When I was about 3 years old my mother and I went to East Texas for a visit with her brother, Clarence Cobb.
While there, a neighbor's dog had a litter of puppies and I remember Mother and I riding a greyhound bus back home from East Texas with one of the puppies hidden in a shoe box because animals were not allowed on public buses.
When we got on the bus, we choose a seat in the far back and on the same side as the bus driver so he couldn't see us so easy.
I recall a lady on the opposite side of the isle talking with us about our cute puppy dog because we had lifted the lid of the box to let the puppy peak out and know all is ok.
With no Interstate Highway system as yet and 300 miles from Longview to Lueders with bus stops in between, it took all day to make the trip and I can remember taking our shoe box into the restrooms at bus stops so Curly could have a drank of water.
YA!, that was my very first little dog's name, "CURLY" and he was my very own puppy dog who was my buddy and constant companion.
For the next few years, me and Curly romped all over the place out in the country where we lived in the Post Oak Community 3 miles east of Lueders, Texas.
To see GranPa and Curly, Click:... HERE
Sadly, Curly got run over by a car on the country road running in front of our house.
I barely recall the incident but, my mother does and she tells me I was a very sad little boy.
GranPa even had doggie friends who weren't his own. Myrtle and Cap Terry owned and operated the Gulf Service Station in Lueders and since they didn't have any children, Myrtle always had a dog around to keep her company.
And, every time GranPa was in the station he played with Stubby. Myrtle said, Stubby didn't make friends very easy and GranPa was one of the few that Stubby liked and would allow to be petted by.
To see GranPa and Stubby, Click:... HERE
Another doggie buddy was my sister Eileen's full blooded Cocker Spaniel, Queenie that was picked up in a bar. She had gone over to Breckenridge with our father and he stopped off at a bar for a beer and they got to talking to these people who had cocker spaniels and our dad let her have one to take home. Shortly after that, my sister went to Fort Worth to find a job and she left Queenie at home in Lueders.
Our barn in Lueders had a water trough out in the cow lot which was 2 feet high and about 5 feet long by two feet wide, made from 6 inch Lueders Limestone.
The water trough would get low and down 6 to 12 inches from the top before we would fill it back up for the milk cow we had.
One day I was down at the barn and kept hearing a strange sound which I couldn't figure out where it was coming from then after looking around all over the place I discovered little Queenie floating in the water trough and she was groaning and about dead from drowning.
Apparently with the help of the fence Queenie had been able to crawl up on top of the water trough to get a drink of water and since the water was down low she had fallen in the trough and could not get out.
I took her up to the house and she was real fat from all the water she had swallowed.
I did not know what to do for her and neither did my Mom except we put her on a pallet on the enclosed back porch.
Later that evening, Coon Hale who got his name because he had a lot of coon hounds and hunted coons all the time came by the house and he gave Queenie an enema with strips of soap he shaved off a bar of soap.
But, Queenie died that night and I buried her the next day under a mesquite tree in our back yard that down through the years became our pet cometary.
I remember going with my sister Ellen to the greyhound bus station in Albany, Texas to pick up Eileen who was coming in from Fort Worth on a bus and I she cried after being told about Queenie.
The next dog to come into GranPa's life was "Old Patty Boy"
In those days the only picture show (Now called The Movies) was 17 miles away in Stamford, Texas and with no television that was the entertainment of the times. So, periodically we went and usually did so on a Saturday night because you got a double feature which meant we could watch 2 movies for the price of one.
My father choose to always park the car around the corner from the Picture Show and one Saturday night when we pulled in this full grown but, very young brown colored bull dog was just sitting there on the side walk looking straight through the windshield at us.
When we got out of the car we went to talking to the most ugliest squashed in faced thing with no tail you ever saw but, how friendly he was and my Dad said he was a fine looking dog and if he was still there when we got out of the movie we might just take him home with us.
You might have guessed by now that when we got out of the picture show and back to the car there sit this ugly thing right in front of the car and looking straight at the car just like it was his.
We said a few words to the dog and then we all got in the car and then one of us said, Daddy we going to take him home and Daddy said I don't know, open the back door and we'll see, then Daddy stuck his head out the door and said "Hey Dog, want to go with us" and with that Old Patty Boy made a mad dash and jumped into the back seat and away we went.
Old Patty Boy or Patty Boy and sometimes just Pat came to be a family member and a fine animal but, he was never my dog.
He was just a family dog and a very fine watch dog out on the oil lease, because, you just didn't want to come near the place when we were not around.
I can remember my Dad laughing about it one time when a man came to the house and they were standing on the front porch talking and Patty Boy got right in between them and sit down and just looked up at the man who said later he didn't know if he should run or just what.
So, Old Patty Boy was our family dog and when we moved to town in 1943 he went with us.
Our moving to town in 1943 was the same year the very first Lassie movie came out with Elizabeth Taylor and Rodney McDowell which was "Lassie Come Home" and I am 9 years old.
Something happened to me watching that movie and I fell head over heals in love with collie dogs which has lasted to this day.
I was bound and determined to have me a collie dog just like Lassie and went to hounding mother and daddy to find me a full blooded collie dog.
Mother started reading the pet ads in the Fort Worth Star Telegram and wrote my sister Eileen in Fort Worth, Texas and told her to be on the look out to see if they could find me a registered collie puppy.
Making a long story short, my sister located a collie puppy and gave her to me for a Christmas present in 1943.
Eileen arrived home at Christmas time from Forth Worth, tied a large ribbon around the puppies neck and hide her in the front bedroom.
Apparently, the puppy didn't see a need to wait until Christmas morning and came looking for me and found me in the bath room on Christmas Eve and what a surprise it was to both me and my sister because sis hadn't planned it that way. How the puppy got out of the bedroom we never knew.
Naturally, I named her Lassie but was disappointed to watch as she grew up and developed that she was not a Lassie type collie but, was a Border Collie which is a much smaller dog and does not have the slanted nose a Lassie type collie has.
However, within the year it takes for a puppy to become full grown Lassie and I had become inseparable and I once again had my very own dog.
Old Patty Boy remained the family dog and king of the yard but, nobody messed with me and Lassie. I say King of the yard because mother and daddy didn't allow any dogs in the house. Our dogs were strictly yard dogs.
When I say nobody messed with me, I mean exactly that. My father had big hands and when he felt it necessary my dad would grab me by the arm and swat me in the rear with his hand.
On one occasion, when dad thought I deserved more then one swat, I started trying to run away but, couldn't because he was holding me and so we were going round and round in a circle with Lassie right behind me trying to get hold of my dads hand to make him stop.
