written by Debbie Williamson
A while back, I was in Dallas, Texas, working on a ranch. I was a hired-hand, a cowboy, you might say. This ranch that I was on was the biggest ranch in the whole state of Texas.
Every good ranch should have a dog of some kind and because of the size of this ranch, it needed the biggest dog there was. There was only one problem though. The owner of the ranch, Mr. Calloway, wasn’t too fancy about dogs. So, for many years, this big ranch never had a dog.
One day, Mr. Calloway and I were out working in the fields. Off in the distance, we saw a small animal bounding toward us. As the animal came closer, we saw that it was a puppy.
“Why, it’s a St. Bernard pup,” I said as soon as I could tell what kind of pup it was. “I wonder what it’s doing way out here, in the middle of nowhere?”
Mr. Calloway didn’t answer me, as a matter of fact, he had gone back to work. I did the same thing, although I noticed that the pup stayed right beside us. We got back to the stable about an hour later. The pup was still right beside us. I noticed that Mr. Calloway kept looking at the pup every once in a while.
I went to fetch some water for our horses and when I got back, Mr. Calloway had the pup on his lap, petting him.
“Why, he sure is a friendly little fellow,” said Mr. Calloway
“If you don’t mind sir,” I said. “I’d like to take him up to the bunk-house with me. He looks like he could use a bite to eat.”
“Nonsense,” said Mr. Calloway. “This little guy is coming up to the main house with me tonight.”
“Tomorrow I’ll ride into town and put some notices up,” I said. “Someone is going to miss this little guy.”
“Yes, I suppose,” said Mr. Calloway, a little reluctantly.
“Well, goodnight sir,” I said as I left the stable.
The next day, I went into town and put up notices at the livery stable, the general store and even the hotel.
Just as I finished tacking the last notice up, an old man stood behind me.
“Hey,” he said. “That sounds like my pup there.”
“Well, he’s at the Calloway ranch if you’d like to claim him,” I said.
When I got back to the ranch, I told Mr. Calloway about the man. He became very quiet.
“You know that if he belongs to someone else, he has a right to go home” I explained.
“I’ll miss him,” said Mr. Calloway. “I’ve never had a dog before, but I’ve grown quite attached to Rex.”
“Rex!” I exclaimed. “You’ve already named him.”
“Yes,” said Mr. Calloway. “I named him after my father.”
“I see,” I said. “Look, why don’t you go into town tomorrow and pick yourself up another pup. I heard that Mrs. Wilson’s dog just had a litter.”
“I don’t want another pup,” said Mr. Calloway. “I want Rex.”
I could tell that I wasn’t going to get anywhere with him, so I just let the matter drop. A little while later, I saw the old man coming up the lane way.
“Howdy!” he exclaimed. “I’ve come to see the pup.”
“He’s inside,” I said gloomily.
“Thank-you,” the man said.
I decided that I would stay out of this. I went down to the stable and kept myself busy with the horses. A little while later, I saw the man leave. Mr. Calloway came out of the house immediately afterward. To my surprise, Rex came bounding out of the house behind him.
“Rex!” I exclaimed happily when the little rascal came up to me and licked me on my face. “I thought that you were going back home.”
“He is home,” said Mr. Calloway.
“Well, what happened?” I asked.
“Apparently, that man has a whole litter of these little guys at home,” Mr. Calloway explained. “This little rascal went for a walk one day and just wandered off. The old man said that I could have him. He’s been wanting to find a home for him, anyway.”
“Alright,” I said. “That’s great!”
“Hank,” said Mr. Calloway. “I need you to do me a favour this afternoon.”
“What would that be?” I asked.
“Could you build me a run for six puppies?” he asked.
“What!” I exclaimed.
“Well,” said Mr. Calloway. “I kind of bought the whole litter!”