A short story for National Mutt Day where rescue dog Spud, and his brother Ringo, explain the meaning of responsibility to Treacle cat.
Spud Looks After His Human
The two gray cats, Treacle and Stevie Mouse, were laying in the sunshine in the catio on the side of the house. The two black dogs, Spud and Ringo, were sitting near them intent on watching a lizard basking in the sun, on the wall, just out of reach.
Daddy could be heard indoors listening to some music. Ringo had been sitting with him but the lure of the lizard was too great. After a while, Spud started to get agitated and looked through the door into the living room.
“Wassup Spuddy?” asked Treacle.
“I wonder where Mummy is?” said Spud.
“She will be here in a moment Spud, just chill out,” said Stevie Mouse. “She has not been gone long”.
Helping Mummy In The Kitchen
At that moment, Mummy appeared through the door and Spud went to say hello. After all, it had been at least ten minutes since he had seen her! Mummy and Spud disappeared into the kitchen and Mummy could be heard talking to Spud as she made bread. Stevie Mouse walked to the door and looked in. Mummy was busy and Spud was sitting next to her, looking up adoringly (and clearly hoping she might drop something that he could eat).
After a while, Mummy came in and sat down next to Daddy and picked up her laptop. Spud asked to come up on the sofa and she said not now as she had to go out again. She told Spud to go and play so he went back outside.
Why Does Spud Follow Mummy Everywhere?
“Spuddy,” said Stevie Mouse, “Why do you always follow Mummy everywhere?”
“She needs me,” said Spud. “It is my job to keep an eye on her and check she is okay.”
“Oh puleez,” snorted Treacle.
“I’m serious Treac,” said Spud. She is my human and I have to be with her. Daddy is Ringo’s human and Mummy is my responsibility.”
Ringo nodded in agreement with his brother. “From the moment we first saw them, we agreed we would take one each,” explained Ringo. Spud picked Mummy and I picked Daddy. That was when Mummy and Daddy found us at the rescue kennel.”
Explaining Responsibility To Treacle
“But what does your job entail then?” asked Treacle, now thoroughly intrigued. “What does ‘responsibility’ mean?” This was a completely alien concept to Treacle.
“Just now we were making bread in the kitchen, right,” said Spud. The others nodded. “She forgets the recipe sometimes and talking to me she remembers it. She drops things on the floor and it is my job to clean it up. If she gets upset it is my job to show her it is all right and that I love her. She gets cold hands and I let her warm them up on my tummy. At night I am her guard dog and I get up several times in the night and sit close to her to check she is okay. If I am lucky, her eyes open and she always gives me a pat or a kiss and tells me to go back to bed.”
Mummy and Daddy Love Us
Pausing, Spud continued, “She does tell me off sometimes, it’s true.”
“Sometimes!” shrieked Treacle laughing.
“But I get lots of Mummy cuddles and when she looks at me I know she loves me,” continued Spud ignoring the interruption. “That is the most important thing in the world. Mummy and Daddy will never abandon us. When she looks into my eyes I feel safe.”
“The last thing Mummy says to us every night is that she loves us and that we are good boys,” said Ringo. “She tells us to sleep well and she will see us in the morning. We get a cuddle and lots of kisses.”
“Yeah, well that is a bit too much with all the kissing that goes with it,” said Spud, I know you like it and wag your tail Ringo. I try to put my head down to avoid all the sloppy stuff.” Ringo laughed.
Mummy Says Goodnight Every Night
“The last thing Mummy says to me every night is that I am her precious girl, that she loves me very much and that she will see me in the morning,” said Stevie Mouse thoughtfully.
“Thinking about it, she always says ‘night Treacs, love ya’ to me when she goes to bed,” said Treacle. “She even calls out the front door to say goodnight to the cats outside and that she loves them. She is nuts.”
“Go on Treacle, admit it, it’s lovely when she does it,” said Stevie Mouse, as Ringo nodded enthusiastically.
“Yeah, okay, I like it,” said Treacle ruefully.
“So you see my job is really important. I have to take care of Mummy because she loves us,” stated Spud.
“And my job is to look after Daddy because he loves us too,” said Ringo
At that moment Mummy came back. Within seconds Spud was by her side as she patted his head and said “Hiya Spuddy, wanna cuddle now?” He didn’t need asking a second time! To everyone else it looked like Mummy was cuddling Spud. But the animals now knew that it was one of the ways that Spud looks after his human.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!