Sandy and His Dog: Western Short Story on line

Cowboys roping a bucking bronco
Cowboys roping a bucking bronco | Source

On Line Stories

this is one of several stories that I have written to read on line. In this case it is a western story on line and about a boy and a dog. Both the dog and the boy are hard of hearing but have learned to help each other to get along. They make a good team.

Sandy and Spot

I’ll probably never know who Sandy was or where he and that spotted dog, Spot, came from. One day the boy and the dog just seemed to be here. Sandy had reddish brown hair and looked to be about twelve years old. I started calling him Sandy. He made signs and seemed to like the name. I don’t know how he knew because he was also deaf. What is even more weird is he had this dog—the likes of which I never saw before.

The dog was called Spot because he had so many spots. Spots all over. Some about the size of a penny and some about like a two-bit piece. All black though. The dog was also deaf. The first thing I saw Spot do was go up to my horse who is generally a bit on the skittish side. Not in this case. Spot just looked up at the horse and the horse bent down and nuzzled the dog. I never saw that before. Sandy made some signs with his hands and the dog picked up the reins and brought the horse over to me. I was going to get going on some errands, but how did Sandy or Spot know that?

Dalmation Dog

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Don’t reckon it was any of my business but the boy and dog struck me as quite a team. I gave him a job tending my horses; you know feed them and curry them and such. Didn’t plan on anything dangerous, but that came too.

Lots of folks figured Sandy weren’t too bright because he couldn’t talk. But hell, don’t figure that’s any of his fault. Folks get strange notions sometimes. He did talk though. He talked with his hands and maybe those folks who don’t know that are the fools.

He got along well with the Indians in the area. They understood him well. Those hands of his making sign just flew around. Sometimes he would get with some Indians and all their hands would just go up and down and make symbols that I couldn’t even follow. I think they were telling jokes and stories because every once in awhile they would stop and just laugh. Some folks think Indians don’t laugh Well maybe those folks don’t know how to tell a good joke.

Nobody round here ever saw a dog like Spot before. Some folks didn’t think that spotted dog was too smart either.They’s try to sneak up on the dog making noises and yelling but Spot just never paid them no mind. But still Sandy could make a few gestures and that dog’s do ‘bout anything Sandy wanted.

“Well what happened Tuesday?”

Our newspaper publisher, Sarah wanted me to quit rambling and get on with it. It was her job to know what was goin' on in town but she could be powerful impatient. No nevermind, deep down we understood each other and she'd get her story.

“That was really something, wasn’t it?” There was a gang of ten or twelve who probably thought it’d be a cinch to run off a few horses from a kid and a deaf dog. I’m sure they heard in town that the boy and dog was both deaf.

“Don’t that beat all,” they might have said. “Who the hell would leave good horses with a kid and a deaf dog to guard them?”

So’s they rode up to my corral coming up behind sandy and spot.

“Hey kid, they say ...’’

What followed was an ugly insult by the outlaws.

No response. He must be deaf to ignore an insult like that the outlaws figure. Look at that crazy dog –taking a nap right by all those horses hoofs—wonder he hasn’t got trampled.

What these rustlers didn’t know is that the owner of these horses-who happens to be me—knew exactly what he was doing by hiring Sandy and his dog Spot to take care of my horses.

There are lots of people who will steal your horses. There’s them that know they can sell them for profit. There’s also the Indians who sometimes they will steal a horse ‘cause they need it and figure you don’t really need it that bad. Or they did it as sort of a sport to see if they can outwit you or to see who has the most powerful medicine.

They know a deaf boy and a deaf dog together got more powerful medicine.

“Well what happened. When did the outlaws come back?”

“They came back after dark despite a full moon.”

Spot couldn’t hear them. Neither could Sandy. What they didn’t think about was that the horses could hear them. Spot could sense the horse’s nervousness. Could he speak to horses? I don’t know but he ran around to the rider’s horses that seemed to understand something because they started acting up. Sandy signaled spot and that dog started chasing my horses around in circles. The rustlers couldn’t control their own horses and Spot had my horses boxing them in.

Another signal from Sandy and Spot herded my horses back to the corral. The rustlers spurred their horses to the West until they ran into some local Indians. The Indian chief looked to Spot and Sandy The boy and dog exchanged glances. Sandy glanced at the Indians and signed something with his hands. The Indians let the outlaws walk away and took their horses. They weren’t my horses so I let the Indians take them.

