Rocky spoke up, “More like '–‒is a total dork'.”
“Or how about '–‒really had it coming',” Ringo laughed.
“Why are you even bothering carving a stone for yourself, Conrad? It's not like any of us are going to bury you when you're gone.”
Ringo agreed. “I think I'd rather just eat you.”
“Heck, I'll eat him right now.”
“Oh, me too. Definitely. Hey, maybe we should.”
Conrad had had enough. He grabbed the rolled-up newspaper and took a swing at the dogs who jumped back in alarm. “All right, that's enough! You two think it's going to be so great when I'm dead? Who's going to rub your bellies then, huh? I'll tell you who. No one! It'll be the last time any dog on Earth gets a belly-rub. Ever!”
The German Shepherds had to think about it for a moment. They weren't the brightest pups in the pack, Conrad knew, but they meant well. (Well enough, anyway.) He turned back around to work on the granite slab. He was lousy with a chisel, but the words were starting to take shape. He just had to decide how to wrap it up. “The last man on earth.” That was him.
He winced in pain as he reached for his bottle of pills up on the nearby shelf. The broken leg was infected and there was no one to help him. It was the dumbest way in the world for the last man on earth to die: a broken leg. If Big Jack didn't scare up some antibiotics, he was finished. So far, the Bulldog and his pack of scavengers had brought back everything but antibiotics: aspirin, tongue depressors, pool test kits, dental tools. They'd probably hit every toy store in the city too. His collection of Rubik's Cubes was a testament to their ability to fetch the wrong thing a hundred times over.
At last, the doggy door flew open and the pack came in, their little backpacks overflowing with junk. “We got it this time, Human!” Big Jack said with a slobbery grin. Conrad smiled back and patted his head, but he knew better than to get his hopes up. Big Jack tried his hardest, but he was dumb as a box of rocks. His backpack was filled with nothing but doggie treats, and that was no surprise. Rex the Second actually had medical supplies and got to eat the treats while Big jack whimpered. More toys from Niko the Morkie, who loved games of fetch more than breathing.
Conrad's eyes went hazy and the room started to spin as he rummaged in the little cross-breed's backpack. Between the loss of blood, the infection, and the pain meds, he was likely as not to check out at any moment. Every time he looked woozy, his two guards got this excited look on their faces that sent him reaching for the newspaper. Those idiots really would eat him, wouldn't they? And here he was thinking they'd at least cover up the grave if he went and laid down in it. Fat chance!
At the bottom of Niko's backpack, he came away with a little white box. It was literally the only thing the dog had brought that wasn't a toy. He held the box up to his eyes, the words printed on its surface dancing and swimming. They came into focus for a brief moment and Conrad was able to read a bunch of medical nonsense that he couldn't make out. All except for one word: “antibiotic.”
He had to read it again. His head cleared up all at once and he laughed aloud. “Oh, Niko, you're the best dog ever! You found it!”
Niko started wagging his tail and wheezing with excitement. Conrad reached for his syringes and was alarmed to find Big Jack's heavy paw on top of them. He growled at Conrad. “Who's a good boy?” he asked with a scowl. “You are, Jack! You are!” said Conrad in a panic, rubbing the bulldog's ears. Big Jack wagged his stubby tail and let Conrad have the package.
Conrad's fingers trembled as he worked to get the needle to puncture the rubber seal that covered the tiny bottle. At last, he got it and drew back on the plunger. With the syringe and the life-saving medication together at last, he sunk the needle into his burning leg and laid his head back against his own gravestone. “You're all good boys. All of you.”
As he lost consciousness, the dogs piled up on him at once, licking his face. Conrad smiled and drifted off to sleep. The last man on earth was alive!