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by Clyde L. Boswell

I suppose those of you readers who grew up on a farm, especially you men out there, had yourself a fine dog. Every youngster growing up needs a dog for his bosom pal. You see, dogs are better friends than most of us realize.

My first cousin Butch lived in Memphis in some apartments that didn’t allow animals. So one weekend, Butch and his parents came to Boyle and brought me my very own dog. They’d named him “Snowball.” Why they named a black and white dog “Snowball,” I’ll never know. Maybe this was a snowball with dirt on its back.

Well, when we were growing up on the farm we raised our own meat, but we also hunted deer, rabbit, squirrel, and most anything else we could put in our freezer.

And if you gonna rabbit hunt, you really do need a good dog. Snowball turned out to be possibly the best hunting dog in Bolivar County. You know, we never used guns. Didn’t have to. Snowball would jump a rabbit and off they’d go.

Now Sno was not the fastest dog in the world, but he could hold his own against the best. That dog was near human, I think, cause he sure did love to chase and catch a rabbit. He’d run the rabbit right beside me and all I had to do was whack the rabbit with a stick and it was all over. If I happened to miss the rabbit, well then, Sno was there on the spot and he’d run him down, catch him and bring him back to me.

I wish my children and grandchildren minded that well.

Snowball and I, well, we had some marvelous times. It was sorta like we always knew what the other wanted. I didn’t have to tell him to roll over and play dead. I’d just point my finger at him and say “bang!” and he rolled over and played dead. Very good watch dog also. I wanted him to sleep in our bed with us four boys but mom told me no.

A boy and his dog. Wild Indians couldn’t separate the two of us. Sno and I walked many a mile on those old dusty country roads -- chasing birds or whatever, just enjoying life to the rim.

Into everyone’s life must come heartache and pain. Sno had started chasing vehicles, and we just couldn’t make him stop. The finest dog and friend a boy could ever have, my best pal, was lost to a Ford pickup truck one terrible afternoon. I cried a lot of tears for old Sno. I don’t figure there’s a doggie heaven, but if there is, Snowball is there. I’m sure of that.


A retired postmaster, Clyde Boswell lives in Cleveland, Mississippi, with his wife Pam.
He enjoys storytelling and gospel singing.


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