by Leona Crawford

We had several pets in our home over the years.  Dogs and cats, but none was loved as much as "Ruff", a Kennel Cocker who had no papers, imperfect mouth and teeth and had been the least of his litter.  We got him for five dollars from a local person who seemed glad to have him go to a good home.

Lisa, Ruff, and Grandpa Crawford in 1966He was loved and in return gave us years of love in return.  Basically, he was Allen's dog, but he was claimed by all of us.  He loved to play and the throw of a stick was enough to set him up for "playtime."  Even the neighborhood kids loved to play with him.  One little boy told his mother that he wished their dog was as smart as Ruff.  Their dog, and excellent dog for driving cattle, wouldn't chase sticks.  Ruff's favorite place to go after sticks was into the pond to retrieve them.  He spent a lot of time with Woodrow in the timber on a coat when Woodrow cut wood each Winter to make fuel for out wood burning furnace and fireplace.  He also spent time on a rug laid between the wide doorway between the kitchen and large dining-living room in our farm house.  Another rug at the end of the sofa was his, too.  He never questioned that these were where he was supposed to lay except when Allen occasionally persuaded him to get on the sofa with him.  He was always kind to children and even cats.  One time a goose we had who was prone to "flag" things and people attacked him.  It frightened Ruff so much he had a seizure and later a cow did the same thing.

When Lisa, our first grandchild, stayed with us while her mother taught school she loved Ruff and called him "Foof."  He liked to sit by her high chair when she ate lunch and get the crumbs that fell.  Lisa soon learned this and let them fall on purpose.  She would even feed him from her hands and I knew Ruff wouldn't hurt her.  Finally about a month before Lisa's 4th birthday Ruff got down with an incurable kidney condition and a rheumatic condition.   By then Lisa and her parents had moved to Oklahoma and we wanted to go down for her 4th birthday.  Reluctantly in a sense, I was going to leave Ruff behind for a neighbor girl to care for him for the 4 days we'd be gone.  I was sad about it.  It was almost like leaving a family member home sick.  But about four or five o'clock in the morning I heard a commotion on the back porch (a glassed in area that served as our utility room).  I got up and went down stairs.  Ruff had died and I expect after suffering one of his seizures.  We buried him that day and as soon as Woodrow got off work we went to Oklahoma to Lisa's 4th birthday.  That has been more than 25 years ago, but I think that Ruff is still remembered by each of our family as a friend and companion.


Ruff, the family friend and companion, along with Lisa Crawford and her grandfather, Woodrow Crawford.