Old Major

I guess every boy should have at least one dog as a pal when they’re growing up. I know that sounds familiar (I think I’ve heard that many times and I guess it’s true). My dogs name was Major, he was named after a cartoon in the funny papers by the name of Major Hoople. No pedigree just a dog. They said he was part Hound and part German Shepard. They told me he was born on the same day I was so that made us Aquarians if you keep track of that sort of thing it was Feb 12. He was black and tan like a hound but a little shorter in the legs, stocky and muscular and living in the country we went were ever we pleased. By the time I remember him he was already four or five years old and an adult in man years so he looked after me and I guess he took all the abuse that dogs take from kids. He was not prone to being playful, it seems he was all business all the time, but boy he loved to hunt almost anything . Maybe that was the hound in him. The only thing in that country was ground hogs, squirrels, rabbits and coons and maybe a fox once in a while, but he didn’t discriminate. My Dad took him hunting with a neighbor and he got a little too far out, so the neighbor thought he was scaring away the game and pepperd him with buckshot. That made my Dad so mad he never went huntin’ with that s.o.b. again. One day we came home and found him lying on the front porch in a pool of blood someone had shot him with a twenty two. He may have been on someone else’s property and they thought he was a stray. He pulled through by himself I think because we didn’t have money for a Vet. But he never left the house without us after that. He seemed to be a very smart dog and he learned quick. One night on a walk back home from the neighbors with the family, me and Major were out front and a car was coming, so Mom yelled at me to get out of the road and just before the car got there Old Major body blocked me right into the ditch. I came up out of there mad and bent on teaching him a lesson but Mom stopped me and said he probably saved my life. There are lots of stories I could tell about our travels through life but I guess I can’t tell them all and as I got older and found other interests like a bike, I would make him stay home where he would wait patiently on the porch, guarding the house from anything that took him too lightly. He was an outside dog he didn’t come in unless he was invited and we had a dog house for him and another dog I had at that time by the name of sergent. As he got older Mom would let him in by the fire on nights that were just to cold for man or beast. A pack of dogs came thru the field next to our house one day and old Major didn’t like it one bit, but I made him stay put, he was too old by then and he didn’t have a chance against them. They must have came thru again some time when I wasn’t around and he took them all on because they were in his territory and he had no choice. He was close to twelve years old by then. He didn’t show up for dinner that night or the next. So I went looking for him and found him in a fence row cut to pieces and it wasn’t pretty but he was still alive. So Dad and I put him on a makeshift stretcher and carried him home. Dad went to the store and put some black looking medicine on his wounds and it must of hurt something awful but he didn’t move he just lay there. It was in the middle of summer and the blow flies had gotten to him and I wont say what that looked like. But he came out of it and was back on his feet again in a few weeks. Seems like it was all down hill for him after that his spirit was broken and he knew his time was near and one cold winter afternoon when he was about fourteen, he wasn’t there for his dinner and we never saw him again. Dad said “well he probably just crawled off and died, they do that sometimes”. That spring I found him on the bank of a small creek across the road from the house I guess he just had a heart attack. But once in a while I still see him lookin’ up at me like “well….. are you gonna pat me on the head or not”….Good dog Major good dog.