"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 liked her the first time I saw her.

You know how it is, you are drawn to a person.

I’ve been a small black dog all my life and she has been human all her life, but I never held that against her.

I got into the habit of waiting for her to come home. She was a student when I first met her and that means that she spent most days learning about stuff. I do that too, but I don’t have to go away every day to do it, but that’s humans for you, they are a bit strange.

I worked out when she was likely to come home and I waited for her by the front gate.

“What have you been up to today, Rufus? Not getting into any trouble I hope?” She always said the same thing when she saw me, and I usually got a scratch behind my ear, which was nice.

I wanted to tell her all the things I had been doing during the day, the way you do when you meet a friend, but we speak different languages so I just wagged my tail and licked her hand and she seemed to understand. Some humans are smarter than others.

Maddie is one of those ‘smart’ humans, and I don’t just mean that she knows a lot of stuff, which she does. Maddie knows things that other humans don’t. She senses things, a bit like us dogs do, but only better. She doesn’t have to rely on an amazing sense of smell or incredible hearing, she knows things. It’s hard to explain, but I knew it the first time I saw her. She treats me like a person, not a thing. Dogs always know who the special ones are. Well, that’s not strictly true. Some dogs are idiots, like Bozo the wonder Dog. That’s what he called himself and he was a pain in the bum. He didn’t have a clue about what was going on, but he had an opinion on everything. I tried to put up with him. He wasn’t a bad dog, just really annoying, but he loved his master and I guess that counts for something.

Maddie’s special ability might have caused her some problems, but she was lucky because she has good people around her who also sense things and they have guided her on her journey. It must be scary if you are born into a pack where no one wants to help you understand stuff, but that is not Maddie’s problem, she has a strong family who cares for her, and I know how that feels.

My mum taught me heaps of stuff and this helped me when I joined a new pack and I have used all that I learned to look after my mistress.

Most days, I would spend some time playing with Maddie. Sometimes she would throw a ball and I would fetch it, but it didn’t take long before I would get distracted by a bee or something shiny or I would notice a tree that I had not weed on and I’d forget about the game.

“Your attention span is not very long Rufus,” Maddy would say and I would remember that I was supposed to be playing the game and would run back to her. She didn’t seem to mind that I got distracted.

Sometimes, we would just lie around and listen to music [young humans do that a lot] or she would write stuff on her computer and I would watch her, but eventually, it would be time for me to go and I’d stand by the front door and look at her, that way I do, and she would know that I needed to go.

“Where do you come from Rufus? And where do you go every day at this exact time? You don’t wear a watch, but you seem to know exactly what time it is.”

I wanted to tell her, but she didn’t need to know. All she needed to know was that I loved her almost as much as I loved my mistress.

When she opened the door I would rush off down the street, but I always looked back so that she knew that I was saying goodbye and that I would be back the next day.

I always left it as late as possible before I had to go because I enjoyed her company.

My mission now was to get to the railway station before my mistress’s train arrived. If I timed it just right, I could slip past the station master onto the platform and greet my mistress as she came off her train.

The stationmaster is a kind human, but he has a job to do and dogs are not supposed to be on the platform ‘unattended’. These were the words he used and I was never quite sure what they meant, but I knew that he really didn’t mind. A dog can tell when humans are very angry, like the butcher; he really doesn’t like dogs and you don’t need to be a dog to work that one out.

When my mistress gets off the train I try not to jump on her because she doesn’t like it, but sometimes I can’t help myself. She has been away all day and even though I have been having adventures it is not the same as having her home all the time. It is my job to protect her and it makes my job very difficult to do if I cannot see where she is. I get a bit stressed sometimes and I bark a lot, but I cannot help it.

My mistress says that she is planning to leave her job and become a full-time writer.

“It’s time to bite the bullet Rufus. I’m going to do it. Come Christmas, I’m going to quit my job and write stories every day and stay at home with you.” I nearly flipped over backward when I heard her say that. I didn’t know how far away Christmas was, but I could wait. Dogs are very patient.

“You like my stories, don’t you Rufus?” I gave one loud bark. That’s what I do when she reads me one of her stories, I bark once for ‘yes I really liked that one,’ and twice for ‘no I thought that story smelled like a cat’.

Having my mistress at home all the time might make it difficult to see Maddie every day, but I am sure that she will understand.

Maddie is my friend, and friends understand.


One response

  1. Reblogged this on sscottyy's Blog.


    October 22, 2016 at 12:32 pm

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