Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 13, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
Fraser Hodgson The tale of a good dog who adopted us Focus on the University - By J. W. FISHBOURNB IJE was of the fox terrier breed, but hie color and marking* showed some Integration in his ancestry. He was a little bigger and stronger than the true breed, and I think that made him tougher and more aggressive if possible. There were a few brown patches around his ears, a black lopsided saddle across his back, and a black band halfway down his full-length tail. I guess his owner at birth didn't believe in tail docking. His home before he came to us must have been pretty rough, because it was six months before he really trusted our friendship. Maybe he had us on six months probation before he finalized our adoption papers. I know it is usual for people to decide about an adoption, but in Buddy's case it was reversed, he adopted us. A man operating a dragline around our town of Coaldale, rented a bedroom from us because he didn't care for hotel living, and he arrived with the dog in charge of the passenger seat of his old truck- He was just "the dog" and didn't have a name, and he stayed with the truck, refusing to come in the bouse. We gave our roomer scraps to feed him, and about ten days later he would slowly approach the kitchen door and accept food from Mom, or our teen-age son Jim and daughter Shirley. This went on for nearly a month, and then the dragline man quit and took a job cooking on a dude ranch near Pincher Creek. I remember thinking it was quite a change in professions, but anyway he couldn't take the dog along. He said if he couldn't locate a new owner he would have him destroyed. The kids had that solved immediately, and that day in 1951 Buddy got a name and stayed with us until he died in 1936. ? * * It was a month before he ventured into the kitchen; he stayed with our car all the time he could. I suppose winter coming . along had something to do with his final acceptance of us, because then he agreed to sleep on a mat under the kitchen table. He almost left when we moved his mat to a corner, as we acquired a couple of school teacher boarders, and they didn't care for a dog under the eating table at mealtime, or any other time. Mom gave him notice right away to stay out of the front room, and I know he never crossed that line if she was in the house. Jim could coax him in if she wasn't around, but he sure scratched out in a hurry if she happened to come along. Jim's bedroom was off the kitchen, and one winter night he came home and put Bud on the foot of his bed to warm his cold feet. That started a regular trend, and most nights we could hear his claws tip-toe across the floor after Jim went to bed- So though he adopted the whole family, he was really Jim's dog, and followed him as much as possible. Next to us he looked after our car, and would fight to the death to guard it from other dogs and people. I'm sure mistreatment made him leave his former home, because he would have absolutely nothing to do with kids under 12 or 14, and it was a year before Mom could sweep the floor without him trying frantically to get outside. A straw broom must have been his main correctional club, and he walked a wide circle around it standing in the corner by the door. Even sharp words drove him cowering onto his back, but with kindness and a little attention he finally returned to acting like a regular dog. It only took a few days to teach him to sit and speak for odd bits after we finished eating, and he soon recognized, and would beg for, the red can of store-bought dog food at suppertime. ? ? ? like most dogs that got plenty to eat, he would turn up his nose at plain bread or vegetables, and would only eat meat or gravy-soaked food, unless it was accidently dropped on the floor. If he thought another dog or cat or anyone might grab it, he would snap it up and swallow it whole, just the same as any other dog. Years later when we had a 6 - month - old grandson stay with us a while, the dog would sit by his highchair and gulp every crumb of anything he dropped, but put it in his dish and it was nosed out on the floor. He didn't like the kid and would leave if he was crawling on the floor, but would guard his buggy on the street and would not let anyone even look under the hood. I suppose lots of dogs are like that, and may-ba some people too - thsy may not want something but don't want anyone else to have it either. Everyone in town and all our country customers knew Buddy, because he hung around the garage and guarded our car or truck or jeep, and escorted them wherever they went. If we went out in the country be would go back and wait at the shop until the vehicle returned, or be delighted to go along if picked up. He put out a h i g h-pitch yip when on escort duty, and until people got used to him they would look around to see who was murdering a dog. He ran along in front and covered the whole street, no other dog was ever allowed near, and of course when one did challenge