He 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.