Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

February 15, 2004


Good dog stories always remind me of Mark’s dog Frisky


          Good dog stories always bring to mind the beautiful Collie that was our son Mark’s dog. Heart worms took Frisky from us but not before Mark’s heart had been profoundly blessed by the daily companionship of his special dog. I can still see, through memory’s eye, this boy and his dog frolicking together, day and night. As much as any dog I have ever known, Frisky made me believe every boy should have a dog.

            By the time we had four growing boys at home, I had changed my mind. We simply could not afford to feed four dogs. So Mark had to share Frisky with his brothers. They enjoyed Frisky almost as much as Mark did, but we all knew that Frisky belonged to Mark. Frisky was every bit as beautiful as the popular television star “Lassie.”

            Frisky’s death raised the question, Do dogs go to heaven? We assured Mark and his brothers that Frisky would be on the welcome committee when we got to heaven. My parents had given that same answer me when my dog Bull died. Mark and I were about the same age when we lost our dogs. I could relate to his anguish over his loss.

            I am sure Mark felt like Will Rogers did about dogs going to heaven. Rogers once said, “If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”

            James Thurber was a better writer than he was a theologian. However, he did believe that there is a place in heaven for dogs. Thurber said, “If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.”

            The question of dogs going to heaven came up again recently with the death of Jake’s beloved dog, Rocky. Jake loved Rocky like Mark loved Frisky. They were inseparable. Rocky was killed by a hit and run driver on a county road near our home. Again we assured Jake that if his happiness depended on Rocky being in heaven, then God would surely arrange it. Heaven is a big place, so it has to be big enough for dogs too.

            Jake has a new love now, a beautiful Lab named Bull. Bull lives and breathes to be with Jake. A favorite sight in our neighborhood is Jake driving a golf cart with Bull sitting proudly in the front seat beside him.

            Some tension has developed lately between Jake and Bull. Jake decided he would like to be a chicken farmer so he could sell eggs. He bought four chickens. Two days later Bull had the four chickens for dinner.

            Determined to succeed, Jake bought ten more chickens and tightened their security in his chicken house. Bull was just as “dogged” about eating those chickens, so while Jake was sleeping, he enjoyed ten more chickens for a midnight snack.

            Jake has gone back to the drawing board. Convinced that he does not have to chain Bull, he plans now to put an electric fence around the chickens. He figures Bull will give up once he touches that fence and get shocked. He loves Bull too much to chain him so he keeps looking for a better plan to protect his chickens.

            In the meantime, I am waiting to see what happens so I can finish this story of Jake, Bull, and the chickens.

            My Uncle Wylie P. Johnson shared a delightful dog story with me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It seems a General retired after serving his country for 35 years and realized his life-long dream of owning a bird-hunting estate in South Dakota. He invited an old friend to visit for a week of shooting pheasants. His friend was in awe of the General’s new bird dog, “Sarge.”

            Sarge could point, flush and retrieve as well as any dog the friend had ever seen. He was so impressed he offered to buy the dog at any price. The General declined, saying that Sarge was the best bird dog he had ever owned and he would not part with him for any price.
            A year later the same friend returned for another week of hunting and was surprised to find the General breaking in a new dog. "What happened to ole Sarge? he asked.

            "I had to shoot him," grumbled the General. "A friend came to hunt with me and couldn't remember the dog's name. He kept calling him ‘Colonel.’ After that, all he would do was sit on his behind and bark."

            I bet my friend Bill Rawlinson will enjoy this story. I imagine he has heard it before.

            Before I forget it, I must share my friend George Mathison’s dog story. George knows everybody in Perote and one day he walked into this old country store to visit some of his church members. He knew they would be in the back, sitting around the old pot-bellied stove, playing cards.

            George was stunned to see that a dog was playing cards with the men. Never at a loss for words, George stood there speechless. Finally he said to the store owner, “Rufus, that must be the smartest dog in the world.”

            “Nah,” Rufus replied, “he is not all that smart; when he gets a good hand, he always starts wagging his tail.”

            “Well, that is not so bad, really,” George said, “the reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.”

            So much for this week’s dog stories. The good news is that I have more good dog stories to share next Sunday! + + + +