Jarn’s Journal Year 9, Day 102 #sffsat

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Year 9, Day 102

How long do wild dogs live, and what signs of aging do they show?

It’s been almost nine years since I rescued Patches. For much of that time, she has been my only constant companion. Oh, Giraffe used to borrow her to help him hunt. But Little Gnu and Rhino didn’t want her around, so I took her exploring with me.

This past year Rainbow has felt much safer with Patches’ nose and eyes to warn her of trouble when she is gathering, though I have assured her that the warnoff that I insist she wear makes that unnecessary. But the area I was exploring at the time was so hot and dry that I thought Patches was better off with Rainbow, and later I didn’t want to risk her being found by the northern hunters. So I hadn’t paid her much attention until the People left.

I knew she was getting a little fat; Rainbow insists on giving her treats. But it wasn’t until this morning that I noticed that she was a little lame when she first woke up.

Jarn’s Journal is the journal of a human-like alien stranded in Africa some 125,000 years ago. He is being treated as a god (much to his annoyance) by a group of our ancestors and gradually exploring the planet. He rescued a very young wild dog pup before he contacted any humans, and she is now about 9 years old. A somewhat longer version of this post is on my main blog, and the journal to date is on my author site.

Jarn’s story is part of the remote back history of the Jarnian Confederation, where most of my science fiction is set.


About sueannbowlingauthor

Sue Ann Bowling earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at Radcliffe/Harvard and a Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Alaska. After thirty years of teaching, she retired to focus on writing. Bowling has lived in Alaska for fifty years. Visit her Web site on canine color genetics at http://bowlingsite.mcf.com/Genetics/Genetics.html.
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6 Responses to Jarn’s Journal Year 9, Day 102 #sffsat

  1. Peter Vialls says:

    The signs of approaching mortality in a well-loved pet can be heart-breaking – Jarn’s quiet, unspoken anguish comes across strongly here. Good snippet.

  2. S.A. Check says:

    Subtle, accurate, and well-written. Detail rich, as always, and it leaves you with a sense of pending loss that readers can easily relate to.

  3. I don’t know what it is about pets for companions, but it is immediately heart-wrenching, as Peter said. I feel like most people can easily relate to that, so this is a moment that I feel like most readers would remember well.

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