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Story ID:3829
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:West Coast USA
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I received a lot of great comments on my 24-hour
Short Story contest entry - Ruby.
It is located at http://www.ourecho.com/story-3766-24-Hour-Short-Story-Contest-entry-Ruby.shtml

I decided to clear a few things up. Ruby is based on a true story. A few years ago, a man contacted me
after reading a story I wrote about a dog.
He told me about his little blind dog named
Chris-T-Fur. He allowed me to write the following
story about him. I wrote it from the owner's

Word Count: 590 Chris-T-Fur

The litter of puppies snuggled close to their protective mother. With her
nourishment, they grew quickly. In a few weeks, they were waddling around, exploring
their new home. They were healthy and happy, but one little guy was different. He was
smaller and was developing at a much slower rate. We called him Chris-T-Fur.

Chris-T-Fur tried to keep up with his brothers and sisters, but always fell behind
the pack. Hed run in their direction but would slam into the walls and furniture. We
grew concerned and had him examined. The vet said, Im sorry, Tom. Chris-T-Fur is
blind. His left eye is totally defective, and he has a juvenile cataract in his right. He
may have a little vision in his right eye, but it isnt much. You need to make a decision.

My wife and I both work with people who have disabilities. Shes a physical
education teacher for severely disabled children. I work with adults with hearing loss.
Our little Chris-T-Fur deserved as much of a chance as anyone. Doc, well take him
home and love him as much as our other dogs. Chris quickly worked his way into our
hearts - a special kinship was formed. Later, Chris-T-Fur developed a seizure disorder.
After a seizure, he has to walk it off. He walks all over the house, bumping into

Chris-T-Fur soon learned the sound of my car. Hed hear me coming and run
down the driveway - headfirst into the metal gate. Its a wonder he still has a nose. Go
back to the house, Chris. I told him. Hed turn and run back up the driveway, bouncing
off the brick wall using it as his guide.

On outings, he runs with the other dogs, barking at things he cannot see. He runs
into fences, bushes, trees, and even over banks. Does it slow him down? No! Chris-T-Fur
gets up - a little dazed - shakes it off, and continues the pursuit. He wants to be part of the

The other dogs have become intolerant of him lately, especially when they are
settled down with a bone or treat. When he walks by, they growl or snap at him. They
dont understand, he cant see their bone. He has his own treat and is looking for it.

At night, I sit to work at my computer. Within a few minutes, Ill hear Chris-T-
Fur enter the room. He sniffs the air, detects where I am, and soon Ill hear the familiar
thud, as he bumps into my chair. I turn, scratch him behind his ears; give him a couple of
pats on his head, and show him all the love I feel for him. He then wanders off to another
part of the house.

At dinner, I purposely drop a few Kibbles on the floor. Chris-T-Fur is quick
to hear the sound. With a few sniffs of his over sensitive nose, he can locate his treat.

In spite of all his disabilities, Chris-T-Fur is a happy dog. He is friendly and
always ready to be my companion. Hes my hero. He doesnt have a pedigree, but hes
top dog in my books. One day, I know Ill have a void in my life, where Chris-T-Fur used
to be. Until then, I have a daily reminder that the struggles I face are insignificant
compared to what others deal with.

Chris-T-Fur knows, if you get knocked down, pick yourself up, and brush
yourself off. Hes taught me how important it is to keep a positive attitude.

Michael T. Smith

A year later, I received an email from Chris-T-Furs owner. My wife and I cried our
eyes out as we read his email.
His wife took the dogs to their camper in
the mountains for a weekend alone. There was a
gas explosion. She was badly burned and died
in hospital a month after the explosion.
They found little Chris wandering blindly in the

The topic I received for the contest
made me think of Ruby,and so the story was born.
Sadly, it is based on a true happening.