DOG STORIES

Many of these True Stories are from children's papers of long ago! 

Chango:
 
BY ORNO FOLLETT

Our Little Friend Dec 16, 1916

CHANGO was only a mixed-breed shepherd dog, but far above the average, in intelligence and usefulness. In our acquaintance of less than a year, he completely won the affections of the whole family.

When hungry, Chango would climb into a chair and sit up just as any little boy or girl would do, put out his paws pleadingly, and ask for something to eat. I do not recall that the expected crust of bread was ever denied him. Little reader, could you deny such mute pleadings? Chango also seemed to take real joy in shaking hands.

There are many coyotes in this semi-wild country in which we live: They often catch the farmers' chickens, even in broad daylight. Our Chango seemed to understand that it was his special duty to keep these troublesome creatures away, and I have known him to bark the whole night long when the coyotes were howling. Then they would know there was a dog around, and would not come near.

The stockmen's range cattle were also troublesome, often destroying crops, and even going through barbed wire fences. And this is how this part of our story came to be written.

Chango, ever faithful to duty, undertook to drive a large herd of cattle away from our feed yards. Wild cattle they proved to be, and difficult to drive; but he did the best he could, and with our assistance, succeeded in driving the last one away.

Over among the pinon trees, Agnes saw one of the cattlemen riding, carefully concealing himself from our view as much as possible. He contrived to drop a piece of poisoned meat for our dear old Chango, and now you can guess the rest.

It proved to be a slow poison; and it made our hearts ache to see the poor, faithful creature look wistfully at us, as much as to say, "Can't you do something for me?"

We did all we could for dear Chango; but in a few days the cruel poison had done its work, and we laid the faithful servant, who had been patient to the last, tenderly away. Shortly before he died, when the coyotes would howl, we could catch a faint growl from Chango's kennel, an echo of the days when he so faithfully guarded his master's house.

Our hearts are sad indeed. But, oh, my little friends, I am made sadder still when I remember that kind, loving and obedient creatures, our mute friends, are suffering ill treatment and cruel death all over this country. Let us resolve to be kind even to dumb animals: those which cannot speak for themselves. Santa Fe, New Mexico.

 

The Dog that Telephoned 

 Feb. 13, 1925

REX was the brightest, tiniest little terrier you have ever seen. His young master, Fred, had taught him many funny tricks.

He could show his teeth and sneeze and bark when you told him to do so, and even wiggle his nose in the drollest way. He knew how to play hide and seek, could catch a ball, and could run and fetch a stick. Rex and Fred were great chums, and went everywhere together.

So when Fred went to visit his aunt and cousins in the country, he took his little dog along. In his aunt's front yard there was a big tree full of ripe cherries. Of course, Fred had to climb up to the very top, to pick the largest ones. Just as he was reaching away out, the branch on which he was standing cracked, and he came tumbling to the ground.

Fred was so badly hurt that he was taken to the hospital. Soon Rex began to wonder where his little master was. When a whole day had passed and he had not come home, the little dog could stand it no longer. He whined and cried, and ran all over the house, hunting and sniffing for Fred.

The next morning, Rex wouldn't touch his breakfast. At the end of two days, he had cried and fretted himself sick. So Fred's parents sent for the doctor. But the doctor shook his head, and said:

"He'll have to see his little master, if we ever hope to save him."

"But he can't," Fred's mother explained. "Our boy is in the hospital, and they won't let us take Rex down there."

"Something must be done at once," said the kind old doctor. Then an idea came to him. "Let me talk to the hospital a minute. Where's your phone?" he asked.

He talked to them for several moments, then hung up the receiver with a smile. "I think I've fixed it," he said. "They're going to wheel Fred to the phone at the hospital. Then he's going to ring us up, and talk to Rex over the telephone."

In a few minutes, the phone rang, and the doctor put the receiver to Rex's tiny ear. For a second, the little dog did not pay any attention. Then suddenly he let out the shrillest little bark you ever heard. His ears went up, while his tail wagged back and forth as if it would wag off.

That evening, Rex ate a big supper of milk and mush. Then he curled up in his little box, and didn't even open an eye all night long.

Every day after that, until his little master came home, Rex talked to him over the phone. But to this day, nobody knows what the little boy said to the dog, or what the little dog said to the boy. Corona Remington 

NEP'S LESSON

FEBRUARY 27, 1925

THERE, that's done, all but the sail," said Walter, eying with great satisfaction the ship he was making. "When I get that fastened on, she will be ready to launch."