Evelyn Watkins, our next door neighbor was over later laughing with mother and daddy while telling them about the 3 ring circus she had witnessed with me and daddy and Lassie going round and round.
In the summer time I had a habit of sleeping in a hammock we had out in the front yard. Same as now I liked sleeping late and one morning after hollering at me 2 or 3 times that breakfast was ready and I hadn't moved mother came out of the house and hit across the hammock with a belt.
Lassie always slept under the hammock when I was sleeping in it and Lassie came out from under the hammock on the opposite side and jumped completely over the hammock hitting mother in the chest to protect me.
So, like I've said, you didn't mess with Lassie's master.
Lassie and I had wonderful times together and one of our fun games was chasing each other. She would be off in the yard some place and I would holler at her and then take off around the house and garage. She learned to take short cuts between the house and garage so she could cut me off and catch me. But, then I got smart and when she went behind the garage and couldn't see me I would stop and run back the other way and hide in the bushes we had around the place. For a now 10 year old boy, it was great fun to peak around the bushes and watch her hunt all over trying to find where I went.
To see Lassie, Click:... HERE
Although I dearly loved Lassie and we were inseparable, I still had a longing in my heart for a big old collie like the movie star Lassie.
Then one day in the spring of 1948 when I was 13 years old, we were driving around in a recently built new sub-division in Stamford, Texas and came around a corner and there behind a white picket fence was this big beautiful collie dog that looked just like the movie Lassie and then there was also another slightly smaller collie dog.
My dad had seen them first and said, "lookie there, lookie there" and I said "stop the car, stop the car."
We stopped the car and went over to the fence and was talking to the dogs and petting them when a man came out the back door of the house.
Of course he was the man of the house who owned the dogs and we came to learn that both the dogs were AKC registered and the smaller collie was a female expecting babies in a few weeks and the puppies would be for sale at $35.00 a piece.
Also learned that thus far no other puppies had been pre-sold which meant we could have the pick of the litter when the puppies arrived.
So, my dad told the man if we could have a male puppy and pick of the litter then we would take one and to let us know when they arrived.
Also learned that some of the puppies would probably be black with a white collar while others would be Lassie like with brown and white.
Wasn't too long afterwards that Mr. Coody called and said the puppies had arrived and the next time we were in Stamford we went by and looked over the litter.
One of the puppies really stood out because he was real fat and just bigger all over then any of the others and it was a male. The problem was he was black and I wasn't really sure I wanted a black one because I still had my mind set on one who was just like the movie Lassie.
On our first visit we told Mr. Coody we would have to think about it but, we did narrow it down to the top brown one and the black one which stood out among them all.
When the six weeks weaning time came around and it was time to pick up our puppy I still didn't know which one I wanted and Daddy was leaving it up to me although he was highly suggestive that it should be the Jumbo of the litter which was the big black one.
Mr. Coody chimed in and said well he is definitely the Jumbo of the litter.
And, that is how we came to take "Jumbo" home.
To learn more of Mr. Coody and a little surprise, Click:... HERE
Jumbo the puppy was an exceptions to the "No dogs in the house rule" and we made Jumbo the puppy a bed on the enclosed back porch of the house.
Well now it was the summer time and we had one of those evaporative air conditioners mounted in a living room window which was in the front of the house.
The air conditioner was capable of keeping the whole house comfortable but, it was cooler in the front living room then it was the dinning room and then the kitchen and then the back porch were we had put Jumbo.
This was before we had added on the den and upstairs bedroom of the house and built in under the large kitchen sink which was now open underneath.
At six weeks, Jumbo was just that a big old fat jumbo of a puppy and he slept all the time.
After a few days we noticed Jumbo had moved in off the porch and was asleep beneath the kitchen sink.
We didn't think much about that and he stayed there a few days and then we couldn't find him one day and went looking and there he was in the dining room asleep.
It then dawned on us he had learned the closer to the air conditioner he was the cooler it was.
Jumbo made two more moves over a week or so until he was sleeping directly below the window where the air conditioner was in the living room.
That ended when winter came and he had gotten bigger.
The Smyth kids never again had any longings for a dog because we now had Old Patty Boy, Lassie and Jumbo.
AND then we had puppies, puppies, and more puppies because Jumbo and Lassie never let a gestation period go by that they didn't fill it with a litter of 6 to 8 puppies.
And what beautiful collie puppies they were. Jumbo's Lassie type collie features were always very dominant in the puppies and the dogs they became. Smart too.
I would not have thought it had I not witnessed it but, on one occasion when Lassie had her puppies in the barn my sister came home from school and was going in the back door of the house when Jumbo grabbed her by the hand with his mouth and she jerked it back and he grabbed it again and was trying to pull her when it dawned on me that he was trying to take her to the barn where the puppies were.
I told Iva Lassie had her puppies in the barn today and he must be wanting to show her because he was a proud daddy so, Iva started trotting towards the barn and Jumbo ran along beside her with her hand in his mouth all the way to the barn.
There was no doubt about it. He knew he was them puppies daddy and he was taking Iva to show her what had arrived that day.
Another escapade with a litter of Lassie and Jumbo's puppies occurred when Lassie choose to have her puppies underneath the back porch of our house which had recently had an addition added on with a basement.
A few weeks after the puppies were born there appeared to be something wrong under the porch because Lassie was acting very strange.
I got under the porch to check the puppies and several were missing and I could hear puppies crying.
I came to discover that when they built the new addition and laid the basement walls up there was a 2 or 3 inch gap between the basement wall and the rock foundation wall holding up the original part of the house.
The puppies could go in between the walls and that was fine for a ways because the basement wall had been filled in all around the hole that was dug but, once in a few inches or so there was a space between the basement wall and the hole dug for the basement.
The puppies had crawled back into this space between the walls and in far enough they had fallen down in the hole.
I was able to reach in between the walls and pull out a couple of puppies Then there was one that had fallen down a little ways and I could reach him but, another puppy was just too far in and too far down for me to reach.
I had to get under the house and back were the cistern was to knock out the house foundation so I could dig down to where the puppy was.
Our house was sitting on what is called a pier and beam foundation which means the house is sitting on rock columns ever so often and that includes the outside walls. Most of the outside foundation is really only a cosmetic underpinning.
Fortunately in the area where the puppies were there was no column and I was able to knock out some of the foundation wall and then dig down and retrieve the puppy. But, it was no easy job under the house with nothing to dig with but a screw driver and my hands. I must have worked 2 or 3 hours getting the rocks dug out and digging down to the puppy.
