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The Story of A Dog

by Joe R. Risener


This is the story on ol' Britches.

One Sunday afternoon in July of 1940 or 41, Dad and Mom were walking home from church. They heard the whining of a puppy in the tall grass by the side of the road. They pulled back the grass and there was one of the most miserable looking little dogs imaginable. He was about 2 months old and had been abused. Someone had shaved his tail except for a small tuff right on the end. It looked like a rats tail. Just about every bone in his little body was showing and it was obvious that he was starving. In addition, fleas covered his entire body to the extend that it would not have been possible to put your finger on him without covering fleas. They had caused sores on his body and were literally eating him alive. Still he tried to wag his tail when they saw him. They started on up the road and he got up to follow them. He was so weak that he wobbled when he walked. Their hearts were touched and while they didn't want him they just didn't have the heart to run him away. So he followed them home.

When I saw him, he was lying under a tree whimpering. I heated some water and poured it in a tub with some Lysol. I got a bar of lye soap and put the little fellow in the tub and began scrubbing the fleas off of him. They were matted in his ears, around his eyes. It took some doing, but eventually all the fleas were gone and the water in the tub was black with dead fleas.

After he was dried off, I gave him some food, which he wolfed down and almost immediately coughed up. I gave him some milk and fed him some meat cut into small little bites which he was able to keep down. A few days later he was on the way to recovery and began acting like a normal gaingly-legged two month old pup.

He got his name because he would search out my overalls from the ones piled up to be washed. When he found a pair of mine he would drag them out of the pack and shake them vigorously; drag them out into the yard, lay down on them and began chewing. So, I named him Britches.

He grew into some kind of dog; very special in his loyalty to the family. His story deserves to be told.

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Britches' story © 2012 by Juli Risener Morgan