Walter Smith was sitting on the doorstep of the little log house in which he lived with his father, mother, and baby sister. His home was surrounded by dense woods.

Laying the boat down carefully by his side, Walter took a piece of cloth his mother had given him, and was beginning to cut it into the right shape for a sail, when he heard from the sitting room: "Walter, come here, please; I want you."

"Oh, dear," said Walter; "I s'pose you're going to send me off when I'm at the most interesting part of my work. What is it?" he asked, looking anything but pleasant.

"Why, Walter," exclaimed his mother, "what a face you are making! I want you to take that pail and ask Mrs. Brown if she could let me have a little more cream. Are you really unwilling to do this little errand for your mother? I thought you would be quite ready to help me when I have so much to do."

"Well, I am," said Walter; "but something always has to be done just when I am busiest. Give me the pail."

"Walter, my boy, you must not speak to me like that," said his mother gently, "nor shall you do my errand. There is not even an animal about the place that does not make itself useful in some way. The chickens give us eggs, Tabby keeps the rats away, and as for Nep, there is no end to the usefulness of that faithful dog. He guards the house night and day, goes upon errands, and is never tired of helping us. But you, my own son, an intelligent boy, feel cross when I ask you to make a little sacrifice of your own comfort."

"Why not send Nep now?" muttered Walter, looking down on the floor. "He could carry a note in the pail as well as not. He has often done so before."

"I am afraid to have myself, or the house left without him when your father is away; but I will take baby in my arms, and go myself. Sit down and finish your boat. If you wish to be a useless boy in the house, you may."

"Walter did not go back to the doorstep, for he felt ashamed of himself, although he was too foolish to say manfully, "I am sorry, and ashamed too." He wanted to say this, and kept trying to do so, but somehow it wouldn't come out. Perhaps you know exactly how he felt.

So Walter sat still and watched his mother. She wrapped a shawl around the baby, and was crossing the room to get her bonnet from the peg where it hung, when Nep, seeing her approach, looked directly in her face, and gave a low growl.

"Oh, what�s is the matter with Nep?" cried Mrs. Smith, springing back in alarm. "I fear he is going mad. See how savage he looks."

"He must see who is master," said Walter, who, like most boys of his age, thought himself very wise. "I'm not afraid of him. Here, sir, get out of the way." But Master Walter was soon back in his seat, pale with terror. Such a terrible growl he never heard before. It meant very decidedly, "If you come one bit nearer, you will see how sharp these big white teeth of mine are."

"What can be the matter?" said Mrs. Smith.

"I can't think," Walter replied. "I never saw Nep the least bit ugly before."

"Perhaps he is sick," suggested Mrs. Smith. "Oh, dear! If he should die, how could we get on?"

"He is looking very hard under that chair," said Walter. "I wonder if there is. . ."

At that moment, they heard a loud rattle, a sound with which they were only too familiar in their part of the country. Mrs. Smith screamed, and seized the baby from the floor. Walter scrambled up on the table; and at the same instant Nep sprang forward with a frightful growl. Mrs. Smith covered her eyes, dreading to see the result.

All this takes a long time to tell you, but it happened almost in an instant; and when Mrs. Smith opened her eyes again, she saw an enormous rattlesnake lying dead at her feet, with the prints of Nep's teeth deep in its flesh.

Then they both understood Nep's behavior. He had seen the snake long ago, although they were unconscious of its presence.

He couldn't say, "Mrs. Smith, don't come by this chair, because there is a snake under it, watching for a chance to spring upon you;" but he could keep them out of danger by growling until the right time came to leap forward and kill the creature.

Then you should have seen the good fellow, now that his friends were safe and his enemy was dead. He was nearly wild with joy. How his tail did wag, and how he did caper about! He jumped up on Walter, rubbed his shaggy side against Mrs. Smith, licked the baby's face till the poor little thing puckered it all up into a knot. He looked into their faces so earnestly that Walter insisted he was trying to say, "Now you know I was only fooling so as to protect you, I am sure."

Mrs. Smith hugged the baby and Walter close to her heart, so thankful was she that God had used faithful Nep to protect their lives:

Suddenly Walter started from his seat, saying: "Mamma, please let me go for the cream. I wouldn't like to be of less use in the world than a dog. Nep has got ahead of me today, but I'll do what I can. Now watch the clock and see if I am not back in a twinkling. I must give Nep a squeeze first. There, you good old fellow, take care of mamma and baby while I am gone." Our Little Friend  =^..^=

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