Somehow - somehow, that son of a bitch dog mother knew it was Fourth of July. Berta lived alone with her two dogs and of course it was Rufus - she called him RuRu One for short - who knew. Rufus was a government issued dog.
Berta was a veteran and the DVA had determined that she was sane enough to live alone, but mad enough to warrant a therapy dog and mad enough to have Bradley, the carer guy, visit her once a week. Her second dog, Russell - she called him RuRu Two for short - had no clue. Russell probably did not even know the DVA existed.
Berta used to walk RuRu Two in the afternoon to go to the park and to do dog things. In the morning, she used to take RuRu One so he could piss all around the neighborhood. When somebody got angry about RuRu One taking a dump on their lawn, Berta would tell them that this was a government issued therapy kanine and that they should consider any shits on their lawn a personal gift from the DVA. That shut up some of those people.
Berta wasn't a cynic, but she was alone. Bradley the carer guy came to her house once a week at the exact same time, and usually he would leave after a predetermined time, too.
Berta cared for Bradley the carer guy cause she needed to. Bradley the carer guy cared for Berta because he needed to.
At some point, Berta had run out of stories to tell Bradley. She did not know whether Bradley cared if her stories repeated themselves, but she did. As a counter measure, Berta had started watching old war movies just to tell new stories to Bradley the carer guy. Berta had wondered whether her stories would ever affect the time Bradley spent at her home. She had tried to drag out stories or shorten them, she had tried to make them more exciting or more boring than they were, but Bradley kept leaving at the predetermined time.
Bradley did not start to leave at a different time when Berta had started telling him the new stories, but some kind of attention showed up in his face that Berta liked, then started disliking once it became his normal face when he was with her. Perhaps Bradley was wondering how Berta could have fought the Nazis when she was still in her forties now, but he never asked. Maybe he thought that all enemies were Nazis for Berta. Maybe he knew which films she had seen. Did he tell Mr. Kepler from the DVA about it?
Most of all, Berta wondered whether the new stories would sometime make the DVA decide to have Bradley the carer guy come to her house twice a week. She did not know whether twice a week was an option. She did not ask. She did not ask because she did not know whether the next step was Berta being mad enough for Bradley the carer guy to come twice a week, or whether it was taking her away from her home, or perhaps one of her dogs.
She loved her dogs although RuRu One was government issued and although RuRu One seemed to know which day it was. She had already taken RuRu One outside to piss all around the neighborhood this morning, but now he was at the door again, capering around excitedly and impatiently. He was barking like never before and his bark was obviously meant to be defiant. RuRu Two was lying around in the corner in the most disinterested manner, although he had not even been to the park today. But the other damn dog knew; he knew it was time for the parade.