"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

dog fiction

RUFUS is now an Audiobook

Untitled 3 (16)After many late nights and a mountain of sound editing, RUFUS has joined my stable of AUDIOBOOKS — five in the collection now (Keeper Of Secrets, Trust, Slightly Spooky Stories, Dot Dot Dot… , and Rufus).

It’s true that it is a painful process, but it is also true that it is a lot of fun. I sometimes wish I had kept all the outtakes, just for the fun of it.

I record at night when it is quiet and my dogs think it is unusual that I get out of bed and go to the other side of the house into a room that does not get a lot of use. Naturally, they tag along to see what is happening. If you know dogs you will know that there is a bit of preening that goes on before they settle, so my recording has to wait while they scratch and lick and drink water. An added difficulty can be Zed’s perceived job, that of frightening away stray possums that walk across the deck. Needless to say, there are a few swear words mixed into the outtakes.

The whole process takes several weeks and there is a huge sigh of relief when the files are uploaded and approved for distribution.

RUFUS has now joined the recorded word family and I’m pleased that he is there.


Fetch, RUFUS at Amazon — paperback

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That’s right. RUFUS is now available as a paperback from Amazon’s US store (and their UK store and a bunch of others, but not the Australian store as yet).



Here To Help


The best thing about small humans — sticky fingers.

Sure, they are likely to poke you in the eye or pull on an ear, but it is a small price to pay.

Little humans think it’s funny. The big humans try to stop them, “Don’t let that dog lick your hand, it’s dirty.”

The cheek! My tongue is very clean and I am performing a service because little humans with sticky fingers get yelled at, “Why is this child allowed to wander around with sticky hands?” A good question and I have the solution — let me lick them.

I’m here to help — they just don’t seem to understand.


“I know what dead people look like. I worked for a summer at our local hospital. I told my mother that I was gaining experience for my future career as a writer. I’m not sure if she believed me, but she let me go. To be honest, my goal was spending money, boys and parties; and I succeeded on all fronts. Along the way, there were several dead bodies.
A dead body is a dead body, but some dead bodies cause more problems than others.”

Excerpt From: Terry R Barca. “Rufus.” iBooks.

Belting Through The Countryside


“Sir William met me at the front door and I’m not sure how he knew I had arrived, but I wasn’t thinking about it at the time. He suggested that I might want to freshen up before tea and I wasn’t sure if he was alluding to my appearance or just being polite.
He should try belting through the countryside in an open top Lagonda and see how fresh he looks.”

Excerpt From: Terry R Barca. “Rufus.” iBooks.

Pesky Wee creatures

“Seashore” Scottish Terrier pastel by Muriel Helen DawsonThey’re pesky wee creatures.

Every day, at about this time, I walk down to the beach. My mistress, the one who writes books, has a house not far from the shore. She likes to come down here when the weather is warm. “No bloody telephone, and no one dropping in unannounced. Absolute heaven.” I don’t much care where we stay as long as I can protect her. She doesn’t need protecting at this hour of the day. She is in her little shed writing mystery stories. She’s reasonably safe in there, so I have a bit of time where I can come down to the shore and take in all the aromas.

The seagulls can be a bit of a nuisance, but it’s this damn crab that really gets up my nose. It should be frightened of me, but no matter what I do it does not seem to care. It bit me on the nose the first time I encountered it. I keep my distance since then. I run at it and bark at it, but it just stands there waving its legs in the air. I get the feeling that it would be quite tasty, but how the hell do you get hold of it.

I’ve wasted enough time worrying about that crab. There are other spots that need checking, and then it will be time to go and check on my mistress. She has her tea in the middle of the morning, and if I am close by and particularly well-behaved, I usually get one of those human biscuits, so I don’t want this annoying crab to make me late for biscuits.


Big Dog

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Rufus loves paperbacks

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Rufus arrived early (when does that ever happen at this time of the year?). The delivery guy failed to catch the attention of my dogs so I had to go to the post office to retrieve them. Dropped off a complimentary copy to my illustrator on my way home. She was at work and a customer wanted to know what all the fuss was about. My illustrator was very happy. I’m a little bit out of it at the moment. Just waiting for it to pass. It’s a shame because this moment is special — when a box of books arrives. Nothing is getting through the fog, but there is always tomorrow. These last few months have been full on. Four books published in almost as many months. I’m a bit tired, but also pleased to have achieved so much this year. Thank you to anyone reading this if you have been supportive during the year, it is always appreciated and very much needed.

If you are in Australia I can post you a copy $29 AUD inc postage

You can also purchase a copy from my printer. They will mail it to you anywhere in the world.

eBook copies from:

Smashwords (all versions)

Amazon Kindle

Apple iBooks


 04 - Preface Illustration - Vampires and Witches

Sam has a special gift, but he often won’t talk about it.

He can see stuff that others can’t.

I’ve seen him stand at that open doorway and stare at it for a very long time.

When I ask him what he can see, he says, “Nothin’”

I know it’s something, but I have to respect his privacy.

His nose doesn’t twitch the way you would expect it to if he was picking up an aroma and his eyes don’t seem to be looking at any one thing in particular.

It’s as though he is seeing with his mind.

I’ve heard about that sort of thing.

My mistress was talking about it to some of her friends.

Whatever my mistress was talking about, I think Sam has it.



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.