They got him as a puppy when Danny was nearly three.
He was a scruffy little fellow and had no pedigree.
Daddy asked, "What are you going to name the little tyke?"
"Scruff" said Danny. "I think that's a name he'd like!"
They became the closest pals and were seldom seen apart.
Every move that Danny made, to him Scruff's eyes would dart.
Scruff would tag along with Danny to ensure he didn't stray.
At night as he dreamed of kings and things, Scruff nigh him lay.
The sun-tanned, barefoot boy and his dog formed a loving bond,
As they explored the fields and streams and veiled horizons beyond.
Scruff chased rabbits and butterflies as they took their daily tramp.
Danny shared his lunch with Scruff when they took a break to camp.
Time hastened on inexorably as it will and schooling beckoned Dan.
Through high school then on to college, Danny became a man.
Scruff was moving slower and gray hairs were seen upon his ruff.
'Twas apparent that time was taking its toll on good and faithful Scruff.
In a far-off place strife began and Danny marched off to war.
His heart was shattered as he left Scruff whimpering at the door.
'Twas to be their final farewell. Alas, Danny did not come home.
Never more would Scruff and his pal those fields of Indiana roam.
Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
(c) All Rights Reserved
Tied First Place in Seren Roberts "Little Lad And Big Dog" Contest - July 2013