“Best dog I ever had.” You could hear the slight catch in his voice as Uncle Alfred spoke.

“Tell us the story again,” we chimed in together. As twins, this togetherness thing was our special gift. But without Rover, Uncle Alfred’s dog, we wouldn’t be hearing this story for the umpteenth item… and still loving it.

“Must’a been three years ago. You guys were had just turned seven. Even then, you two loved to traipse the fields with me. Herding the cattle. Counting the sheep. It was like I had identical miniature shadows.”

“The spring floods had just swept through the range. We were out checking to line fences.”

“The plateau at the Northwestern corner was our last stop. From the truck we could see the fencing had been breached by a sinker. I was getting my tools to assess the damage…”

“You two ran on ahead. You always loved the view from the cliffs edges. You were careful kids… but the last storm had been on a rampage. The deluge from the storm had weakened the bank.”

“I saw you go down. You were a good ten feet from the fencing line. But suddenly… you were no longer there.”

“Rover was down the bank and was laying under your feet before I was able to find a safe place to even look for you.”

“Rover dug in under you and held the sliding bank firm as I lowered a rope.”

“As I raised you both up, Rover remained. Just as his hind legs dug in to struggle to the top, the bank gave way.”

“The entire fence line went with him.”

“We drove to the lower field. We found him at the bottom of the embankment entwined in the barbed fencing.”

“There was nothing we could do.” Bruce began the ending of the story.

“Rover dies in our arms,” continued Bart.

“That’s right,” Grandfather said. “Rover did what he was trained to do. He gave his life for you boys.”

The boys rubbed the head of the stone statue themselves. “Best dog we ever had,” they whispered together.

Written for Sunday Photo Fictioneer. Requirements: Create a 200 word flash fiction piece from the photo prompt. (I cheated… This one went over?)


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