I don’t think them outlaws walked too very far before they ran across the sheriff.


© 2011 Don A. Hoglund

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Comments 32 comments

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Very cool story. A boy and his dog always win out. WhooHoo.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for being the first to comment.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Great story!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Glad you like it. Thanks for commenting.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Great story, dahoglund! I really enjoyed it.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I take that as high praise. Thank you WillStarr.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

That was a masterful piece of penmanship dahoglund.

Up and awesome. I can tell that you have a soft spot for animals like I do.

The Frog


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I am glad for the positive comments on these stories. i had left my fiction ambitions on the back burner for some time but it is nice to take a fling in that direction sometimes.


randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

Great story, daho! Just wondering about the jumping back and forth from calling the kid 'Rusty' and 'Sandy' parts. Did you do that on purpose?

Sorry, for being such an editor, but it's my job...lol.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you for a useful comment. I hope I got it straight now. I'm afraid I was hurting from a hip injury and tired when I wrote it.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nice story. Thanks for writing this. You still my favorite writer. I give my vote to this hub. God bless you!

Love and peace,


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

dahoglund, what a great story. It just goes to show you not all disabilities are really disabilities. Thanks for pointing that out. Rated up and awesome.


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 5 years ago

This was a pleasure to read. I like the way the story draws out how our own and others' judgments and actions can get in the way of honesty and innocence - personified by the boy and the dog. I like the narrators voice as well. Thanks dahoglund.


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Two great characters - a boy and his dog, and what a great team. Enjoyed the story.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Prasetio

I appreciate the praise.Thank you for the comment and the vote.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

KoffeeKlatch Gals

When I was working I rode the bus with several deaf persons who spoke to each other in sign.They don't seem bothered by the fact that they are different.Thanks for the comment.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Kimh039

When I wrote a hub about Dalmations and how they were prone to deafness this idea struck me.Also, I recently went to a church service that was conducted in "sign" and was quite impressed.Thankks for your comment.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Truckstop Sally

I'm glad you enjoyed the story and the characters.Thanks for commenting.


mquee profile image

mquee 5 years ago from Columbia, SC

You said earlier that you left your fiction ambitions on the back burner. Just an opinion, but that might be a mistake. This was a very entertaining as well as enjoyable story and I am really hoping for more. Well done!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I appreciate the complement.I'll sort of feel my way along here.Way back I tied couple of westerns and got leaning toward full length stories but have not done well along that line. Lately I got the yen to write short short fiction along the lines of westerns.If it goes well I may keep it up.I have posted a few so far.Thanks for the encouragement.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

I really enjoyed this yarn and how the narrator tells the story. I'll bet you could use these same characters for more tales! Rated up and beautiful. Good wins over evil! :-)


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for the compliment. I need to keep a notebook of characters and names I use. I sort of got carried away with hitting against stereotypes such a humorless Indians, deaf people and dogs being unintelligent.

If the narrator was convincing that is good because I was not sure about portraying an intelligent but uneducated storyteller.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

I think it was great and like it or not there are stereotypes. You portrayed the extra heightened senses and other ways of communication with the deaf boy and dog aptly and well.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you for the encouragement.


atuhairwe justus profile image

atuhairwe justus 5 years ago

WOUNDERFUL


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you for the comment. I am glad you enjoyed it.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

DA, that's one of them old western tales that I would imagine hearing over a foamy glass of beer in the local saloon. The tone and vocabulary gives rise to the speculation that maybe the author is embellishing the powers a bit but in the end, a fine, fine, tale! Thanks for sharing it. WB


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Wayne

Embellishment, I think, is an aspect of old western tales.I appreciate the compliment and am glad you enjoyed it.


Bill K 5 years ago

It's a well-invented and well-told story. It wasn't immediately clear that it was being told to Sara.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Bill

Sarah being the newspaper person wants him to get to the basic facts. the narrator being a storyteller rambles a bit. But he is not telling the story to her as such.This type of story does not leave a lot of room to build characters.

I introduced Sarah in an earlier story "A New Newspaper Publisher"

I appreciate your comments about it being well-invented and well told.


Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

Well done. Nice folksy tale and of course I enjoyed the deaf boy and dog characters. Outlaws, indians and probably a sheriff make a nice mix.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting. This was sort of a spin off of a hub I wrote about Dalmatians. Dalmatians seem to have an affinity for horses.The reason they became fire engine dogs was to calm the horses.

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