After getting the last puppy out and back to Lassie I crawled back under the house and filled in the space between the house and basement wall from end to end so no other puppies could ever fall down in a hole. I also replaced all the rock back in the foundation wall.
Just as I was crawling out from under the house, my Dad came around the corner and wanted to know what the hell was I doing under the house and I had to tell him I had just knocked down half the house foundation to save one of Lassie's pups.
But, my Dad didn't kill me, Lassie was happy and all was well once again in Dog Land.
To see the porch under which Lassie had her puppies, Click:... HERE
Jumbo grew up to be one giant of a collie dog and for some reason he liked to chase cars. But, our complete yard was fenced with a front gate entrance so he ran inside the full length of the fence.
Our yard was about 250 feet across the front and he had a path beat out were no grass would grow from chasing cars when they went by and at each end were the fence turned the corner he had a pile of dirt pushed up 6 inches or more high where he would come to a sliding stop before hitting the fence.
After I was married and moved to Abilene, Texas which was in 1956, we found an animal grooming place which did an excellent job and your pet would come home smelling of powder and sweet perfume with all their toe nails clipped.
We had just had our collie groomed when we paid the folks a visit in Lueders and I was telling my Dad about this grooming place.
My Dad chuckled and said "I wonder what old Jumbo would think about getting all powdered up and his toe nails clipped".
And, that is how Jumbo came to be in Abilene at 1258 Portland where we lived when the photographs were taken which can be seen by Clicking:... HERE
In his old age Old Patty Boy was a women chaser and in late afternoon, just about sundown, he would hide behind a bush near our front entrance gate and wait until someone came through and then he would knock you down getting out the gate so he could spend the night carousing.
Patty Boy would spend the night chasing women but, come next morning he would be sitting right in front of the gate looking through waiting for us to get up and let him back in the yard.
This went on for several years. Some times we could keep him from getting out providing we remembered what time it was and other times he would beat us getting the gate closed.
One afternoon late my Dad got a call that someone had run over Patty Boy with a car and he was laying up beside the bank building still alive but, hurt real bad.
My Dad and I went up and put him in the back of the jeep and brought him home where he died and we buried him out under the Mesquite tree in the back yard where Queenie was.
We had Patty Boy the womanizer, Jumbo the Car Chaser and Lassie the Puppy Maker. What more could a young boy want. But, now we had lost one.
In 1950 when I was 15 years old, I was fortunate to attend the National Boy Scout Jamboree held in Valley Forge Pennsylvania.
This was a 21 day trip and I had never been away from home that long and I recall my folks telling me that Lassie spent hours sitting in the front yard looking down the road where I normal would be coming home from school or town.
They would ask her where I was or who she was looking for and she would start whining and then start barking for awhile.
Because he was registered with the American Kennel club (AKC), occasionally people would ask to use Jumbo for breeding purposes and on this one occasion a man came to the house and wanted to borrow Jumbo and said he didn't have much money and would prefer to give us a puppy from the litter in exchange for Jumbo's services.
I will assume it was because Patty Boy was no longer around that mother thought this was a good idea and decided that was the thing to do.
When the new puppy arrived from this arrangement, he was really dirty and filthy and first thing mother did was to give the puppy a bath which she did and as she was washing the new puppy she said, "You are about the Rustiest little old thing I ever saw."
So, "Rusty" came into the Smyth Family but, for what ever the reason and perhaps it came from Mother naming him, "Rusty" was considered mother's dog and I think even he knew that.
Unfortunately, Rusty was not with us too long. After he was grown he went exploring in one of Homer Thomas's pasture's where he ran sheep and Homer had put out poison for the wolves who killed the sheep and Rusty got into the poison and came home to die in our front yard.
So another pet got added to the area under the mesquite tree in the back yard and this occurred around 1951.
My Mother recently reminded me that her Rusty really liked to go with me in the jeep every afternoon when I went out to oil up the power house engine on the J. P. Vickers oil lease, 3 miles east of town.
She tells me that one after noon when Mike Latimer wanted to go with me that Rusty refused to move when Mike tried to take his seat up front because that was his seat.
I graduated from high school in 1953 and that started my being away for home more and more and Lassie was getting older and older.
But, Jumbo and Lassie continued to have puppies and Mom and Dad continued to give them away but the litters kept getting smaller and smaller.
GranMa and I got married and it was on our wedding day, August 27, 1955 that Lassie was to have her very last litter of puppies and this time she only had two and one of them died. The surviving one was a male and a beautifully marked tri-color.
AND yes, the one dead puppy got added to the area under the mesquite tree.
Jumbo and Lassie had given GranMa and GranPa their very first baby who GranPa choose to name Rusty after Granny's dog Rusty.
So, it came to be that this was Rusty-2 except he was only called "Rusty".
Rusty was a constant companion and went just about ever place GranMa and GranPa went.
The back seat of the car was his and he loved riding with his head stuck out the rear window.
Rusty loved children and when we were living on Portland street in Abilene, the neighborhood kids would actually come over to the house and ask if Rusty could come out and play. AND "Yes he could but, keep him out of the street"
That's right GranPa allowed his dogs in the house and that was where Rusty usually stayed. That did change a little when the children came along.
GranPa learned Rusty didn't like uniformed policemen one day when he stopped at a red light right beside a policeman on a motorcycle and Rusty nearly came out of the window barking at the policeman who nearly fell over trying to move away from the side of the car.
Wasn't to long however, before Rusty had the back seat taken away because it was replaced with a baby mattress for one of your parents to use and of course that was Deborah Kay born on August 3, 1956.
On short trips and around town Debbie sit in a car seat in front with her mom and dad. But, on the trips over to Lueders and Stamford we took the baby mattress from her bed and put it in the car and it fit perfect in our 1955 Oldsmobile Hard Top Convertible.
Poor Rusty had to stay home on the longer trips. but, he still went with GranPa most every time he was going to the lake or when he was doing jobs by himself.
One time after drilling a well way out on the Bluff Creek Ranch GranPa was sent back out to fence the mud pits to keep the cattle from falling in.
Mud Pits left from drilling oil wells will cake over after a period and look like they are firm but, they are anything but firm and cattle will attempt to walk on them and end up stuck in the mud and dead because they usually can not get out.
So as is his habit GranPa takes Rusty along and is working to fence the mud pits while Rusty goes exploring.
GranPa had left the car door open so he could listening to music while he worked and all of a sudden he heard splashing and Rusty was in the mud pit.
The mud pits are only 8 feet wide and Rusty was able to swim on across since that was what he intended to do any way except he thought he was going to walk.
