IFFUTURA PRESS Phone 512/442-7836 1714 SOUTH CONGRESS P.O. BOX 3485 AUSTIN, TEXAS Call ROK Before You Pack FOR HOUSTON Enjoy real money-saving value, and relax at the ALBERT OK MOTOR INN 3301 Southwest Freeway at Buffalo Speedway Heliport and Airport Bus Terminal near by Color TV in every room Restaurant & Lounge Heated Pool \( I Family Plan V CK Free Parking Meeting and Convention Facilities for up to 375 ALL AT MODERATE RATES 890 RESERVATIONS: CALL TOLL FREE American Express Space Bank 800 AE 8-5000 One day I found a whole packet of credit cards in the front yard. A few of them were sort of soggy and covered with teeth marks, so I presumed they were one of J. Edgar’s finds. The address on the cards indicated the owner lived just a few blocks away. 1 drove over on my way to work and rang the doorbell. Nobody answered, so I just left the cards in the mailbox. I later learned from the Elings who had heard via the mailman that the cards belonged to an elderly woman whose purse was snatched by three teenage girls as she was walking to the bus stop. I trust the mailman subsequently explained to the lady how her cards happened to be returned slightly masticated. As a puppy, Jay would bring home so 22 The Texas Observer UM fa MI MO INN Ell MO NM IN We are interested in publishing I books on Texas, etc. If you have I a manuscript, please write a short we will advise you at once if we I are interested in looking at the I manuscript. 10111111111M11111111111111M1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 much junk every day that our front yard always looked like a low rent garage sale. Shoes were one of his specialties, singles usually. And he kept the whole Observer staff supplied with door mats. As he matured, he grew more selective, bringing home only choice items. There was a sweatshirt for Karen and a pair of pajama bottoms that fitted Mike perfectly. Mike wore them faithfully until he forgot them one morning on a clothes hook in a New York City hotel. Jay’s favorites, of course, were foodstuffs, like the package of Hostess Twinkies he proudly brought for me to open for him. He kept them in his bed for a whole day before he ate them. And the taco shells. I don’t know where he got them, but every once in a while he’d come trotting up with a U-shaped taco shell carried ever so gently in his mouth. His hairy lips would stretch over the shell, making him look like a four-legged Ubangi. One time he found a cooked pork chop in a bag from a restaurant in Phoenix, Ariz. His most permanent find was Ms. Momma Dog, whom he brought home to have a litter of puppies under the house. We thought she probably belonged to some neighbor, but she didn’t seem to go home very often. As she grew fatter and fatter, we got concerned enough to call Joe Harris, whose name and number were engraved on her collar. The person who answered the phone said she’d never heard of Joe Harris. Momma Dog had come to stay. We managed to give away six of the rather pinheaded puppies and only had to take two to the pound. The little boy dog who looked just like Jay went to the Oppenheimers next door. When I delivered the puppy I took Momma Dog along to keep him company, and she’s still over there, I’m happy to say. JAY AND Momma and John Brown made a fine family, tearing around the neighborhood together, terrorizing the Hernandez’ chihuahua pack and forming a united front against passing motorists. Unfortunately, Jay and Momma also developed into a pretty good hunting team, and that may have led to Jay’s demise. Even before Momma appeared, Jay would show up with an occasional chicken, but working together they got it down to an art. I really don’t know where they found so much livestock in town. They may have hunted rabbits at the airport \(the Oppenheimers once had to fetch Momma supply they came up with rabbits, chickens, ducks, cats, rats, an occasional squirrel and, once, even a goose. A year ago New Year’s we were at Rio Duckworth, the fabulous homestead of Kinky Friedman, sleeping off the previous evening’s celebrations. About 11 a.m. there was a terrible squawking in the yard. Jay had done in Rio Duckworth’s only chicken. That morning Kinky was as cold as a tick’s Christmas. I offered him a dozen eggs as compensation, but he said, no, this was a very special chicken. This chicken was the paramour of Duckworth’s peacock. Kinky still maintains we owe him an amorous female peafowl. Now, when your dog brings you a dead chicken, it’s not going to do any good to say bad doggie and hit him with a newspaper. The hunting instinct goes deeper than that. One of the few known cures is to tie the chicken around the dog’s neck and keep it there until it rots. That may be a reasonable punishment for a farm dog, but it’s not for a house dog. I might have tried it if Jay had only killed one kind of animal, but the treatment for chickens, geese, mice, rabbits, cats and ducks could have taken months. A hunter told me of a quicker punishment. Whenever one of his dogs kills an animal, he gets a big barrel. Then he puts the dog and the corpse in the barrel, puts the lid on the barrel and rolls it down a hill. “Works every time,” he said. I just never got the dog and the chicken and the barrel and the hill together. And now J. Edgar may have been shot by some irate suburbanite who was trying to save on the grocery bill by raising his own chickens. He may have been a killer, but J. Edgar was a good dog. He was one of the sweetest, most affable, eager to please animals I’ve ever known. He was the kind of dog I’d always wanted, a dog who wasn’t very high strung or complicated, just a good dumb dog. Jay would approach rather hesitantly and put one of his big, heavy paws on your knee and ask to be scratched. And while you were scratching him, he’d get this arrogant, self-satisfied expression that prompted John to call him J. Edgar Noble Hound. He was a handsome devil, and he knew it. I will admit I got tired of Jay sitting on the furniture and licking his privates in front of company. But I swear, I’d even let him sleep on the bed if he’d just be there when I drive into the driveway tonight. K.N.