him there was an immediate snarling fight. This often started light in front of the car, and every few days a pair of yapping dogs went underneath and bumped around between the wheels, coming out somewhere with fight forgotten. Bud never stopped to continue this argument, he kept on yip-ping down the street to make sure the car got safely to its parking place in front of the shop. I'm not sure whether he felt it his duty to finish his escort job, or if he figured it was a good excuse to get away from a fight he might lose anyway. He never chased any car but ours, or one some of us were in, so whenever people heard a yipping dog running along with a car, they knew who was going by. ? ? ? When he got the car parked he ran around to all the wheels checking to make sure his signature was prominent on the tires, then lay down underneath to rest and watch. He would tackle any dog no matter how big, that happened along trying to cancel his mark on his wheels, and he'd make such a racket that the big dog would soon move on. Aretired customer-farmer-friend of ours, Bill Meyers, lived a block down the street, and he came past several times a day for a walk uptown. Buddy would see him coming and start growling and walking around the car stiff-legged, and when Bill got close he'd start shuffling his feet and act like he was going to touch the car. Bud would just about have a fit growling and yipping and running frantically around, and Bill would laugh and keep up the aggravation for a few minutes, then walk on down the street. Then Buddy would fall in alongside jumping up to be petted, and be the best of friends until the return trip, and they'd go through the commotion all over again- This feud went on for years, even in the cold weather when Bud watched his beloved car from inside the office. When Bill came along there was such a clamor he had to be let out or he'd scratch the door down. ? ? ? Buddy loved to ride with any of us on a service trip to the country, so he could get out and hunt mice and gophers. We learned quickly never to let him out in a farmyard, or all loose livestock were driven wild, and all cats treed or chased to the top of the kitchen screen door. He would play himself out completely, rooting under a combine or baler swatch after mice, and carefully bury each carcass for future use, or maybe because he was sorry they had to die. If he scared up a jack-rabbit he'd go wild yipping off across the fields after it, and come back played out with a silly apologetic grin, as if he was sorry he didn't catch our dinner. I guess like most dogs he had another aggravating habit on some of these country trips -he loved to change his identity by means of a long dead animal. I remember once letting him out near a corral full of feeder cattle, and he went in there and rolled and wallowed in every fresh pile he could find. He rode home in the back of the truck, and got hosed d o w n in the wash-rack at the garage. He never got a bath any other time, but he tried to change his identity so often that he was cleaned up pretty regularly, or shut outside until he cooled off a little. As I said, it's just a dog's inherited nature to smell awful every chance he gets. Buddy got teased a lot by everyone at the shop, or by us while riding in the car or truck. He would take it for a time, then he'd grab a coat-sleeve or pantleg and tug and growl as if he was going to chew it off. Some customers he would tolerate and play with, and others he'd have nothing to do with. We often made him frothing mad by changing courses with the car on our way to work when he was clearing the way a half-block ahead, and he would come charging back yipping his doggy cusswords at us all the rest of the way. He got chewed up several times in dog fights, and only one bad -smashup by a car. He followed the jeep on a service trip and got caught in a snowbank rut by a following car. Steve found him on the way back, and got bitten when he gathered him up, so he wrapped him in his coat and put him in the box. He crawled under the office desk and wouldn't come out. I had a notion to finish him off right then, but decided to wait until morning. When I came to work he staggered out on three legs, so I took him home where he lay in his corner for three days without eating or drinking a drop. We debated about letting him live or putting him out of his obvious misery, but then he started eating a little and . gradually recovered. In three weeks he tried to follow us to work on three legs, but it took another two weeks before he made it. His tail hung limp and he dragged it along behind, but in a couple more weeks it was back up in a jaunty curl over his back. Now he could tend to his escort duty, and go, "ki-yi-yi yip-yipping" along ahead, and scare everybody and everything off our course around town. He would again react to our teasing, and when we blew at his nose he'd pretend to get real vicious, until his snapping teeth got so close we'd quit-But as usual he wouldn't play with a stranger, and only cultivated a few personal friends. That