"O" mercy me the car door was open and he appeared headed for the car and GranPa hollered at him which was the worse thing he could have done because with that Rusty took off for the safety of the car and then stood in the front seat and shook off all the mud.
Had GranPa kept his mouth shut, Rusty would have shook himself off while outside the car and probably never gotten in the car.
Drilling mud is thick and messy and now it was all over the inside of the car from top to bottom and front seat to back seat. What a mess it was and plenty of it having come from a long haired collie fully soaked with drilling mud.
Fortunately, GranPa was about finished with fencing the pits and just as fortunate there was a low water river crossing with the water about 6 inches deep on the road out of the Bluff Creek Ranch.
So, on the way home GranPa spent 2 hours stopped in the middle of the river crossing washing the mud out of the car. Thanks Rusty!
While living in Abilene, we received in the mail an Olan Mills studio offer for a free 16 X 20 framed photograph.
Now free offers like that are made because the normal procedure is, once you have your own or your children's picture made you order all sorts of smaller pictures for friends or relatives and end up spending a small fortunate for extra photos of all sizes.
Knowing good well we had no extra money to spend on additional photographs which we would surly want if we took pictures of the children, We decided to use the free offer to have Rusty's picture made.
The studio was a little miffed when they learned the only picture we wanted was the free 16 X 20 framed one.
Well it was their advertisement, not mine and now that picture of Rusty has been hanging in the same spot by GranPa's bed in Titusville, Florida for over 41 years.
In late fall of 1960, Rusty developed distemper and he was being treated by a veterinary but, sadly he died on us and we were distraught and very very sad with his demise.
GranMa's first words were, "What are we going to tell the children"
So, take a lesson and remember that your GranMa's first thoughts were a concern for your mommy or daddy.
Naturally Rusty was taken to Lueders and buried under the Mesquite tree in the back yard. He is on the south side and was put in a large grave dug by Wayne Cox.
His Mother and Father, Lassie and Jumbo were already beneath the tree. Lassie had died a few years back but, Jumbo had only been dead a few months and Wayne Cox had buried Jumbo for my parents.
At the time of Rusty's death I had my right hand tore up from an oil field accident and could not dig Rusty's grave so mother told me to call Wayne Cox which I did and without hesitation Wayne responded immediately.
I told Wayne I could not bear to change Rusty from the way he had lay on the ground when he died and so would he dig the grave real large and deep so Rusty could be put away in his naturally position and this he did.
AND, I shall forever be grateful to Wayne Cox for digging Rusty's grave.
To see Rusty-2, Click:... HERE
I was so shocked and left miserable by Rusty's sudden and unexpected death that I decide I wanted to raise collie dogs.
So, we found and purchased a registered male and female collie puppy.
The male was purchased in Abilene and the female was obtained from some people down below Cross Plains, Texas
I had no problem naming the male because he was Rusty-3. For some reason that escapes me now, I did not want to name the female Lassie so she was named Lady.
I had already built Rusty-2 a large dog house in the back yard of our house at 3189 South 20th in Abilene and Lady choose to have her first litter of puppies inside Rusty-2's dog house.
I was glad she did because I felt it had some how honored the life of Lassie and her last puppy who had been born on our wedding date and who had become our first baby.
Things were moving along in our adult life and I had a total career change in 1961 when I went to work in the aerospace industry putting ICBM missiles in the underground silos around Dyess Air Force Base.
The installation and checkout of the Atlas ICBM's in Abilene was completed and November of 1962 saw us on our way to Little Rock, Arkansas and the Titan II silo installation.
Now some families move and other families move and then there is the Smyth Family move. Boy, what an ordeal this was.
I had previously been to Little Rock, worked a couple weeks and rented a house while GranMa stayed in Abilene and rented our house and took care of getting the furniture loaded out and on the road.
I left Little Rock and drove the 500 plus miles back to Abilene on a Friday evening after getting off work which meant I was up all night driving.
Got to Abilene about the time the sun was coming up and spent all day Saturday winding up our final bills and other business matters such a move requires.
Got to bed late Saturday and was up at 4:00 AM to make the 500 plus mile trip back to Little Rock.
Same as most family moves right. Wrong!!
The plan had been for GranPa to get us out of town and on the road and then GranMa was going to drive so I could get some sleep having only had a few hours sleep since Thursday night
As your aware by now your GranMa has a way of ticking your GranPa off and this trip was no exception.
I drove the 70 miles to Ranger, Texas and turned the driving over to GranMa. She didn't get on the highway good when she did one of those tick me off tricks and I made her stop and give me back the car.
Now picture this:..
GranPa has been up for 2 days:..
In the back seat is 2 small kids age 4 and 6:..
Also in the back seat is 2 huge dogs:..
One dog is pregnant and about ready to delivery a litter of pups:..
In the front seat is a mad wife and she too is six months pregnant:..
Ahead is 500 miles of single lane highway as this is before interstate highways:..
Also in the front seat is the driver, poor old GranPa.
GranMa stays torqued and we don't speak all day but, we arrive in Little Rock late that evening to find our furniture already in the house I had rented so, we throw the mattresses in the floor and go to bed.
Next morning GranPa goes to work and Lady delivers her babies in the back yard. GranMa starts talking again only to once again tick GranPa off when he comes home and learns she has signed for the furniture which he told her not to do and sure enough they used her signing as an excuse to not pay for some damages incurred. So, GranMa got right back in the doghouse.
I don't recall the details or the time frame relative to Rusty and Lady's puppies during the 15 months we lived at 524 Dorothy Street in North Little Rock Arkansas but, I do know this:...........
We were in Little Rock working on the Titan II Silos from November 1962 until February 1964 when the Smyth Family moved again and this time to Roswell New Mexico.
This time a normal family move - Right!
No Pregnant wife - No Pregnant dog - All is normal - Wrong Again!
This time we have 8 four week old puppies to move.
AND, the situation is slightly different. We had a ski boat when we moved from Abilene but, I had taken it up on my first trip to Little Rock.
This time we not only had the boat but, a recently purchased pickup to take along and not to be forgotten, baby Becky not yet one year old has been added to the move.
Now picture this:.....
GranPa has the boat trailer on behind the pickup:..
Inside the boat trailer is two large collie dogs and 8 four week old puppies. The boat had no cover but, GranPa took a double layer of plastic and taped it down extra good with duck tape to keep the 2 dogs and 8 puppies inside:..
GranMa is going to drive the car and take the two girls with her:..
GranPa and 5 year old Ray Jr. will go in the pickup pulling the boat trailer:..
GranPa will lead and GranMa will follow:..
Our furniture got loaded out late and we didn't hit the road until after 4 in the afternoon.
