This is the story of how our family kidnapped a dog.
There are six kids in my family, and when we lived in Randolph, NY we spent a lot of our summer days playing down at the pond out in the cow pasture. The boys built boats and rafts out of bots of Styrofoam and sticks, the girls went swimming and we all tried our hands at fishing for the little sunfish. I suppose six kids all playing makes a lot of noise, and would attract the attention of a fun loving dog anywhere.
We were a bit startled when this big scary looking dog came bouncing over the hill, wagging her tail like a crazy thing carrying a squeaky celery toy, but she was nice and didn't bite anyone. She may or may not have followed is home the first day, but she eventually became a bit of a fixture at our house, where Mom would say something to the effect of ' oh look, that big Bertha dog is back'. Every time she was at our house, her owner would stop by on his way home from work in the evening and call her over, load her into the back of his truck and take her home.
We knew her name was Abby, of course, since her owners were our neighbors. I remember one sunny afternoon when we were all out for a walk with our fair lambs, and Bertha was with us, when we met up the the neighbors taking their new baby for a walk in the stroller. We stopped for a chat, they joked how everyone was out taking their baby's for a walk in the sun, and then scolded Abby for bothering the nice people. Little did they know...
Mom always said she felt bad for doing it, but Dad claims that he DID go talk to them before we left. You see, Dad was afraid that the people who owned the farm where we lived, and were moving away from, wouldn't be too kind to a dog just randomly stopping by and would shoot her, so when we loaded up the U-hauls and suburban, we piled all the dogs into the truck and drove off to our new home with a stolen dog.
Her name officially became Bertha with her vet visits, and registration tags, and then she even became a show dog when Joy started working with her for the 4-H dog project. She just became part of our family when her family had a new baby and didn't have as much time to spend with her. She even brought Mr. Celery man with her when we moved.
Bertha was a pretty special old dog.