fall of '56 we decided to sell our business and retire, maybe go away for the winter. The question came up right away, What could we do with Bud? The kids were both married and moved away, and we didn't know anyone that independent Buddy would accept as family. Just before noon a few days later, a kid came into the shop and said my dog was sleeping under their car and wouldn't come out. Steve and I went that way going home for lunch, and there was Bud'curled up under the car in a sleeping position. When Steve dragged him out he was stiff, and had been dead for some hours. Later my wife remembered he had cleared the way for her down that street, and when he wasn't around later she didn't think anything of it, he could be on a cat-chasing sidetrip. It was a very hot fall day; Bud must have finally overdone it and had a heart attack. Now we didn't need to worry about what became of him. His burial shroud was a gunny sack, and Steve dug his grave in our backyard, and the funeral was all over before dinner. His grave is unmarked, but we know right where it is, and unless someone digs a basement there and takes him away for landfill somewhere else, I guess it'll always be there- Someone asked me that afternoon why I looked so glum, and I informed them I had lost a big machine sale, had a flat tire, and my dog died. He. was a pretty good dog and very faithful to his family, so I'm sure he got to doggy heaven. We often think and speak of him, and hope he has plenty of cats and dogs to argue with, also a car and family to look out for. He should also have trees, poles, and lots of tires to leave his initials on. and cancel those of his canine friends. He sure left his mark around Coaldale. Maybe we should have treated him better, and taken him to a vet when he got smashed up, but we didn't think he'd make it. But he did, so I guess he didn't want to leave us until he found out we didn't need him anymore, then he left. Do you remember a dog like Buddy in your life? Rarin9 to go - Photo by Bryan Wilson Book Reviews Search for truth and morality "To Defend, To Destroy" by James Reston Jr. (Norton and Company, 223 pages, $7.50, distributed by George J. McLeod Ltd). rPHe story of Jonathan Bart-lelt, Lieutenant U.S. Army Intelligence is gripping, disturbing, moving drama at its best. In very descriptive, easily read English Mr. Reston takes the reader on a journey of search for truth and morality, in these troubled years of the Vietnam war. Jon is a very likable young man who is not really sure of himself. He does not like war, yet he enters service voluntarily, and rather than become part of the machine of impersonal war, enters intelligence. Here he becomes so personally involved that the failure of 'Operation Jonah" sets his mind on a train of thought that leads to disaster for him. Maria is a young woman who in early days, like Jon, breaks away from traditional religion and morality, and who eventually becomes active with a group of militant pacifists in Japan. Her influence on Jon has much to do with his thoughts and his eventual course of action. Other characters in the story come across as real people involved one way or another with the policy of the U.S. government as it affects people both in the United States and in Asia. This was to me a very disturbing story. I saw a very tal- ented young man destroying his chances for success. Yet the personal ethics that were so uppermost in his mind were admirable. I found myself at times angry at his foolishness, or moved deeply by his attempts at personal honesty and conviction. Several times I had to leave the book for a Three of kind "Cats: History, Care, Breeds" by Christine Metcalf (Grossct and Dunlop, $4.95, 156 pages, distributed by George J. McLeod, Ltd.. "Porcelain" by Eileen Aid-ridge, (Grosset and Dunlop, $4.95, 150 pages, distributed by George J. McLeod, Ltd.). "Fossil Man" by Michael H. Day, (Grosset and Dunlop, $4.95, 158 pages, distributed by George J. McLeod, Ltd.). rpHESE books are three of an interesting series forming an authorative library on the subjects discussed; a library which, unlike many composed of dry encyclopedias, is easily read and absorbed by all ages. The illustrations are hvely and in full color, the text comprehensive without being elementary. We haven't a full list of the subjects contained in the series, but if they are as interesting as the three above this would form an ideal bookshelf for every family. MARGARET LUCKHURST. while, because I had become so emotionally involved with the story. It is alive, it is real, and it is the dilemma of today. This book does not give the answers' to the problem of military involvement in the world today. It does clearly, and in the terms of individuals, show the depth and complexity of the situation. Ohuang who the Intelligence uses is a real person. He is educated, intelligent, and has a major goal to fulfil. Many years ago he escaped Communist China by betraying his father who was arrested. Chuang must go back and get his father. The U.S. Army uses that need in Chuang to