But, No problems until it started raining and then the tape holding the plastic down started getting wet and turning loose and when that happened the plastic started flapping in the wind and the dogs started wanting to climb out of the boat so, GranPa stopped, gave Ray Jr. to GranMa and put the 2 dogs and 8 puppies in the cab of the pickup and took off again.
It should be pointed out the rear of the pickup was full of tools and other stuff GranPa had choose to move himself.
So, down the road we go with GranPa pulling the boat with two collie dogs and 8 puppies in the cab of the pickup with him.
GranMa has three kids with her and they are age 11 months, 5 and 7-1/2 years.
With our late start, we didn't get too far but, it was after dark before we stopped at a motel which was L shaped and had a swimming pool right out in front of all the rooms.
GranPa checked in and told the motel operator he had a couple of dogs and asked what he should do with them, The motel operator said, "Why just take them in the room with you".
Seems like GranPa forgot to mention the 8 puppies.
GranMa pulled the car over by the room and GranPa kind of circled the pickup and boat trailer around the edge of the swimming pool out in the middle of the parking lot.
The swimming pool wasn't fenced or anything and the deck was only raised out of the ground about curb high so cars could park right beside it.
We let both dogs out to run for a little, while we unpacked and got the needed things into the motel room.
Lady was a pretty well mannered dog and went inside after a little while but, Rusty still was out exploring the parking lot and was on the other side of the swimming pool when GranPa hollered at him to "get in here" .
Well, Rusty took off in a dead run straight for the motel room not knowing the swimming pool was in front of him. So, in he went and never slowed down he just swam on across and GranPa helped him out but, now he was ringing wet and GranPa had to dry him off.
Rusty's midnight swim was the start of an adventures night for the Smyth bunch.
We had a double motel room and Debbie and Ray Jr. were in one bed, GranMa and GranPa were in the other bed and 11 month old Becky was in a car bed we had gotten for her while traveling in the car.
We took a few of the motel room's towels and made Lady and the 8 puppies a bed in the shower stall.
Rusty picked himself out a spot on the carpet of the motel room.
We got settled in around 10 or 11 PM and had no more then fallen asleep when we heard the puppies starting to whine and cry.
Lady and the puppies had moved around enough to uncover the cold tile floor of the shower and they didn't like that.
GranPa got up and took every towel in the motel room and a couple others we had brought along and made a new bed in the shower padded real good and all the puppies were quite.
It was around midnight by this time and it was getting to be a very very long day because by this time GranPa and GranMa were worn out.
But, all was now quite and we got right back to sleep.
Then around 2 AM, we were awaken by the people in the next room banging on the wall and hollering for us to get them damn dogs quite.
GranPa got back up and sure enough Lady and the puppies had moved the towels around and uncovered the tile floor.
Enough was enough and GranPa turned Lady and the puppies out on to the carpet in the motel room
Aw!, peace and quite at last and we got a good sound nights sleep and awoke the next morning around 8 AM to the sweet aroma of puppy poop.
We were shocked to find puppy poop from one end of the room to the other and under both beds. There must have been 15 to 20 piles of puppy poop.
We spent over an hour scrubbing it all up the best we could with the motel towels.
We final got it cleaned up and hit the road only to discover that the puppies also liked pooping in GranPa's pickup floor board.
For a while when we stopped for gas or to eat GranPa would try to clean out the poop but, then it just got to be too much because the puppies could get under the pickup seat and it was too difficult to try to keep clean on the road so GranPa gave up and resorted to placing news paper over the poop every time there was a stop.
It was a two day trip to go from Little Rock to Roswell because we had choose to swing down through Texas and spend a few days visiting family and friends in Stamford and Abilene.
Our house in Abilene had become vacant and we also had to take care of it which we did by placing it on the market to sale with a realtor.
Knowing he had another all day trip from Stamford to Roswell, GranPa couldn't see going to the trouble it would take to clean the poop out of the pickup so more newspaper was added.
By this time, you had no trouble keeping you nostrils cleaned out when in the pickup providing you could get past the gag point.
The last leg of the trip from Stamford to Roswell was without incident and we arrived with all the family safe and intact.
As it turned out some missile gypsy friends of ours who beat us out to Roswell by a month or two wanted us to take over the house they had leased for 6 months so they could purchase a mobile home.
It was going to take a week or two for them to get the mobile home purchased and set up so it was decided we would move in with them for the time it would take for this to happen.
Fortunately it was a very large house so they moved all their furniture into the front two rooms that they weren't even using and we moved into the large den and back part of the house.
Getting moved in and going through the routine of reporting for work on a new job occupied your time and cleaning the poop out of the pickup wasn't a high priority since GranPa could use the car to get to work.
So, GranPa parked the pickup and let it sit for a week or two and then on a weekend decided it was time to tackle the clean up job.
Although it was February and in the cooler time of the year the New Mexico sun was fairly warm and shinning through the windshield and windows of a closed up pickup generates some heat just right for baking and cooking off puppy poop.
When GranPa opened the pickup door he was nearly knocked down and went to gagging and stammering backwards to get away from the odor.
He could not stand the aroma and held his nose while he rolled the windows down and closed the doors on the pick up.
GranPa let the pickup sit over night with the windows rolled down and then next day took a garden hose to the insides of the pickup.
After washing out the cab with the garden hose, I unbolted and removed the seat and the rubber floor mat to scrub all the insides with soap and water.
It was an all day job but, soap, water and a good scrubbing got GranPa's pickup back in operation.
Our time in Roswell was pretty uneventful except the Air Force blew up two Atlas Missile Silos during the propellant loading test which were required prior to turning them over to us for modification.
Loosing the two silos cost us several months of work because we lost the jobs to do the modifications and our task in Roswell was completed in July of 1964 and time for the Smyth Tribe to hit the road again..
Fortunately our company, General Dynamics Astronautics invited the Boeing Company to come in and interview the GDA employees for jobs they had open at the NASA Michoud Plant in New Orleans, Louisiana where they were building the S1C stage of the Saturn V Moon Rocket.
Boeing hired 147 of us and the Smyth Tribe was off to another adventure and moving experience.
What a wonderful experience this move was because I can remember nothing happening.
We had gotten rid of seven of the eight puppies as soon as they were old enough. The 8th one we had gotten attached too and decided to keep him and named him Ruger.
Ruger was about 6 months old and still a puppy when we moved and I can recall nothing unusual or for that matter anything about the trip, except we again went through Stamford and Abilene to take care of our house which had not sold and to do some visiting.
