Roving by Bob Allen
Sometimes I think how interesting it would be to know the population of dogs in Wake Forest, Rolesville, Youngsville, Franklinton and Louisburg — even Raleigh for comparison.
If you’re like me, dogs are fascinating like no other household pet. I almost always have a desire to pet a dog even when I don’t know the dog. I will speak to cats, but the petting is only for the ones I’m acquainted with.
Most always there has been a dog in my family starting when I was a young lad living on a small farm and we had an Irish setter. He was followed by Boots, a shepherd mixture bought in a pet shop in Philadelphia when I was 12.
I had Boots for 10 years, but had to give her up when I moved to Wake Forest. Boots was trained so well, I could tell her to stay while I walked completely out of her sight to another side of our house as she waited patiently for me to return and throw a stick.
I think it was some time in the 1960s when son Greg coaxed me into taking one of the puppies from the Gene Adams family living across the street from our home.
We named him Smokey and he became our loving pet.
In those days there was no dog restraint law and Smokey would leave home and walk the half mile to our newspaper shop, paw at the front glass door and we would let him in to get cooled off in our air conditioned office.
On a work night just before we were leaving, we would let Smokey out to do his business. It was embarrassing the way he would always walk across the street to Marie Joyner’s home and water her bushes. Marie hated dogs, but surprisingly she liked
Smokey and didn’t mind his bush watering.
Smokey had a mind of his own and I'll never forget the time I drove to see Dr. Corpening in Youngsville and later that day, after returning home, we looked for Smokey. He wasn’t to be found.
We didn’t find him for the rest of the day, but then something occurred to me — he may have jumped into the car when the rear window was open. He was known to do that.
I drove back to Youngsville the next day and drove slowly around the area of the doctor’s office while calling for him.
After one block, I saw him in a driveway with some other folks and I stopped the car and got out to pick him up. But Smokey was hesitant. He had found a new family and was content. I had a hard time getting him to leave. It was like he was telling me to be more careful.
Then there was Sir Walter, a little beagle that son Todd had picked up in the “harrican” area. Sir Walter loved other dogs but didn’t pay any attention to people.
Sir Walter got out of his enclosed area one day and was killed by a passing car while I was at work.
Then came Duke, a German shepherd stray which stayed at nearby Wake Forest Rest Home, but began to follow my wife, Peggy, and her friend, Beverly, on their daily morning walks.
Duke started to stay at our home and I would have to return him to the rest home until one of the owners said, “That’s OK, he is only a stray.”
From then on, Duke stayed completely at our home and my family became close friends with him. We even gave him an old lounge chair in the basement garage, and he loved it.
It was awfully difficult to make the decision to have him put to sleep when he developed cancer and had trouble even standing up.
A few years later we became owners of the wonderful loving dog, Rock, when son, Todd and wife Clellie moved and couldn’t take him with them. He became a big part of our family and didn’t mind staying in his large doghouse.
And now there is Big Red, a golden retriever, who came to us by Nancy who was working at Lede Studio in downtown Wake Forest, and also part-time at the Granville County Animal Shelter. She found this beautiful golden retriever that had been left overnight and she immediately remembered that I had spoken to my daughter-in-law Ginger about wanting that breed. Red and I fell for each other right away.
Big Red needed some veterinarian work, and although I had never had a dog that was a complete house dog like Red, I have learned he makes wonderful company all the time as he always stays very close to me. He has just had his fourth birthday.
—Bob Allen, publisher emeritus of The Wake Weekly, welcomes and encourages your comments or suggestions at 919-556-3059 or firstname.lastname@example.org.