"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

Posts tagged “short story

RUFUS runs free

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A free download for the month of July from Smashwords.

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RUFUS: a free download

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Until the end of the month, RUFUS will run free at Smashwords. Most of my books are half price during this period of time, but I decided to let RUFUS go for free. I want as many people as possible to enjoy this character, so enjoy.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/598908

 

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/araneus1


Big Dog

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https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/598908


Rufus Giveaway

Rufus by Terry R Barca

Giveaway ends June 22, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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Postman

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https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/598908

https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/rufus/id1065906362?mt=11

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0194AO3UE?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

PAPERBACK & HARDBACK


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They Should Have Asked Rufus

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Charlotte

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My mistress has many friends. Some of them are male and some are female.

Her favourite female is Charlotte.

She is very well dressed, at least according to my mistress she is.

But more importantly, she has three dogs and a very nice Jaguar sports car.

It’s a bit of a tight fit, but we can all squeeze into her car.

She drives it very fast and we get bounced around a bit, but I don’t mind, my mistress drives like that all the time.

Sometimes I have to hold on with my teeth to avoid being thrown out of the car.

It’s all very exciting, but sometimes my teeth hurt.

Small price to pay, though.

Charlotte’s dogs are very well travelled, and they tell stories of far off towns and cities.

I try to pretend that I’ve been to all of these places, and I have been to some, but not all.

I don’t want to sound like a country dog who never goes anywhere. 


Doona Day

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It only happens every now and then, but when it does I have a special job to do.

My mistress gets sad.

Not because someone died or anything like that, although she does get sad when that happens. This is an unusual kind of sadness and she has a unique way of dealing with it.

“Today Rufus, is a doona day.”

Even though I know she has that unusual sadness I do get a bit excited; though I try not to show it.

A ‘doona day’ means we are going to stay in bed all day.

We might be sleeping or reading or just thinking about stuff, but one thing is for sure, we will be doing it in bed.

Naturally, I have to go outside and have a wee every now and then, and, of course, there is breakfast and dinner, but apart from that we are in bed.

My special job is to stay very close to her until she starts to feel better.

“You have magical powers, Rufus.” I love it when she says that. I don’t actually know what it means, but it is the way that she says it that tells me it is a good thing.

An added bonus comes when my mistress eats in bed; I get to lick up all the crumbs.

If the ‘sads’ hit during the warmer weather I have to stick my head out to cool down a bit, but it has to be very hot for me to come out from under the covers.

One of my special treatments for my mistress is to lick her toes.

She says that it tickles, but she lets me do it all the same. Licking things makes them better, my mum taught me that. It works when my toes get sore and it works on my mistress as well. Some people don’t like being licked and I don’t understand why, but my mistress explains it this way, “People who don’t like being licked are not worth worrying about.” I tend to agree.

After a lot of treatment from me, and lots of snacks and ice cream, my mistress starts to feel better. The house goes back to normal and I can relax, just a bit.

I’m always on guard.

I never know when my mistress will need me to look after her again.


Bernard.

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Looks can be deceiving.

Take Bernard for example.

He looks small and cute, and his mistress is French.

You might think that he lives in a handbag and eats paté all day, but no, he doesn’t. Okay, so he does eat the occasional croissant, and he once licked paté off the floor where some French bloke dropped it while talking to his mistress, but I don’t think that counts.

He does eat snails, but that is a whole other story.

Bernard is special.

All dogs are special, of course, but what I mean to say is that Bernard is especially talented.

You already know that dogs have amazing senses, and the sense of smell is particularly acute.

I sound like I know what I’m talking about, but to be truthful, I only discovered this because my mistress was doing research for a story.

It all started after I caught the murderer in the country house. It was one of my very first adventures. My mistress was very proud of me, and she wondered how I did it. I didn’t think much about it at the time; I just did what dogs do — I sniffed it out. I thought everyone could do it, but apparently not.

My mistress said that some dogs could detect individual ingredients in a pasta sauce. I could have told her that. It drives her crazy that her girlfriend makes a particularly good Napoli sauce, and she is not sure what the secret ingredient is. It’s Turmeric. A very tiny amount. I tried pointing at it in the spice rack using my nose, but she told me off for climbing on a chair. Humans can be very annoying.

Bernard, on the other hand, never gets told off for climbing on chairs. He is treated like a king — a small hairy king, but a king none the less.

His unique skill is finding things.

Rich people pay his mistress large amounts of money to find things that have been lost inside their huge houses, but more importantly, Bernard is asked to find things that are hidden in the houses of wealthy deceased persons — usually by greedy relatives who are sure that their dead uncle has stashed away a fortune.

Bernard comes to visit at least once a year.