It was necessary for GranPa to go on ahead to New Orleans and find living quarters for the family. So, GranPa left Rusty, Lady, and Ruger with his mother in Lueders while GranMa and the three kids stayed with her mother in Stamford.
GranPa took the pickup to New Orleans and reported for work. It took three or four weeks to find suitable living quarters and make the trip back to get the family.
Most all of GranPa and GranMa's adventure in New Orleans is told in the story titled "GranPa and NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility" except about the dogs.
You Grand Kids will find that there are times in ones life that choices, decisions and responsibilities not necessarily to your liking must be made and carried out for the betterment of all concerned.
Such was the case with our move to New Orleans. I was simply unable to find living quarters which would accommodate having the dogs and I had to put feeding the family ahead of having the dogs so they were left with my mother in Lueders, Texas.
My father had died in 1962 and my mother (Granny to you grandkids) had gone to work at the Anson Hospital in Anson, Texas.
Shortly after our leaving the dogs with Granny, She took a job at the Hendrick Hospital in Abilene and decided to sell the home place so she could move closer to her job in Abilene and thus she was forced to give Rusty-3, Lady and Ruger away.
Luckily, she found some farmers and other friends to actually provide them better living conditions then they would have had in New Orleans.
I will tell you this, when I came back to Lueders and got the family we spent our last night in Lueders and as I drove off very very slowly and watched Rusty-3, Lady and Ruger starring at us through the fence as we slowly drove off that GranPa's heart hurt.
We therefore had no dogs during our 16 months of living in New Orleans and they were missed.
While we were living in New Orleans, My Mother moved to Abilene and so ended the Smyth rein of GranPa's Home Place in Lueders.
It also ended the burying of Smyth animals around the Mesquite Tree.
In the end there was:.............
Puppy born with Rusty-2
Iva's Rabbit, "Snow"
Mother and Daddy's Parakeet, Topper
Mother and Daddy's Parakeet, Pretty Boy
GranPa gave GranMa a Parakeet for her High School Graduation and it is also there but, we can not recall it's name>
All were buried around the Mesquite Tree and GranPa made it a point with each of the succeeding owners of the property that the Mesquite Tree and the area around it was scared ground to the Smyth Clan and to take care of it with due respect.
Interestingly enough, 50 years later many of the trees are gone but, the Scared Mesquite Tree lives on.
We were in New Orleans from July 1964 to November 1965 and then we were off again to Titusville, Florida
As soon as we were settled in after our move to Titusville, Florida and the Kennedy Space Center, I told GranMa it was time we and the children had another collie puppy.
And so it was that Rusty-4 came to live with us. A six week old registered male collie puppy we purchased from a breeder in Cocoa, Florida.
Rusty-4 grew up to be a wonderful dog that had all the beauty and attributes of the movie's Lassie.
Rusty-4 was very smart and I believe most times he understood every word you said and he had a wonderful way of talking back with his eyes and the turning of his head when he was being spoken too.
He was also pretty much GranPa's dog but, he was the family pet as well and he sort of grew up together with Deb, Ray, and Bec.
Debbie and Ray Jr were now in school riding the school bus and the bus stop was around the corner and down the street from our house at 2764 Hillcrest in Titusville, Florida.
Rusty knew the time and was waiting at the bus stop every afternoon to welcome them home from school.
Rusty loved children and we allowed him to run free until some shitty neighbors without any kids complained and there after we had to keep him confined to the house and back yard.
But, that didn't keep him from going most every place we went because he really liked going in the car and would jump in at every chance he was offered.
GranPa was in charge of a 24 hour operation at Kennedy Space Center and this meant he had round the clock responsibilities and was often times called at home to make decisions and some times GranPa would have to go back out to KSC after coming home.
Sometimes it was by choice that I returned to work, like the time we were going to do a hot purge with gaseous nitrogen on the 15 inch liquid oxygen line running about 1500 feet from the 900,000 gallon storage tank to the top of the pad.
This was in the start up days of launch pad 39A and the line was being cleaned with chemicals and after cleaning it had to be dried which was usually accomplished by purging with nitrogen gas.
We were going to be connecting a nitrogen recharger capable of pumping up to 10,000 PSI in pressure into a 15 inch LOX line that was designed for only 150 PSI of pressure and the gages on the recharger wouldn't even read in that range.
We had to make damn sure the line was open at the other end as well as all the valving in between and I wanted to be there at the start of the purging to make sure we did not blow anything up.
I wanted to keep the bypass valve open until we had established a good rate of flow out the other end to make sure the line was open and no back pressure would occur.
There was actually two lines, a 5 inch line ran along beside the 15 inch line and this was the top off line used when the rocket tank was nearly full.
The cleaning contractor had installed temporary valves and piping in the system to make the loop and it was the cleaning contractor actually responsible for the drying operation but, we were the support providing the hot GN2 gas.
Although the cleaning contractor was responsible for the operation, I knew darn well if something blew up we would more then likely be blamed since we were the ones providing the gas.
I told my foreman to call me just prior to start of the purging operation because I wanted to be there at start up.
Gary called me around 9:00 PM and me and Rusty headed for Launch Complex 39A.
It was a beautiful full moonlight night with the blue ocean just off in the distance when I drove right up on top of the launch pad and let Rusty out.
O'man, how excited Rusty was to be right up on top of the launch pad where man was going to leave from to land on the moon for the first time. They could have made a movie of us and our adventure for not too many dogs were ever on the moon launch pads.
But, this was in the very early days of the Apollo Program and not to many rules were in place and not very many people around even knew what was going on.
We had positioned the Nitrogen Recharger on top of the pad over next to where the oxygen line went into a trench to cross over to the mobile launcher interface.
The five inch line had been temporally separated at this point and we were going to send the gas up the five inch line to the top of the pedestal where the mobile launcher interface was located and at this point the five inch line had been temporarily looped into the 15 inch line so the purge gas would then flow back down the 15 inch line to the LOX storage tank where the line was open ended for drying.
As we prepared to commence the purge operation I ask my foreman Gary if he had looked things over and he assured me he had. I then checked with the cleaning contractor's supervisor and he assured me all valves were open and ready for the purge.
So, we chilled down the recharger and started the pump. However, I would not allow the operator to fully close the bypass valve or run the pump at high speed.
I wanted to wait until gas had come back down the 15 inch line and out a small valve we had open for the purpose of verifying gas flow.
After pumping for a few minutes without gas flow I thought something had to be wrong but, my foreman tried to convince me there had not been enough time lapse for the gas to arrive back at the open valve and we should crank the pump on up to high speed but, I said no and ask the contractor again if he was sure all the valves were open and he again assured me they were and suggested I crank the pump on up to speed.
