It has always been our belief that little boys and puppies should grow up together. So after we had moved into the little house that we built in eastern North Carolina we bought one. It was a Saint Bernard that we had shipped to us from a kennel in Wisconsin. That was the smartest animal that I have ever known. It just seemed to know what it was supposed to do without being taught.
We used to spend Sundays at “The Beach” which was a Resort on Albemarle Sound. Buck, of course, went with us. He would allow me to go in the water but he would not allow Louise or Todd to go in. He would get right in front of them and push them back. The only way that they could go swimming was to put Buck in the car.
Another thing that he learned by himself was “house guarding”. I was, in Buck’s early days, working the midnight shift at the Pulp Mill. When I would leave for work at 11:30 Buck would always be asleep in his house which was out in the back yard. Louise would tell me that shortly after I had left she would here Buck come and lay down on the back porch. I would find him there when I came home shortly after eight in the morning. When I would go in the house I would hear him get up and go out to his house.
When Buck was about a year old he was run over by a car that broke one of his back legs. This happened early one evening and there being no Veterinarian in our town, I took him to the only MD that had office hours at that time of the night. That was Doctor Mc Gowan whose office was on the second floor of a building in the business block of Plymouth. We took our turn along with the other patients (Mc Gowan was not our family Doctor) and the Doc set Bucks leg and put it in a cast, the same as he would have done for a human. Try to imagine what a modern day MD would say if you were to ask him to treat a dog in distress.
That all happened in the “good old days” in a little town in the “boonnies” of eastern North Carolina.