As I told the Closed Group of Charlie's oldest sister, I really messed up by not recording Charlie as he told us Smokey's story in person. He was here for Marie's 103rd birthday this month.
This story begins in our living room after a hot day of visiting and helping repair Marie's granddaughter's car. She lives over 700 miles away from home so that project was big and important. It was now time to relax and visit.
This is the beginning of Charlie's story called, "Our Dog Smokey."
"Smokey was a dog we added to our family when we were stationed in Spain. He was a wire haired terrier. He was the runt of the litter, but that's what the kids wanted so that was that.
Nan and I started teaching him easy tricks such as sit up, roll over, and turn around. Then we started to try more difficult tricks such as speak on command and progressed to counting by barking to hand signals and voice commands. One finger is One bark, Two finger for two barks, etc. He could count to three and subtract from three to one at first with voice commands then to just hand commands.
Nan taught him to close doors because the kids would run in the house and fail to close the door. One day I came home from shopping and I had my arms full. I told Smokey to close the car door. Little did I know that our neighbor was in the front yard watching this. Smokey had jumped up and pushed the door, but it did not close, so I told Smokey to go back and close the door which he did.
My neighbor came over and said that if he had not seen this with his own eyes that he would not believe it. He said, "I wish I could train my children to what he just did!"
Smokey did not like to be penned up in the back yard and would dig his way out of the fenced yard. I finally took two pickets off the fence at the bottom so that he had a way out. When I did that he stayed in the back yard until one of us came home and then he would greet us in the FRONT YARD!!" I capitalized front yard, Charlie did not. I still cannot get over how smart Smokey was.
"We were moving to Dallas from Austin and put the house up for sale and put it in a real estate dealer's hand. We told the Realitor to leave the dog in the back yard when they left the house. They put him in the back yard and proceeded to lock the house and put the key in their lock box on the door handle. She looked down there was Smokey. She was sure that she had left him in the back yard, but she unlocked the door and went in the house. She opened the sliding door and put Smokey in the back yard. She left the house, locked the door, put the key in the lock box and lo and behold there was Smokey. She proceeded to call me and swore that she had left him in the back yard! I told her that it was ok because he had his own key. (Can you imagine the poor lady's state of mind?)
We used to play hide and seek with him and the kids would go hide and he would go find them. He sometimes would cheat by peeking to see where they were going so I would have him cover his eyes with his paws 'til they were hidden. Then I told him to go find them. He would always go to the last place he found them and then would search the rest of the house and as always found them all.
All the things we taught him were done without treats after each trick. He would do them for anyone as long as they spoke clearly.
He loved to play games that the kids played and tried to do everything that that did, We lived across the street from a playground and there was a slide that the kids were using. He would climb the slide ladder and slide down with them just like it was a natural thing that dogs did.
When it was bedtime the family would say prayers before going to bed. We taught Smokey to lay his head in my lap and cover his eyes while we prayed. Every once in a while, he would uncover his eyes to see what was going on. I would scold him and tell him to pray and he would cover his eyes until we were done."
Part 2 of Smokey's story will arrive soon, I presume. When It does, I will print it up and put it on line for all of you to read. Hope you enjoyed Part 1. This story is definitely part of the Aubin Family History.
|Charlie and Nancy Aubin|