Thursday, November 7, 2013

Man's Best Friend

The sun burned bright; kind of scorcher makes a feller want to bury up in a muddy hog waller. But Blue Dog stayed on the gray’s flank, even though he didn’t care much for horses or this place up ahead, he’d go with this man anywhere.
            Once there, he turned three tight circles, then lay on the cool boards in the roof’s shade for a little snooze while his man tended to his business on the inside. Sure smelled good in there, but him and his kind were not allowed. A familiar stench pulled his near eye open. He rose, backed to the door, and threw Henry a little soft growl.
            His man joined him.
            “Hey, mister, that’s my dog ya got there.”
            Blue’s neck hairs bristled.
            “That so?”
            “Yes, sir. That’s him alright. Best varmint dog I ever had, paid good money for the mutt, too, and I aim to take him home.”
            “Well, then, guess you best come on and get him if you can.”
            Blue pressed into Henry’s leg and bared his teeth at the man. He wasn’t going anywhere. He growled a stay away warning.
            “Easy boy, don’t you ’member me?”
            Henry laughed. “Seems like he does. Sounds to me he’s decided he’s not your dog after all.”
            The old guy stepped closer. The hackles along Blue’s back bone stood up with the neck hairs, his legs tightened ready to spring, but his man gave him the stay sign. He sat on his haunches and hushed, but his guard hairs remained on the alert.
            “I’m telling you that is my dog.” The man lifted his hat, rubbed his sweat back into his hair, then placed it back down. “I’m getting’ my rope, and Rocky’s coming with me.”
            “No. Sir, Blue Dog’s a friend of mine. And not you or anyone else is taking him anywhere he don’t want to go.”
            For the longest, his old master stared at his Henry. The scoundrel spat a brown steam out to the side, wiped his mouth with his sleeve, then curled his upper lip. “You’ll be sorry.”
            “Whatever.”

            Blue kept his nose open and his ears perked until that no count was long gone—out of sight, out of hearin’, and out of smellin’. He’d chosen his man, and far as he’s concerned nothing would ever separate them. He loved Henry and to him only would Blue belong so long as he lived. 
Nothing like a loyal, smart friend-dog!
In VOW UNBROKEN, his name is Blue Dog; at the McAdoos' home, he's Franklin Doganor Roosevelt, a.k.a. Roo!