make him an agent reporting on Communist China's actions regarding Vietnam. The young man is completely in the dark regarding the true nature of his mission. When he dies, Jon Bartlett feels responsible. Yet the other side of the story is also told, concerning the spread of communism and the results of this to individuals. Where is the answer? To Defend, To Destroy gives us clues in our own search for the answer. Mr. Reston's first novel is excellent reading. I can recommend it to anyone who likes a good story, and who is deep-ply concerned about involvement in the affairs of another country, and what role or stand they should take regarding pacifism. DAVID H. ROGERS. Teachers9 credibility rpHERE is talk - in the press, at least- of a teachers' strike, and a general feeling that it would be a bad thing. I agree, but not for reasons referred to in the press. There is a special reason for deploring a strike by teachers, one so far not mentioned in any stories or editorials I've happened to notice. The customary stance for commentators, when teachers' strikes are imminent, is to point to the sad lot of the individuals involved, with specially bitter tears for the children deprived of their right to go to school. That may sound fine - it's always proper to weep over children - but really, it's simple nonsense. Children that happily endure Christmas and Easter holidays, that survive unscathed the two-months summer break, aren't likely to suffer much over a few days - or weeks - unscheduled holiday at another time of the year. And to suggest that deferring their education for a few weeks will do them serious harm - or any at all, considering what our system does to them - is too silly even to be amusing. It's like saying that youngsters kept home with the 'flu are in danger of being damaged for life by losing a week or so of schooling. Parents are in a different position. They have to do the babysitting they expect of the school system, and of course they'll be unhappy about that. They'll cry "for the chdldrens' sake," of course, but forgive me a little skepticism about that, please. The teachers themselves aren't likely to suffer greatly, either. At worst they'll lose a few dollars, if the final settlement isn't enough to offset - in time - their lost salary. But really, it can hardly be said that they had no choice as to whether or not to strike. Some trustees may have a few awkward moments with parents irrate over having been deprived of their vested right to park their children during the day, but that won't kill them. And here again, they volunteered for their jobs as trustees, well knowing that there are these squabbles every year. Nor does the taxpayer - as a taxpayer-stand to lose a great deal by a strike. The settlement will cost something, but certainly no more than acceding to the original demands. He might even save a dollar or two if the strike lasts long enough. But there is a very serious loss just the same, and for all of us. The cause of education itself suffers, and that affects children, parents, teachers, trustees and the public alike. I'm not talking about damage to some ethereal philosophy, some intangible concept, as a poet grieving over the fading of a flower. I'm thinking of the diminishing influence of the teaching profession in proposing and making the changes and improvements so drastically needed if our educational system is to be what it should be. Surely improvements are needed, and just as surely it is the proper role of the profession to furnish the needed leadership in bringing about these improvements. But to do so, it must have the trust and support of the public, and I'm very much afraid that that trust and support is fading. Whether what we see and hear from the media is true or distorted I don't really know, but the message the public gets is that teachers are forever negotiating new contracts, always for higher salaries and better working conditions. What would any reasonable person expect the public to think? So suppose that some year teachers ask that each Grade I class be limited to 15 pupils. A sound - indeed an overdue - step, as anyone who has looked seriously at the matter knows, on purely educational grounds. But how would the public view such a request? Sadly, I'm sure it would regard it as just another attempt to get a better deal - for the teacher. The public has heard so little about the real concerns of the profession, and so much about their salary negotiations, that it finds it very hard to credit teachers with a genuine and overriding concern for the educational well-being of their children. Unfortunately, in our curious form of democracy, it is not what's true that matters, but what the majority of the people happen to believe. There are a few of ua who realize that teachers generally are far more concerned about their profession and the children they love and teach than they are about salaries and fringe benefits. But it's their credibility with the public that counts, and I can't see how a strike will improve that