This particular afternoon, I'm about halfway up the road along the river when I see something out of the corner of my eye. I look, and about 15 yards off, there's this short haired dog not making any kind of noise, just slinking along with his head down,watching me, tail between his legs like he's hardly got the right to breath.
''Say, Judd my boy was up here along the river this afternoon, and a beagle followed him home'' He don't have any tags on his collar, but I remembered you got your self a new hunting dog and wondered if it was yours. ''Sure as heck bet it is, can't keep that coon dog home for the life of me''. Git on down here, he says to Shiloh. Shiloh leaps off my lap and connects with Judd's' foot.
I take up the planks up to Shiloh's pen and make him a lean-to at one end, to protect him from rain. Then I string the fencing around the trunks of three small trees, for corner posts, and then back to the pine tree again where I fasten it with wire.
I here footsteps behind me; Dad's gaining on me. Can hear Shiloh howl like he's being torn in two, and my breath comes shorter and shorter, trying to get there in time. By the time I reach the pen I see this big German Shepard, mean as nails, hunched over Shiloh there on the ground. The Shepard got blood on his mouth and jaws, and as Dad take another step forward, it leaps over the fence, same way it got in, and takes off through the woods.
"Well I be danged," said Judd. " Somebody knows my dog is missing, takes him in, and doesn't have the decency to tell me?" "We were going to tell you," Dad says, and hes looking straight at Judd. "Nobody wants to hear his dog's been hurt, through." we wanted to make sure he was going to pull through. I couldn't believe Doc would go tell him. " Somebody goes to the Doc the other day and saw a beagle lying out on his back porch. Tells me about it later, says he thinks maybe the dog's mine. So I ride over to Doc's this evening, and he tells me it was you who brought him in.
I git home form work every day at three, I and I want you here when I pull up, I want that wood back there stacked. I want the weeds cut, and the grass mowed, I want my beans picked the corn hoed, and whatever I think of to be done, that's what you do if you want that dog. For two dollars, an hour so that comes to twenty hours to earn forty dollars. I come everyday for two weeks. The work is not easy but all I got on my mind is that dog.The first day of the second week Judd looks like he is trying to break my back or spirit or both. The last day I work for Judd, he inspect every job I do, my work over. When it's time to go , I say, "Well, I guess that's it then." Judd goes back to his trailer and gives me a old collar, better than the one's Shiloh has on now. "Might be a little big, but he'll grow into it." I looked at Judd and take the collar looks like we learned to get along.
Wait! This collar might be big but he will grow into it..