"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 June, 2015

Rufus: and a Room Full of Christians.


Birthday cake tastes funny.

I know this because people kept feeding it to me.

“It’s dry and tasteless, but you’re welcome to it”.

I didn’t know what they meant, but I also didn’t care; food is food.

It’s unusual for my mistress to take me to a party and even more unusual for me to be allowed inside.

Very shiny floor; hard to stand up.

Lots of very small humans to play with.

They have sticky fingers and they think it is fun if I lick them.

The big humans seem to be very judgemental. Dogs don’t judge. We just like some people and avoid others.

For a long time, I thought that the person having the birthday was named Jesus, but it turned out to be a woman named Jean. She is very old, even for a human.

I never did find out who Jesus was, but everyone seemed to know him.

The little humans played with me and the big humans patted me and some even scratched me behind the ears.

Birthday cake, bits of ham and something called potatoes.

I had an excellent day, but my mistress wasn’t happy.

“No bloody booze at the party. Bloody Christians!”


Peace and Quiet.


That wasn’t his name, but it is what we called him.

‘Peace and Quiet’.

He lived with a family that had nine children. He loved kids, which was just as well. Usually, he could keep up with them: play with them until they dropped. In order to keep up this frenetic pace, he occasionally needed a bit of peace and quiet.

He had a favourite spot just behind the old brick shed at the back of the house where the shaggy dog lived. The shaggy dog didn’t mind him being there, he understood because his family had a lot of children when he was a pup.

We didn’t bother him during his quiet time. He was a good dog and we wanted him to be happy.



I was lonely and I’d almost given up.

Dogs aren’t meant to live alone.

I remember being in the litter with my whole family, but now, there was just me.

My owner bought me to ‘protect the place’.

I don’t mind. I like protecting stuff, but as time went by I saw my owner less and less. Some days he forgot to bring me some food. I did my job. I barked every time someone got close to the yard. I could have done a better job if I hadn’t been chained up, but I did the best I could under the circumstances.

I had a little house to sleep in, but it did get very cold at night, but as my mum used to say to me, “If you are lucky enough to find an owner, find out what job he wants you to do and do it as well as you can.”

I tried very hard, but I was lonely and hungry most of the time. Sometimes my water bowl ran out of water. That was very unpleasant. In the winter, there were always puddles to drink out of but the summer could be brutal.

All that was before Sally moved in next door. I know her name is Sally because she told me so.

“Hi doggie, my name is Sally and there is nothing to be frightened about.”

I wasn’t frightened and my name wasn’t ‘doggie’ but there was something about this human that I liked. She smelled good.

I barked at her a bit because it was my job, but she knew my heart wasn’t in it.

She was very gentle and she seemed to understand my language. She approached me ‘side on’ just like dogs do when they want you to know that they mean no harm. I let her scratch behind my ears. No one had done that for a very long time.

Sometimes, after she finished her work, she would come and sit with me and tell me about her day.

Her boss was an arsehole, apparently, and he did not appreciate her.

She had a boyfriend and he was a lot better than the boyfriends she had had in the past. I was looking forward to meeting him, but she said he was afraid of dogs.

She said that he would come around; that he would learn to love and understand dogs.

She said that she hoped that he would ask her to marry him and if he did she would move in with him. This worried me a bit but then she said that if he did propose she would borrow his bolt cutters, jump the fence and cut me loose. I would become her dog. I liked the sound of that.

He might ask her to marry him and he might not, I will just have to wait and see. But, in the meantime, I’m here, eating my dinner in the rain, protected by Sally’s umbrella.

Dogs don’t hope, but if they did, they would hope for an owner like Sally.

Report Card.

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Each morning I wake him up with a lick on the nose.

He loves it. He laughs, and we wrestle, and he falls out of bed.

I sit next to him at the breakfast table, and when his mum isn’t looking, he drops pieces of bacon and toast. They are the day’s best treats. Stolen treats are the best.

He gathers up his books and leaves through the front gate; I’m not allowed to go with him. I so want to go with him. All those happy children to play with.

One day, he didn’t shut the gate properly, and I was able to prize it open with my nose. I followed his scent to his school and his classroom. I sniffed at his door and barked; just a few barks, so he would know I was there. His teacher opened the door, and I rushed in.

It was wild!

Some of the children were screaming because they were afraid of dogs; what the hell is that about? And, some were screaming because they like dogs; that I understand. I got lots of pats, and I got to lick lots of children; children taste great.

Eventually, his teacher caught up with me while I was being patted by a very pretty little girl. She made him take me home, and she asked the pretty little girl to go with him.

I got into all sorts of trouble for breaking out of the front yard, but I didn’t care. I now knew where he went every day, and at the first opportunity, I was going to find him again.

Mostly I wait patiently for him to come home, which he always does. We play, and he gives me some of the sandwiches that his mum makes for him.

Today, something is wrong. He’s crying. He is clutching a small piece of paper, and it is making him sad. He hasn’t told me what is wrong, but I am going to sit here with him until he feels better.

That is what I do. I stay close by, and I wait.

He is my best friend.

Rufus verses Spring.


I’m only a dog so I’m not supposed to know that this is called Spring.

The humans don’t know it, but us dogs know lots of stuff, it’s just that we keep it quiet. It’s always better to listen than to speak. Dogs know this, and humans are still learning.

Take these two birds for example. They have a real conversation going on.

The male bird is trying to talk the female bird into starting a family. She is pretending not to be interested, and he is having to work very hard to convince her.

She’ll give in. I know she likes him, and more importantly, she believes that he will be a good father.

This is important because it takes a two birds and a lot of energy to raise a nest full of chicks.

The chicks drive me crazy sometimes. I often fall asleep under this tree and they swoop down and pull my ears. I have even caught them trying to extract some of my fur while it was still attached to me! I don’t mind if they play with the fur that falls out, but I have to draw the line at plucking. I need that fur. It keeps we warm on those chilly Spring nights.

Kids! What are you going to do?

Time for a nap.

I might as well enjoy the peace and quiet before this pair starts another family.