The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORLEY Lent and the Church THHE Church should celebrate Lent truly this year in sackcloth and ashes, or in some modern symbolism that will represent its shame and penitence over its failure to condemn and grapple with the evils of its society. The indifference of the church to civic corruption has been one of the greatest scandals of the time. The church should declare a Lenten period of mourning, its clergy should fast publicly and privately, sermons should be preached and articles written, to condemn the foul pollution of Canadian public life. Politicians are ruthless and Machiavellian. Through all society runs the rottenness of ethical impurity, a contempt for human values, and an indifference to human welfare. The church should declare a period of mourning for this poor land, so corrupted with evil, lying, injustice, and indecency. Its movies, plays, books, and social and public life are rotten with pornography. There is a dreaful moral stench in the land. What has happened to the Christian Church? Where is its fire and righteous indignation? Is it not custodian to the traditions of the prophets, heir to Amos and Micah in their demand for righteousness, heir to Isaiah in his demand for compassion, heir to Jeremiah in Ins demand for the pure worship of God? These were men who rebuked kings, who spoke for the people. Where are such men now? The church keeps silence while an unspeakable vulgarity rots the public life and sewage seeps into Parliament. One would expect a roar of indignation that would rock Parliament Hill, but there isn't the squeak of a mouse. The church keeps silence while the incalculable sufferings of unemployment ravage the nation. Unemployment is a major problem of the West. If unemployment be not solved, Western society is doomed. Unemployment destroys a nation's morale. It was a major factor in creating Adolf Hitler and his Nazis, bringing on the last world war. It will bring on another. Do we not see that another world war is as sure as the morning sun if we continue to go Jie way we are going: By "we" I mean the whole Western society. The church keeps silence while the machinery of democracy is held up to ridicule. Worse than the vulgarity has been the contempt for Parliament. An article in a western newspaper points out how attractive the salaries of Members of Parliament have become and how the pensions are getting so good that early retirement is not only possible but desirable. So Parliament has become a highly paid club, with little effect on the life of Canada, derided by her own leaders. The burden of government, however, becomes greater and greater, its waste and extravagance pointed out by auditor's reports, with little result. Canadians are much exercised about the take-over by Americans. Much more fearful is the take-over by the barbarians. Only the Pope has been brave enough to speak out against contraception and abortion, knowing that they are part of the contemporary contempt for human life. One reads of "kills" in Vietnam! What a frightful word for taking human life! A ghastly military octopus reaches from the Pentagon through Canada as well as the U.S., and threatens all humane values. President Nixon and Prime Minister Tru-deau go into conversations and who knows what they will say? One thing surely is true, the Canadian public will not learn the facts. The destiny of Canada will be decided in grim secrecy. Karel Capek, the Czech playwright, SO years ago introduced the word "robot" into the English language. So Canadians in this robotism walk like doomed sleepwalkers to their own destruction. The diseases of leisure have taken hold of society as well. Canada rots from within while enemies attack from without. A sad fatalism is written on the faces of men in the street as they watch the meaningless-ness and manipulation of society. Why does the church keep silence? It has too much itch for popularity. "How can we get the young people?" it keeps asking. What nonsense! As if the church existed to get Pierre Berton's approval and the applause of public groups, whether they be young or old, rich or poor. The church exists to proclaim the Word of the Lord. This will not popular. Jesus said repeatedly to his followers that all men would hate them. To be popular is to be false. The church must speak with a voice other than a human voice, expressing truths greater than human truths, making demands other than human demands, saying, "Thus saith the Lord." The church must do this indifferent to praise or blame. A large section of the Christian church, with a few notable exceptions, lives in a closed biosphere, socially irrelevant and irresponsible. Let it get out of isolation! Gone astray By Doug Walker |?LSPETH was away one weekend re-cently so I went to church alone. Several persons remarked about my unsual location that Sunday - I found a place about half way to the front instead of in the second or third row from the back. It just goes to show that I am like many other men. Without my wife at my side I am apt to go astray.