My Mechanic operating the recharger even gave me signal wanting to increase the pump speed but, I also told Carl no.
Sufficient time had lapsed for the gas flow and I knew it was time for me to check things out for myself and I followed the line over to the pedestal where I could now hear gas escaping from the top of the pedestal.
Sure nuff the temporary line tying the two lines together had a valve installed in it which was closed and we had blew a flat gasket out where the valve was bolted into the five inch line.
I ask Rusty why he didn't tell me the valve was closed and he started barking to thank me for saving the moon program.
The blown gasket had saved the day and by my not allowing the recharger to be cranked up to a high volume and it's bypass valve fully closed had saved the five inch line because had we cranked up the pump speed, the volume output would have exceeded what the blown gasket could let out and we would have without a doubt ruptured the five inch line.
So, with Rusty's help we had done our job and it was now time for a beer just a soon I quit chewing on my foreman's ass and quit criticizing the contractor supervisor for not tending to business and even arguing with me to crank the pump up.
There was a neat little beer pub which my co-workers and I liked to visit and Rusty went with me many a time and would lay under the bar stool I was sitting on until go home time rolled around.
He seemed to enjoy the beer pub and the other patrons came to know him and they too liked having Rusty around.
On another occasion Rusty and I got called back to the Space Center to fix a problem with one of the Haskell Helium Compressors.
GranPa ran the Mobile Gas Operations at KSC and had 115 pieces of Mobile Ground Support Equipment to operate and maintain all of which was mounted on wheels.
There was a large maintenance shop at KSC to maintain the equipment in and another General Foreman was in charge of running the shop.
A group of engineers was also in GranPa's group and one engineer was in charge of the procedures and drawings for maintenance and modification for a specific kind of equipment.
Keith was the engineer responsible for the Haskell Helium Compressors and Keith was fine man and a capable engineer, the problem was Keith was a chemical engineer and didn't know squat about things mechanical.
Until he came to KSC, He didn't even own a car having spent all his life in New York riding the subway, he didn't need a car.
When you had a design problem or something you didn't understand with the equipment you called the engineer responsible for that specific piece of equipment.
The four Haskell Helium Compressors we had were powered by a four cylinder GMC diesel engine which ran a hydraulic pump which ran the compressor.
The preventive maintenance procedures required the oil and fuel filters to be replaced after a certain number of hours of operations.
We where in the process of getting ready to launch a Saturn V and had two of the Haskells located at the CCF-39 Helium Fixed Facilities to backup the 5 Joy compressors there.
We had ran the compressors a considerable amount of time during a count down demonstration test (CDDT) and it became time to change the fuel filters which the shop crew did one morning and then I came to learn later they had spent all day trying to get the engine started.
After I had gone home that evening I received a call from Keith who said when our boss Tom learned they had spent the day without getting the engine started, it was time to call Ray.
So, I grabbed Rusty and me and him went back to KSC to check out the Haskell.
The "screaming jimmie" diesel engine was no stranger to GranPa having used them on drilling rigs that had them in sets of 4 quads meaning 8 engines total.
Arriving back at KSC I was told all they had done was change the fuel and oil filters but, the engine could not pick the diesel fuel up and keep running, it would start and die start and die.
I told them to get one of our tractor trucks and bring it over so I could use the trailer air supply line hose to pressurize the Haskell's fuel tank.
I put the tractors air hose in the tank opening and stuffed rags around it to get pressure in the tank to force fuel to the engine and as soon as I did that I noticed one of the 2 fuel filters was leaking fuel down the side.
We took the fuel filter off and discovered the gasket was out of place so we installed a new gasket and fired up the engine.
Total lapsed time about 30 minutes after I arrived.
Rusty and I had saved the moon program once again and it was time for another beer.
It happened to be a Friday night and a few of GranPa's crew members were having a party which GranPa had wanted to attend. However, GranMa did not want to go so GranPa had stayed home like a good boy but, now having been called back to the space center and having gotten the Haskell running GranPa and Rusty was headed back home when GranPa remembered the party going on down in Cocoa and since he was on the road home from KSC it was about as close to the party as it was home so, Rusty suggested they go to the party.
And so we did but, it turned out to be an expensive party.
GranPa tried to get home early and left the party around 10:30 PM but, on the way out he decided to park the car on top of some very large boulders sitting in the middle of the road of the divided entrance way into the sub-division.
Yep! I reckon GranPa had one too many beers and although Rusty was sober he couldn't drive.
Since the car was a top these boulders GranPa walked back down to the party to get help and it must have took awhile because when this bunch of drunks took GranPa up to the entrance to get his car the police were there with a wrecker removing the car.
The officer handed GranPa a ticket and after reading that it charged him with leaving the scene of an accident, GranPa refused to sign the ticket because, as he saw it, he had not left but, had gone to get help.
When the bunch of drunks chimed in and started harassing the officer that he couldn't do that, the officer put GranPa in the back seat and took him to jail.
When the second shift crew got off work they came to the party and being sober they came down and bailed GranPa out of jail but, he refused to go with them So, GranPa spent the night sleeping in the jail house.
Next morning GranPa was free to go home and he called his brother in law Roy to come get him.
GranPa wasn't too worried about the car but, come next morning he didn't know where Rusty was.
But, they found Rusty at Joe's house were the party had been held and all was well except GranMa chewed on GranPa for the 4 weeks it took to get the car repaired.
Another interesting event occurred at KSC involving collie dogs and that was the fact in the early 70's they filmed a Lassie movie at KSC and one afternoon over in the industrial area they had Lassie out doing the filming when GranPa drove by so, I stopped and watched the filming and boy how I wanted to get out and talk to them and pet Lassie.
But, you did not do those sort of things at KSC and were inviting criticism if you did and GranPa didn't need any of that so I went on.
It was in the local newspaper that the filming crew and Lassie were staying at the Holiday Inn right here in Titusville and GranPa considered going down with Rusty and letting him play with Lassie but, figured that might go over like a lead balloon too so I never did.
We dearly loved Rusty and he was allowed to stay in the house anytime he wanted in but, he was not allowed on the furniture and he knew that.
However, we kept finding dog hair on the sofa and since he was never on the sofa couldn't understand why the dog hair.
Then one day upon arriving home I came in the front door rather rapidly for some reason and there was Rusty easing himself down off the sofa every so slowly so not to make any noise. He had been caught and he knew it because I could tell by the look in his eyes and the fact he was sure trying to be extra friendly.
Rusty knew darn well he was not suppose to be on the couch but, he also knew darn well when we weren't around. So, he did as he pleased and slept on the couch.