His mistress and my mistress have been friends since my mistress was a student in France. She stayed with her friend’s parents for a year, and she says it was one of the best years of her life.

I was expecting Bernard to be a bit ‘up himself’, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that he was a very down-to-earth dog.

Appearances can be deceiving.

He likes watching soccer on TV, and he enjoys walks in the rain, but his mistress won’t let him. I splashed water on him one time so that he would know what it felt like. He was very appreciative.

I took him down to the local Butcher Shop, just to show him the sights and he had a splendid time. He got dusty, and some sand got stuck between his toes and he said it made him feel like one of those free range dogs. He was kidding himself of course. He wouldn’t last five minutes in the wild, but I let him have his dream. Who am I to step on anyone’s dream?

He told me about life in Paris, and it sounded pretty good.

French dogs are allowed into cafés, but I like it here. I’m too old to learn the French words for ‘walk’ and ‘treat’ and ‘get off the chair’.

I asked Bernard what was the most interesting thing he was asked to find, and he said that it was hard to choose, but it was probably a lost toy.

The toy belonged to a little old lady. She was very old and sick. She believed that she was going to die soon and she had been thinking a lot about her childhood. She had a favourite little doll.

She used to tell it her secrets.

One day, while playing hide and seek with her brothers and sisters, she put the doll down and forgot where she put it. She searched and searched, but to no avail.

She wanted to hold that little doll one last time before she died.

Bernard said that she offered a huge reward, but it would only be paid if he could find the doll.

His mistress brought him to meet the old lady, and they got on very well indeed. Bernard gave her a good sniffing and set off through the large old Chateau in search of the little doll. It helped that he is small because it stood to reason that the doll would be in a small hiding place just big enough to hide a little girl.

Bernard searched all day, and he was beginning to wonder if he might have to come back another day, but just as the light was failing, he wandered into a small room attached to the huge kitchen. It was full of dusty old boxes, and it looked like no one had been in there for a long time. To start with, nothing in the room seemed to smell like the little old lady had touched it, but after pushing a few boxes aside with his nose, he got a faint whiff.

The little doll had been nibbled on by moths and was very dusty, but she was in one piece, and she was exactly as the old woman had described her.

Bernard said that it was very strange, but he was sure that the little doll was calling out to him. He followed the scent and the sound directly to where the doll was lying, but when he got there, the doll stopped talking to him.

He gently carried the little doll back to the old lady. She was sleeping and woke as he jumped up on her bed. She didn’t care that the doll was dusty and moth-eaten. She hugged it and cried. Bernard knew enough about female humans to know that there was a chance that this little old lady was happy and not sad.

I asked him what happened to the doll and the little old lady, and he said that he was not sure. He heard his mistress talking about her a few times, but he did not know what her words meant. He did say that they got paid a lot of money because of his find and they went on a holiday to Trieste, and as a special treat, he got a ride on the famous funicular tramway. Bernard loves trams, and he and his mistress are going to visit Melbourne next year because they have the most extensive system of tramways anywhere in the world, not to mention the longest continuous piece of tram track.

Bernard loves trams.

You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but appearances can be deceiving.


Scamper

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Polished floors and dog paws and you are bound to get a name like ‘Scamper’.

Names are not as important to dogs as they are to humans, but that does not mean that we don’t care about our name, we do, but if you change it, and we like you, we will still come when you call.

Scamper is sad most of the time, but he hides it very well.

If I come to visit, and he is not expecting me, I catch the sadness in his eyes — just for a moment. He quickly pulls himself together and puts on the face that he thinks we want to see.

Scamper underestimates me, just a bit.

I don’t expect my friends to be happy all the time and I’m pleased to hang out with them even when they are a bit down — assuming they want me to, of course.

Scamper is one of those dogs who likes to please everyone, which is an impossible task, but it doesn’t stop him from trying.

He likes almost everyone.

I don’t.

He wants to please everyone and I think that most people should bugger off, but that’s me.

I can be a grumpy bugger.

Scamper’s humans are nice enough, but they don’t understand what Scamper needs. They feed him and make sure that he has fresh water, but they rarely play with him or take him for a walk, “Scamper has a lovely big backyard to play in so he doesn’t need to go for a walk.”

Yes, he does you ignorant humans!

Scamper, of course, would never say anything to his humans.

He just sits there looking sad.

I’ve thought about intervening, but it is not my place — not my journey.

I wouldn’t want you to think that Scamper is unhappy all the time because he isn’t.

He a dog and dogs are famous for being in the moment and finding the fun wherever it may be.

So, don’t feel sorry for him.

There is always the chance that his owners will work it out.

Life isn’t over until it’s over.