huge old greyhound.
He didn’t growl at me, he didn’t have to. I knew I was in a spot of bother.
He looked down at me, from a great height, and asked me why I didn’t run away like the other pups did.
I told him I was curious, I wanted to know who lived here.
He smiled, at least I think it was a smile, I haven’t spent much time around greyhounds.
He asked me if I was hungry. I’m always hungry so I said yes.
He walked a short distance and dug up a small bone. I think it had been in the ground for a long time because it smelled great. He offered it to me but he asked that I not tell anyone that he had done it. “I’ve got a reputation to uphold”.
We talked for a long time; at least it seemed like a long time to me but it might not have been, I got distracted very easily back then.
When it was time for me to go he asked me what my human called me.
I said “Rufus”.
He said he liked that name but here I would be known as ‘Small, Black, Brave, and Furry’.
He said I could come back and visit any time I liked.
Sadly, I didn’t take him up on that offer nearly often enough.
One day I wandered in and I was met by his human.
“He’s not here little fella. He died last night. Just got old I guess. He loved your visits, they made him feel young again.” The human’s eyes were very red. He looked like he had a cold and his voice sounded funny.
I kind of knew what ‘died’ meant.
Mostly it meant that you would not see that person again and you would not be able to talk to them, and you felt very sad when you thought of them.
Bluey taught me heaps of stuff and I like to remember our talks.
There is a little poodle pup who sometimes comes and visits me and I try to look out for him the way that Bluey looked out for me.
You have to look after the young ones; they don’t know a lot of stuff and they have to grow up very fast if they are going to survive.
It’s a fun job, I can see why Bluey enjoyed it so much.
Every time I feel like running really fast, I think of him.
Rufus gets around a bit. If you would like to read some more of his stories you can go here………………