The Adventures of Bob by Bill Choate

Bud Oliver drove up in his old, much used Ford pick-up, parked and got out a little slow; Bud was no spring chicken.

Greeting the loafers in front of the general store with one of his sarcastic but friendly remarks, "well, I'll bet this bunch ain't hit a lick of work today and probably wont tomorrow ether," they all laughed and old man Hiram Baffle spoke up "you mighty right, not if we can get some idjit to do it for us, Bud, and speaking of that, why don't you just run over to my place and paint the back porch and while your at it go ahead and mow that little piece of grass I call a yard."

"I thank you kindly for the offer Hiram but you see my back has been bothering me again and the doctor said I needed to take better care of myself considering the sorry shape I'm in. But I do thank you most kindly just the same."

Cecil Milhorn asked "Where's ol'Bob, where's your dog?"

"Now Cecil you know dang well Bob ain't my dog. He's Taz's dog and I'm just sort of looking after him."

Tazewell Cade: Taz to his friends, now dead for more than ten months and considered the best friend the Cove ever had, but that's a story better saved for another time.

Taz was Bud's best friend. They had served together in the military, then worked together in civilian life. In retirement one of their hobbies was to operate a small still once a year to make a few Christmas presents for their friends and a little something for themselves. Taz had dropped dead from a heart attack while carrying a fifty pound sack of sugar to the still; Bud never made another drop.

"Cecil, you asked about Bob? Well let me tell you something. Bob is still very much Taz's dog. Bob goes most every day over to the cemetery and lays by Taz's grave for thirty minutes or an hour. That's what I call devotion. He's sort of like that little dog I heard about in England, Greyfriars Bobby."

Hiram said "that's right; I seed Bob do that when I was over there looking after my wife's grave."

"But, Cecil, Bob don't let his devotion to Taz interfere with his social life. No sir'ee.

He is out there ever day making his rounds in the cove and visiting all over. I think all the women folk are feeding him. They know he was Taz's dog so they feel sorry for him and think of him as a child who has lost a parent. Then others think he's cute. Fifteen inch beagles get a lot of attentions from the ladies because they think they're cute. I feed him twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening. But a lot of time he won't hardly touch his food in the evening and why should he? He's been eating all day.

The other part of his social life seems to be a great deal of interest in the lady dogs. Loy Holloway down at the other end of the cove said that Bob was always down at his place. It seems when Loy's oldest boy, Herschel, came back home, as most of you know, and brought his new bride that he met in up North, she brought this big beautiful female Great Dame with her. Well to make this long story short ol'Bob just fell head-over-heels in love. Loy said it was the funniest thing he had ever seen, but as they say in the paper-back novels, it was a thing not to be for the two star crossed lovers.

And ol'Bob moped around for a while and then went on his way to visit someplace else in the cove."

As I was ending the story Joe (Harley) Davidson stopped his whittling and looked up and said "I doggies, speak of the devil I believe yonder comes ol'Bob now."

And sure enough, Bob come a-dragging in.

Harley said "Bud, I believe Bob looks a might tuckered."

I replied "I 'spect he is Harley, trying to keep up with all of his social obligations; that can take a lot out of a feller. I think I'd better take him on home so he can get a little rest."

"Come on, Bob lets go home" and we walked over to the truck. I let down the tail gate but Bob didn't seem able to make the jump up to the truck bed so I reached down and lifted him up, you know, just to give him a little help. All that time the loafers were just a-cackling.

Cecil yelled out "you maybe ought to take him to the vet and get him one of those B-12 shots." I yelled back "naw, he just needs a little rest and a good snooze in the sunshine and he'll be his old self."

I waved as we drove off I heard Harley yell "and he might need some of that Viagra stuff too." They're still laughing down at the store.