November 11, 1909


"Smart?" aid Pridemore, "Why
That Dog Knows Everything
I Say to Him" -- Wouldn't
Sell for a Million.

Down at the Union depot last night a dog, half Scotch collie and half, well, the other half is just dog, perhaps, crouched at the feet of a man, a typical cattleman of the plains, who wore clumsy boots, trousers that were turned up half the length of the boots and a crumpled white hat. That there was a story of intense devotion on the part of a dog to his master and of a master to his dog in the picture presented in the waiting room not one who saw them doubted. The fidelity of the dog attracted every man and woman who observed it.

John H. Pridemore was the man and he raises cattle on a range near the Kansas and Colorado line. His home is thirty-five miles from Fowler, Kas., the nearest railroad point, and the dog with him last night is his only companion in a country where his nearest neighbor is miles away.

"That dog is the nearest thing to a human being I have out in my country," said Pridemore, "and I'd be mightily lonely without him. I raised his mother, and she was my companion before the pup was born. He's one of the most intelligent and sympathetic dogs you ever saw. The only name I ever gave him is 'My Boy.' I don't know why I called him that unless it was that he is the only companion I have and the only responsibility, too. He's a true friend and he's smart. There can't a thing go wrong on my place that his ears don't hear it or his eyes see it. And when he finds that something has gone wrong he romps to the house and tells me about it.

"Often I sing the old songs and he's gotten so that he sings with me. When I sing loud he barks as noisily as he can; when I sing low he follows suit. You know, that dog seems to understand everything I say. Often at night he puts his paws on my knees and lays his head in my lap and I tell him stories, just like you'd tell stories to a child, and he's all attention.

"This is the first time I ever brought him to Kansas City and I'll tell you how it happened. Heretofore I've left him with some of the boys, but when I started to Fowler with a bunch of cattle a week ago I took him with me to help me load, intending to leave him at a hotel there. Well, when we got the cattle on the cars and I was ready to jump into the caboose the 'boy' followed me to the platform. There were big tears in his eyes and he began to moan. This was too much for the conductor and he said to bring him along. 'He may get lost up there in Kansas City,' I said. The conductor assured me that he wouldn't so the dog was lifted into the caboose and started on his first long journey from home. I've had this rope around him ever since we've been here and now we're headed back to the ranch."

"Would you sell him?" asked a man, who had been listening to Pridemore's story.

"Not for a million dollars," said the cattleman, decisively.

Pridemore and his dog started for the Rock Island train. "My boy" had to ride in the baggage car and when he say that he was to be separated from his master there was an expression of anxiety in his eyes.

Pridemore patted him on the head. "Don't you worry a bit," he said, caressing the dog, "I'll be right back in the next car."

And the dog understood, for he lay down without a whimper.