Saturday, December 15, 2012


Winters are harsh. The chain around my neck was so cold it felt like it burned. I was miserable. My body ached from tensing so much.

One of the children has taken it upon himself to remember me once in a while. He was the oldest of the children. I don't know how old he was but he was about half the size of the man. Once every few days he'd pour some kibble into my bowl. And once he even dumped something really tasty in it. It was warm and mushy.

"It's chili, boy, eat up," he said before running back into his house.

One day, after a meal of scraps, something smelled different. There was a scent in the air that was new. It smelled of a different grass. A female scent. Standing up, I lifted my head and took a deep breath.

"Whatcha all tied up for?"

I turned my head in the direction of the voice.

Ahh. I've never seen anything quite as bright. She was beautiful. She was white and some kind of a spotted gray mix. Bright blue eyes. And she was kind of fluffy.

She pranced over, as gracefully as a deer. "Why do your humans tie you?"

"Who are you?" I asked her.

"Daisy." Slowly, she strolled toward me. "My humans just bought the farm next door." She lowered her head and examined my chain.

Suddenly ashamed, I backed away from her.

She glanced at me, aware that I was uneasy with her investigation. "Sorry. It's just... I've never seen a dog tied up before. Why are you tied up? I've seen horses tied up for shoeing. But never dogs."

I lowered my head. Never dogs. "I don't know why."

There was something in her eyes that reflected sympathy. "But how do you work?"


She giggled and I felt something flutter in my heart. "Well. I'm an Australian Shepherd. I round up the goats and chickens and run by the horses when my humans ride them. Do your humans untie you so you can work?"

I shook my head. "I don't work."

Her eyes narrowed. "You don't work? Well. What do you do?"

I scowled at her. Suddenly she seemed a little more annoying than cute. "I watch the house."

"You're a guard dog?"

I didn't know what a guard dog was but it sounded good. "Yeah. I'm a guard dog."

She seemed satisfied with that. "Well they don't feed you much. Guard dogs should be fed well. It helps with your energy."

Embarrassed that she noticed my bones, I backed off a bit more. "What do you want anyway?"

That seemed to get her attention. "Was just checking out the place. I wanted to get to know the neighbors."

"Nice to meet you," I grumbled. "Now if you don't mind, I need to get back to.."

She waited. "Watching?" A hint of a smirk was on her face.

I scowled again. "Yes." I walked to the tin that leaned against the tree trunk and laid under it.

I looked away from her, hoping she'd get the hint.

"Well what's your name at least?"

A grumble of annoyance escaped me. "Andy," I told her. I closed my eyes and pretended to fall asleep.

Hearing prancing footsteps journey across the grass, I opened my eyes and watched her stroll away.

Never dogs. If dogs were not supposed to be tied up, then why was I tied up? And why couldn't I run with the horse?

I realized today that I wasn't as cold. Maybe the winter will be ending soon.


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