"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

The Adventures of Rufus: Eric.


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Eric is a guard dog with nothing to guard.

That’s not strictly correct.

Eric isn’t expected to guard anything, not anymore.

He had a good job. He kept thieves out of the auto junkyard at night. He was bloody good at it as well.

When Eric was on duty, no one got in. He was wise to all the tricks. He could smell meat that had been laced with sleeping pills. He picked the pills out and kept the meat for later. He had a big yard to patrol and it was common for young people and thieves to make a noise on one side of the yard while their friends climbed the fence way over on the other side. Eric was wise to this tactic.

How did Eric become so wise, I hear you ask? He was well-trained. When he started his job he was no more than a pup and the junkyard dog, named Killer, took him under his wing, so to speak, and taught him the business. Killer got old and one day he didn’t come when Eric barked for him. It was sad, but Killer died on the job, and what better way to go?

Eric looks like being denied such a glorious fate.

His owner sold the junkyard to a bunch of developers and now there are heaps of identical little houses where the junkyard once was. 

Eric sits in the backyard of his masters home and stares into space. He has lost the will to live but keeps on living anyway; if you can call that living.

I go around sometimes and try to cheer him up, but it only works for a short while. Sometimes we get into discussions about the old days and he tells these excellent stories about defending the junkyard in the dead of night. I love those stories and I love watching Eric tell them. For a few short moments he comes alive, then he remembers that it is all gone and his eyes grow dim.

It breaks my heart to see him so sad.

It’s times like these that I appreciate my life and all the adventures that lay before me.

I’m a lucky dog, and I know it.

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