"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



I asked him what he thought it meant and he said he didn’t know.

Fair enough; I didn’t know either.

The wall it is painted on is not far from the butcher shop we have raided a few times, so you will understand that I don’t walk down that way too often. The butcher is looking for someone to blame, and I don’t want that ‘someone’ to be me.

Which is funny when you think about it because it is me.

As I was saying just the other day, a lot of people stop and look at the painting on the wall. To start with, I thought it was just us dogs who were fascinated with it, but no: humans wonder about it as well.

Our town has some deep thinkers, and I have mentioned one or two, but by far the best wonderer among us is Trevor.

Trevor likes to work out what things mean. He doesn’t do it to make our lives easier, he does it because he can. He feels like he has accomplished something.

As you know, all dogs have a job, and if by some twist of fate they lose that job they will quickly find another, and so it was with Trevor.

His owner was an old human who lived in a small house on the edge of town. This old human was known as Ted, and he spent all his working life with the Railways. Why anyone would want to be so close to those annoying, loud, messy things is beyond me, but that’s humans for you: inscrutable.

Ted and Trevor were together for many years, and Trevor’s job was mainly to keep an eye on Ted and make sure that he didn’t get lost, or set fire to himself, or forget to feed himself, that sort of thing. Basically, it was a full-time job.

Ted stepped in front of a bus while on his way down to the shops to buy a newspaper. Trevor was distracted for a moment by the smell of a particularly attractive bitch who had recently moved into the area.

Trevor eventually forgave himself, but it took a long time.

The humans buried Ted and sold off all his stuff, but they forgot about his faithful dog, Trevor.

We took it upon ourselves to care for Trevor while he went through ‘a period of adjustment’. Frankly, I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but I do know that we kept him well fed and found him somewhere warm to sleep.

Eventually, the bloke who mows the lawns down at the Cricket Ground took Trevor in and made him responsible for keeping the local kids out of the pavilion at night time. Some of the older kids liked to get in there and practise mating, which always seemed a bit strange to me, but then again humans are a bit strange. Why do you need to practise?

Trevor took his new job seriously, and he was quite good at it. The local young people took to going down to the beach to practise, and Trevor rarely had to run anyone off the oval. His easy workload left him heaps of time for ‘wondering’.

The painting on the wall was at the top of his list.

Legend had it that a young human had painted it many years ago in payment for shelter and food. He was travelling through town when the bus driver made him get off the bus and having no money he was hungry and homeless. Two things that no one should ever be.

He explained that he was a talented painter and offered to paint something special in return for paints, room and board.

He worked on it for many weeks, and when it was finished, he asked us what we thought of it. We liked it, but we had no idea what it meant.

During the completion of the work there had always been a dog watching its progress; we took it in turns, so it stood to reason that we would be asked our opinion.

I think that the young artist was a bit disappointed by our confusion, and when the humans were less than appreciative the young man left town on the next bus.

The humans considered painting over it but, when the young man became famous people came from all over to look at his ‘early work’.

So there it sits in all its splendour, and there sits Trevor, wondering.

He has promised to share his thoughts with us if he ever works it out, but I’m not holding my breath.

Frankly, I think that he just enjoys the process, and I don’t believe that it is all that important to find out what the painting means.

Sometimes things just are, and that is fine with me.


2 responses

  1. Where do these dogs live? No leashes… I am so proud of how responsible they are. OK, I’m getting into the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 31, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    • ‘The secret life of dogs’…… set in a quiet seaside​ town where leashes are unknown and adventure waits around every corner


      September 1, 2015 at 1:19 am

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