I had the habit of giving the kids a box of candy on valentine day and had given Ray Jr. a box of candy which he had in his room.
Another of my routines was to relax in my chair and read the paper as soon as I got home from work every day.
Rusty's habit was too sleep beside my bed every night and snooze beside my chair when I was sitting in the living room.
One afternoon when Ray Jr. was about 12 years old, I was sitting in my chair reading the paper when Ray Jr. came in from outside and went to his room.
Ray Jr. came back out of his room and down the hall towards me and Rusty holding a candy box in his hand and saying "Rusty O Rusty" and with that Rusty landed right in my lap on top of newspaper and all.
Rusty was seeking my protection because he had found and eaten Ray Jr's Valentine candy and knew he was in trouble with Ray Jr.
In those years we took an annual vacation for a full two weeks and always left Rusty with our veterinarian who also ran a boarding kennel and it was always a wonderful feeling to see Rusty's reaction when we came to take him home.
We had Rusty-4 exactly 10 year when he died from a virus which the veterinary never could determine a cure.
Our veterinary Billy, who had taken care of Rusty every since he was a puppy kept him at his place right in one of his two treatment rooms all one day just so he could monitor Rusty and see if he could determine something to help rid him of the virus and Billy and I became life long friends because of his concern and using one of his rooms all day just to take care of Rusty.
In Rusty's last 3 days I took vacation time and stayed home from work just to be with him and take care of him.
After about 10 days with no improvement and his private parts continuing to swell, Billy said there was just no hope for him and the time had come to put Rusty out of his misery. I told Billy I was not sure I could tell him to put Rusty asleep and that was when I totally lost it because Rusty was my dear buddy.
Billy told GranPa he had always thought Rusty was the children's dog and did not know that Rusty was GranPa's dog or that I had that kind of feelings for him.
I told Billy I did not want to bring him to the office and have him put to sleep that if it had to be done then lets do it where he had lived and roamed for all his life.
I was also not prepared to dig Rusty's grave. I took a shovel and went out to the back yard and picked out a spot and tried to dig his grave while he was still alive and I just could not bring myself to do it so I called one of my mechanics from work who was also a close friend and ask him to come over and dig the grave.
That evening after work, Robert came over and dug Rusty's grave and when Billy closed his office at 5:00 PM he came to the house and put Rusty to sleep and then helped Robert place Rusty in his grave.
GranMa came out and made GranPa come in the house because she knew I was in pain and it was better for me not to watch Robert cover him up.
But, I had made sure Rusty was laid in his grave as I wanted him and I did have to ask Robert to turn Rusty around because I wanted him turned a certain way.
We didn't have a mesquite tree in the back yard but, we did have a fish pond and the fish pond area became our pet cemetery as we will see later.
GranPa could not stand to be without his beloved collie dog so a search was on to find us another registered collie puppy.
It only took a few weeks and Rusty-5 was taken down to Billies to get his shots and Billy said "you have Rusty's replacement" and I said "no because you could never replace Rusty-4" but, I do have us another collie puppy and he too is named Rusty and I expect him to also be special.
As it turned out Rusty-5 became GranMa's dog because as a small puppy it was GranMa who was first up in the mornings and it was her who fed him every morning when as a puppy we were feeding him twice a day.
Rusty-5's favorite place to sleep was the front entrance hall because he liked laying half on the carpet in the living room but, have his belly on the cool tile floor of the entrance way.
Since GranMa and I both worked at the space center and went together in the same car to work, we were both up early and at about the same time 5 days a week but, we usually had the week ends off and tried to sleep in a little later.
Rusty didn't much care about that schedule and expected GranMa to get up and fix his breakfast same as she did the other 5 days and if she didn't he would be in with his paws on the bed licking her in the face to get up.
So, it sort of came to be that Rusty-5 was GranMa's dog and she too became attached to this Rusty more so then the other collies we had .
Another reason I think he became GranMa's dog was because the children were now in their teens and even starting to leave home.
GranPa also learned something else in life and that is that things change. As Rusty grew into doghood he wanted to play and one afternoon when I arrived home he took off in the yard and did the things dogs do when they want to be chased and played with and that was when I realized I no longer had the energy I once had to run and play with dogs.
Rusty-5 was a wonderful collie and a family pet but, he was never the lovable and intelligent dog that Rusty-4 had been. This was partly because by his second year it became obvious he had something wrong with his hips as he could never jump or even get in the car or pickup with out help because he could not raise his hind legs in the normal manner as his leg movement was restricted. Otherwise he was normal in every way.
Perhaps it was also due to his hind legs but, Rusty-5 pretty much became a house dog and all his life he liked laying in the entrance way same as he did when a puppy.
Still, Rusty-5 went lots of places in the pickup with GranPa and one day in the early eighties when GranPa was building Quail Haven he took Rusty with him and let him out to explore the 83 acre subdivision which was still mostly woods since none of the roads had been built as yet.
Well poor Rusty must have run out into the woods and became lost because all of a sudden he disappeared and GranPa couldn't find him.
I looked all over the place and finally went up to a neighbors house to ask if they had seen a collie dog.
They had not but, while talking to them I looked up and here came Rusty trotting down the road towards the pickup and I never seen a dog more glad to see his master. I must admit I was glad to see him too.
We also had Rusty-5 10 years when he died and we once again went through the anguish of loosing a beloved collie.
Rusty-5 was buried next to Rusty-4 in our back yard.
GranMa and GranPa had both reached a time in their lives that it was decided no more pets.
All the children were raised and it was time to pursue other endeavors but, I must say that a collie can still get GranPa's attention.
When our oldest daughter, Debbie left home and got married she purchased herself a registered male collie black and white who looked much the same as Jumbo looked. His name was Donnie and he has now been added to the fish pond cemetery in our back yard.
When our youngest daughter, Becky left home and got married she purchased herself a registered black and white male collie except he was a miniature collie but, other then size he also looked like Jumbo. His name was Jasper. He is now dead and Becky choose to bury him in her own backyard.
Also in the Fish Pond Cemetery in GranPa's back yard is Debbie's black cat "Sugar" and Becky's cat "Smoky" and Becky's pet Squirrel, "Penny"
Our son never followed tradition and he has now owned dogs of every descriptions and I don't know where his dogs are buried.
As of 2007 there is in our Fish Pond Cemetery:.............
One more Picture of the Smyth Kids and their Dogs
Epilogue:.. 40 Years, From childhood to manhood of having collie dogs and five of them were all named Rusty. ----- Maybe GranPa will go to dog heaven.