Friday, July 11, 2008

An Excerpt from Principal Without a Diploma

Here's an excerpt from a chapter in my dad's memoir Principal Without A Diploma.

Our dog Buster was a border collie who was bred to herd sheep.

I don’t remember when Buster arrived at the farm, but some of my first memories are of Buster and his adventures. I was very young, probably only four years old, when I first recall my mother telling me not to touch Buster.

Mother was a city girl who hated farm life, and she did not want Buster in the house. She said he was dirty, and he probably was. I didn’t see Buster as dirty, though. I saw a tan and white collie dog with nice wavy hair. But Mother was not to be persuaded, and Buster became a permanent “outside dog”. We had a woodshed attached to the house that had a stairway leading to the unfinished second floor over the kitchen. Buster's bed was underneath that stairway.

Buster and I became good friends, and I would sneak him extra food when I could, small things like scrap meat and potatoes. Buster would lick my face. We fed him whatever table scraps were left after every meal. Now and then we added in a little extra meat. He loved to chew bones left over from our meals. These were mostly bones from pork chops or beef bones from steaks. Those bones were his dessert after supper and he enjoyed them.

He enjoyed his bed and meals in the woodshed. He never complained and had the freedom of the farm and could come and go as he pleased.

Buster was a defender of the barn animals as well as his human family. He often went out to the barn and checked on the chickens and pigs. He seemed to know it was part of his job to protect every animal and human on the farm. He would walk around the chicken coop and look in as if counting them. They in turn seemed glad to see him and clucked at him, as if they were saying " Hi, Buster, nice to see you. Thanks for checking in on us !".

The pigs, on the other hand, were simply curious and just looked at him.

When ever Buster caught a fox trying to steal a chicken he grabbed the fox by the neck and shook it to death. While I never saw him do that to a fox, we would from time to time find a dead fox near the chicken coop and we knew Buster had got him.

You can read the rest of the chapter about Buster by clicking here.

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