Tramp

I’ve been on the subject of dogs lately, so I have to tell you about the first dog that truly was mine. At the time, we had a boxer named Lady, and so it was a no-brainer, when I got my little fluffy white, half-border collie, half-coyote, puppy, I should name him Tramp.

You read that right, the little scoundrel was half coyote, and as he went from puppy to dog, that fact became quite obvious. Tramp would hang around the house during the day—a normal dog; playing, sleeping, and eating—but come nightfall, he would vanish.

We only lived a few blocks from nearby alfalfa fields, which when nightfall came, were filled with jackrabbits—prime hunting material. I never saw him hunt, but I did find him some mornings with blood on his snow-white muzzle. It only made sense, after all; he was half wild.

I got Tramp from a friend of the family, who had a farm outside of town. Evidently, their border collie had a close encounter with a coyote, and gave birth to a litter of half wild little pups. When Dad asked me if I wanted one, I said, “Absolutely.”

I had this thing about wild dogs when I was a kid; I read every book Jack London had written, and read every book and story I could find about wild dogs and wolves. I still have an affinity for wolves, and my office is covered with pictures and other wolf items.

So, off we went to the farm, and when we got there, the litter of pups was floundering around at the side of the house. There was an opening in the skirting that surrounded the crawl space under the house, and as I watched the little bundles of fur crawling, yipping and rolling around in the dirt beside the house, I spotted the one I wanted. He was snow white, while the rest of them were various shades, and mixtures, of brown, black, gray and tan. There was no doubt in my mind, the white one was mine.

The minute I made up my mind and moved in to pick him up, the little snowball shot under the house. My dad said I should pick another one, but I paid no heed, and hit the ground on my belly and went in pursuit of my dog.

I crawled around pretty much every square inch of the area under that farmhouse, but I finally nabbed the little scoundrel. Dad was not happy about the mess I’d made of my clothes, but I think he secretly admired my persistence. (I like to think so anyway.)

6 Comments »

  1. Sherry Mashburn said

    Not the story i was expecting about Tramp, but I gues that one is for a later day?

    • I’ll get to that other one sooner or later. My list is growing a lot faster than I can write!

  2. Susan said

    Have you read any stories by Dr. James Herriot, the British veterinarian? His books made me want to be a veterinarian, and I’m not an animal lover.

    • NO, can’t say that I have. But that reminds me, I have a new FB friend–friend of a friend thing–that lives in England. Some of the things she says crack me up. Just a whole different dailogue, you know? With my way of saying things and her way of saying things, we need a dang translator!

  3. Evelyn said

    Loved the dog stories. And yes, out came the Kleenex. I get so attached to animals, really hard to let them go.

    • There are some good ones about our little dog, Dockers. She was one of a kind, and I got more attached to her than any dog I ever had.

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