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Local Editorials

More readers’ dog tales

From Mary Chmelar of Washington:

“Maggie’s Revenge”

Maggie was a basset hound that grew up with my brother’s family. Eventually the children moved away, as most children do.

My brother and his wife were left with Maggie who was growing quite old and had reached the point of being incontinent. Eventually the sad day came when they took Maggie to the vet to have her euthanized.

The vet asked if they would like the body disposed of. My brother and his wife wouldn’t hear of it. They took Maggie home, wrapped in a blanket, to give her a proper burial.

They found a lovely spot with dense foliage near a corner post on the farm. They dug a hole, laid faithful Maggie in her final resting place, and said a few words. Maggie was pain free at last.

Two or three days later, my brother and his wife started itching. It was ferocious for both of them. They scratched and itched and did not sleep for several days.

No, it was not fleas. It was poison ivy from Maggie’s burial plot. They came to call their miserable malady, “Maggie’s Revenge.”

• • •

From Roger and Judy Gaston, of northern Missouri — who have a Farmington, Iowa, address:


We have a pet graveyard here on the farm with more than 20 years of memories. The newest grave is named “Tommy T-3,” as he is the third Tom, Thomas, and now Tommy, tomcat. All different, all loved.

Last October, just before Halloween, a male border collie was dumped at a neighbor’s house. For days, he lay by the mailbox, watching toward the east, waiting to be picked up, but no one came. 

Then he began roaming house-to-house looking for food. All the neighbors pitched in and fed the poor dog, that was quite friendly. But winter was coming on. My wife and I decided to take him in. 

We provided a warm box stall in our old barn, and took him to the vet. The dog had a computer chip that had not been registered, but it did indicate that he was 6 years old and came from a shelter in Ottumwa.

We named him Max. Max followed us around the farm all winter and early spring.

One night at a meeting, I heard a fellow tell how his border collie, plus two other dogs from Keosauqua, came up missing. I told the fellow about Max, and asked if he would come out and see if Max was his dog.

My wife and I really didn’t want to give up Max, he was such a nice dog, but we also wanted to do the right thing. The next day, the fellow and his family arrived. Before we could greet them, Max went crazy with excitement.

Their little boy hollered, “Curly!” Max ran to him and they began rolling on ground, with Max, or Curly, licking his face. There was no question as to who the dog belonged to.

The fellow offered to pay us for the care of Curly, but I told them that the look on their son’s face when he saw the dog, was payment enough.

• • •

Note from Curt: 

I thought I lost Buddy the other day. I had taken him for his usual morning walk. I then laid the leash down while I fed the squirrels, watered the roses, and filled the bird bath.

I went to retrieve Buddy, and he was gone! He couldn’t have gone very far pulling the retractable leash. I searched and hollered for about 15 minutes. No Buddy. I began to panic and was praying.

I turned around, and there he was. Like a miracle! The leash was broken, or more likely, he had chewed it in two. I now keep a little better eye on ol’ Buddy Boy. You better believe it.

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