Dogs Don’t Ask
By Jeff Baker
The dog was old and weathered and Amzed had been assigned to her. She didn’t protest as he picked her up and carried her, first outside where he set her down and she stood shakily for a few minutes, then Amzed carried her back inside and gently set her down by her food and water bowls. Amzed sat down beside her and rubbed her back as she ate, chewing slowly.
“That’s okay girl, take your time,” Amzed said, running his finger along the edge of the dog’s collar. “We both know what it’s like to have a master.”
Dogs took things as they came, Amzed reflected. Dogs didn’t ask about your status or about the ancient verse tattooed on your left arm or whether the name carved on your right shoulder was the name you’d been born with. (“Amzed,” and it wasn’t.) Dogs don’t ask about the welts and scars on your back.
Amzed rubbed the dog’s back again. No scars.
“Your masters have treated you better than mine have,” he said. “I guess we’re lucky with the owners we have right now.”
The dog finished eating and looked up at Amzed with eyes that seemed tired but smiling. Then she made a few halting steps toward the door.
“You want out again girl?” Amzed asked. “All right, we’ll go out.”
He gently carried the dog outside and set her down to sniff the grass. He sat down again and stared up at two of the three moons, dim in the daytime sky. For a few minutes, Amzed and the dog both felt very young and free
Author’s Note: I had written the first draft of this story when I realized it fit into a series of stories I have set on an alien world with an Arabic-like culture, maybe made up of refugees from Earth who arrived millennia ago and then regressed from the space age to something more medieval. With the assistance, of course, of mystical forces that inhabited this planet first. No name for the series, I just think of it as “The World of Three Moons.” The only other one published was “Wild Horses,” on this blog February 19, 2017, connected with the Monday Flash Fics page.