"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

Patrick.


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If George Orwell had not saved Patrick’s great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Patrick wouldn’t be here.

I’ve seen the photograph.

In the background of that photograph, Hemingway is standing and talking to some other soldiers. Patrick loves listening to his mistress read Hemingway so he said he would much rather that his ancestor had been saved by Hemingway, but George Orwell is not a bad writer either.

Patrick is very well read.

I say well read, but Patrick can’t actually read he doesn’t need to, he’s a dog.

But he does listen to his mistress when she reads the classics. Fortunately, his mistress loves Hemingway.

Personally I like detective stories. The Thin Man or any story with a dog in it. When I was a pup Aster was my hero.

I like it when my mistress reads stories where the bloke gets the girl.

It’s not just books that Patrick and I enjoy we love old movies as well. Patrick’s mistress loves old black and white movies and Patrick has a favourite; Rin Tin Tin. As I said before Aster is my favourite.

Unlike my other friend Ernie, Patrick has never actually saved anybody, but he says he is prepared to. He keeps himself sharp and he practises every day.

He is quite sure he could tackle a burglar. He has even imagined himself saving a baby from drowning. Patrick is a very good swimmer.

The truth of the matter is that Patrick spends a lot of his days sitting on the rug in front of the fire. Most of his adventures happen inside his head. But there’s nothing wrong with that. My mistress does that every day, that’s how she makes a living. “An imagination is a wonderful thing, Rufus. It can take you anywhere in the world. You can have as many friends as you want and you can be as bad or as good as you want to be. If you want to save the puppies from the burning building you can do it and not even get your fur singed. You can cross the raging river and save the family trapped in their car without actually getting your paws wet. It’s great fun.” My mistress talks to me like that sometimes.

Usually when she’s come up with an idea for a new story.

I can hear the excitement in her voice and I know she’s going to be happy for a little while, at least until the story is finished.

It’s a whole different story when she’s between ideas. Sometimes she gets very sad.

She sits and stares out the window for hours. On these days, I don’t go for my walks. I stay as close to her as possible, it’s part of my job; I know she needs me. She strokes my fur and I know she feels better. On these days, I try not to bark too much or chase birds.

“You have magical powers Rufus, you always make me feel better.” I like the idea of having magical powers, but really it’s just love.

Maybe love is a magical power.

Patrick’s mistress works in the city and this means that Patrick is on his own for long periods of time. He tries to make the best of it, but he gets very lonely. His mistress usually catches the same train home every night and Patrick is usually at the station waiting for her. Fortunately, the station master is very kind, he likes dogs. If Patrick’s mistress’s train is late, he gives Patrick a snack and lets him sit in his warm office until the train arrives. Trains make a lot of noise and Patrick has to control himself so that he is not frightened. His love for his mistress is greater than his fear of the train.

Dogs have excellent hearing so Patrick can hear the train coming when it is a long way away. The station master is always impressed that Patrick knows when the train is coming. He opens the door to his office even though the train isn’t due for several minutes.

When his mistress gets off the train Patrick runs to meet her. He is very excited but he knows that he is not allowed to jump on her. He really wants to jump on her, but instead he just spins around in circles.

Patrick’s mistress always makes a big fuss of him when she first sees him.

In the winter, they walk straight home, but in the summer they often stop at the cafe in the village and have a cup of tea. The shopkeeper won’t let Patrick come inside so his mistress sits outside at the little table.

This is one of Patrick’s favourite things.

His mistress calls him a Cafe dog. He’s not sure what that means, but he thinks it has something to do with the cups of tea.

Sometimes other people walk past with their dogs and Patrick would very much like to bark at them. Just to let them know to keep their distance, but he knows that his mistress does not like him to do that, so he just growls under his breath. The other dogs get the message either way. When Patrick’s mistress goes on holidays she takes Patrick with her.

Their favourite place to holiday is by the seaside, which is strange because we live very close to the ocean. Patrick explains it this way, “My mistress likes to look at different bits of the ocean, not just the bit where we live.” I guess that makes sense, but I stopped trying to understand humans a long time ago. These days I just go with the flow, it’s simpler that way.

Patrick has an interesting collection of bones and he sometimes shares one with me, which is very kind because most dogs will not share a bone, but then again Patrick is not most dogs, he’s a friend of mine.

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2 responses

  1. What a beautiful story.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 31, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    • Thank you, I’m glad that you enjoyed it… Patrick and Rufus thank you also.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 1, 2015 at 12:40 am

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