But Pete Doesn't Look So Old in This Picture
This is Keith. He's my oldest brother. He is twelve years younger than me. And this is Pete, our good and faith border collie. If you notice carefully, Keith has put a belt around Pete's neck and is still holding it in his hand as he sleeps.
It was a wonderful day when Daddy brought "Ole Pete" home. It seems that Daddy always had a little dog or two around. When we first moved to Grandpa's place we had a couple of Rat Terriers. I remember a pile of old lumber and sheet metal on the east side of the "rock house." When they started picking up the rubble, those little dogs could smell the rats. They'd run in as soon as a board was being lifted and grab a rat! O my, how they would shake those rats, then drop it and go after the next ones. As we were getting to the bottom of the stack, Daddy lifted up a sheet of the metal roofing and a rattlesnake struck at him. Little did we know then, what lay ahead for us.
We did have a larger dog named Ted. His coat of hair was thick and seemed to stick out about an inch, all the way to the end of his tail. From today's perspective, I always think of him as a friend and protector for Donnie. She must have been about a year and a half or two. Then came Pete. He was a puppy when he came. But I don't remember him as a puppy. In my memory, he was my dog. When the cows were grazing in the winter wheat, he went with me to bring them in for milking at night. Someone told me I could train ole Pete to bring them home. The next day I sent him out to bring the cows. But, He didn't go!!! I had to go with him. That's when I learned, "it doesn't work." Of course, I had a lot to learn myself. When the cows were in the pasture, we never took ole Pete. We went on horse back or drove the donkeys to the wagon.
Sometime after this picture of Keith and Pete, our neighbor, Albert, told Daddy that Ole Pete had been eating eggs out of his chicken house. He wanted Daddy to shoot our dog! "SHOOT OUR OLE PETE?" That was beyond our sphere of imagination! Daddy didn't believe it. Albert insisted it was our good ole Pete. Daddy took him in the car and drove to Altus, OK. our county site. There near a nice looking farm house, 25 miles from home, Daddy put him out of the car. He said that was one of the hardest things he ever had to do.
After a couple months, Ole Pete came home. Albert was angry to see our dog back in our farm yard and on our porch. Once more Daddy took him away. This time when he went back to Altus he stopped by the sale barn. I think he didn't go into the barn, but with a leash or rope around Pete's neck, he walked around until he saw a kindly looking man. He told the guy of all Ole Pete's great attributes, and ask if he would like to have our dog. The man readily agreed. To have a great border Collie handed over free of charge was a totally unexpected gift.
Several more weeks passed by, our friends, Lou and Check Vessel came the 125 miles from their home in Ryan, Oklahoma to visit for the week-end. They brought a new black and white spotted puppy. We named him, "Spot." Keith was especially attached to him. Soon afterward Albert came down and told Daddy that he was sorry, but he had learned that the egg thief was not our ole Pete. It defiantly was a couple of dogs from the farm to the north of Albert. So Daddy went back to the sale barn the next sale day. I don't know how often he had to go before he met up with the farmer who had taken ole Pete. Daddy asked if he'd like to sell Pete to us. The response was a kind but emphatic NO! He said, "Pete is the best cattle and sheep dog I have ever had." There was no way he was about to give him back. Ole Pete's loss was a devastation for us all. That's like getting a piece of you ripped out.
A year or two later Daddy and Uncle Lawton traded farms so Daddy would have more freedom for answering God's call into the ministry. Ole Spot was the family dog by now and moved with us to the Drew Place, as we called it. That was only about a mile and a half from Eldorado.