Her name was Shasta. She was a beautiful young collie and my girls loved her. How did she come to live at our house? I stole her.
When my two daughters, Cathy and Kayla were young, they wanted a puppy and after a steady diet of watching Lassie on TV, they were attracted to the canine and begged me to get them a collie.
I did what any loving father would do. I stole one for them, but there’s more, much more, to the story.
I decided to place an ad in the Ruston Daily Leader with the goal of locating a collie for my girls. The Leader’s ad worked like a charm because after the ad ran just once, I got a call from a lady. Here’s how the conversation went.
“Have you found a collie yet?” she inquired. I told her I hadn’t and she continued…”My neighbors who just moved away have a beautiful collie puppy and apparently, they didn’t want the dog because when they moved, they left the dog at their house. It’s hanging around my yard so if you want it, you can come and get it.”
Talk about a stroke of good luck! My girls wanted a collie and right there within a mile from home, there was one for the taking. I drove over, the pup met me with tail wagging, and she was soon in my truck headed for her future home with a couple of little girls that were giddy with excitement over what their daddy had found for them.
It was love at first sight and my girls did what little girls do when a new pet arrives. They named her Shasta and had a bed made in the garage and for a couple of days, all was joy and fun at my house created by this friendly little collie pup.
I got the call at work. “Mr. Harris,” the lady said. “I’m the lady who told you about the collie and my neighbors going off without her.” I remembered and was curious about why the lady was calling again. “I just wanted you to know that the puppy is back here in my yard,” she said.
Puzzled, I hopped in my truck, drove over to her house and sure enough, there was Shasta, prancing around, wagging her tail. I scooped her up and had her back at our house before the girls got home from school.
The next day, the same thing happened again….”Mr. Harris, I hate to tell you but your dog is back here again.”
I am starting to get increasingly concerned that although the dog seemed perfectly happy at our house with the girls, she kept going back where she came from. I drove over and picked up Shasta and brought her home again.
That night as we sat down to supper, there was a knock at the door. Answering the knock, there stood two Lincoln Parish deputies in uniform. Shasta greeted them by wagging her tail and salivating on their shoes.
“How can I help you fellows,” I asked the deputies. “Mr. Harris, is this your dog?” they asked. “Absolutely; I got her for my girls,” I answered.
“Well Mr. Harris, we have had a report that you stole this dog,” a stern-faced deputy answered. Flabbergasted, I told the two about a lady offering me the dog after her neighbors moved off and abandoned her.
“The rightful owner of the dog hasn’t moved,” one said. “He saw you put the dog in your truck and drive away and followed you home. After you went inside, he took his pup back home and reported to us that you did it again,” he said, studying my face for a sign of guilt. Relieved that the deputies apparently believed my story, they took the pup and drove away.
Eventually the owner of the collie and I met and were able to laugh about the strange incident.
The neighbor had a grudge against the owner and she put me in the most bizarre situation in which I was ever involved.
I eventually found my girls a little mongrel they named Jody and they were happy. The story of Shasta was relegated to a slot in our memories, one under the heading of “weird and strange”.
Glynn Harris Outdoor column is sponsored by D.C. Pawn in Minden