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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: March 29, 2016      Views: 152

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I'm retired from dairy farming. My husband became crippled by a bull three years ago so I am caring for him. Have a lot of time on my hands so I joined fanstory to do some practice writing and maybe write a book later.

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This work has reached the exceptional level
Story of a hero dog
"Gus" by prettybluebirds

When my husband, Leon, brought Gus home I was ready to shoot him..... my husband, not the dog. Gus was a huge, black and tan German shepherd weighing 150 pounds or more. A fang stuck out on each side of his muzzle and his hair was longer than the average shepherd dog. Gus looked more like a wolf than a dog.

"What were you thinking of bringing a monster like that home," I screamed. "Don't you have any concern for the baby? A dog like that could kill little Mark with one chomp."

Mark is our eighteen-month-old son. He was just beginning to toddle around and discover his world when Leon came home with Gus. I could imagine Mark pulling Gus's hair and getting his face bit off.

To make matters worse Leon told me the reason he was given the dog was because Gus's owners were frightened Gus might bite one of the neighbor kids. They lived in the middle of town and kept Gus chained in the back yard. It seems some of the boys in their neighborhood liked to torment Gus. Besides, they owed my husband a large contractor bill and the dog was worth a lot of money. They wondered if Leon would agree to take him as partial payment.

"Oh, great," I replied. "So the dog is probably a real child hater just waiting to get his fangs in some little boy. Well, it won't be my son he eats. I don't want him anywhere near Mark."

Leon agreed to keep Gus in a pen outside where Mark wouldn't be near the dog. As for Gus, he simply sat quietly and stared at me and Mark while all the wrangle jangle was going on around him. Gus seemed to know his fate was being decided. It's not that I don't like dogs, I was afraid for my child's safety.

When things settled down later in the day, and Gus was out back in his new pen, Leon told me a bit more about the animal. Leon said Gus was the old type German shepherd and his original owners had imported the dog from Germany. Gus's registered name was Baron Gusto Von Lumen and he came from a long line of prize-winning stock. Leon showed me the registration papers and, sure enough, the dog was royalty.

Several months went by and I slowly learned to trust Gus somewhat. I was still a little leery of Gus where Mark was concerned but the dog, more or less, ignored my son. Gus was funny that way. He would simply lay quiet and watch all of us as we went about our daily activities. He was very standoffish, not the usual fawning, tail wagging type of dog. It was almost as if Gus knew he was royalty and above us peons. I felt Gus liked us well enough but was not going to lower himself to admit it.

Gus learned to tolerate Mark and even put up with my son climbing on him and pulling his hair. Mostly, I kept Mark away from Gus as he still gave me the creeps with his silent black-eyed stare and his lack of reaction to much of anything. In all the time Gus was with us I never once heard him bark.

The weeks and months kept rolling by and, on Mark's third birthday, we decided to have a cookout in the back yard. It was a hot July day so Leon and I were seated in lawn chairs under our old Maple tree. Mark was playing with his dump truck in the middle of the yard and Gus lay panting in the shade of a lilac bush. It was a lovely peaceful family day at home. I took a sip of my ice tea and sighed with contentment.

Suddenly, Gus jumped to his feet and headed for my son with his mouth wide open and growling savagely. He knocked Mark off his feet and stood over him shaking his huge head. His fangs glistened in the sunlight. It seemed Gus had gone crazy and attacked my little boy.

Leon grabbed a rock from the fire pit and started for the dog meaning to bash him in the head. I beat Leon to Mark and Gus by several strides, fear for my baby boy put wings on my feet. I would kill Gus with my bare hands if he had hurt my son.

I grabbed Gus's collar and pulled with all my strength. I could see blood on his muzzle and drops sparkled in the grass. Gus raised his head and quietly backed up for me; it was then I saw the rattlesnake. About then Leon came rushing up with the rock held high ready to kill the dog.

"STOP", I screamed at the top of my lungs. Gus just killed a rattlesnake; he saved Mark's life.
Leon dropped the rock and both of us fell to our knees and hugged our son and Gus.
Gus tolerated the hugs and all the commotion but held himself aloof. His attitude was: 'A prince must take care of his peons but never show emotion or mingle with the commoners too much'.

I may have lost my son if not for Gus. Gus is my hero and has a home in my heart forever. I just wish Gus would give me a slight wag of his tail or a small slurp to let me know he loves me too.

Writing Prompt
Write a story of any type. But at someone point your character must shout: Stop!
Contest Winner


Author Notes
My husband and I really did have a dog named Gus. He was aloof and standoffish and I never once heard that dog bark. His registered name was Baron Gusto Von Lumen and he was given to my husband as payment on a contractors bill. The rest is all fiction. My husband's name was not Leon and I never had a son named Mark. I was thinking about old Gus and this story came to mind.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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