Terrier enjoyed his military service

From our December 2012 issue

By Martha Morgan

A little Scotch terrier turned up at the girls’ residence where I lived in Toronto, and was immediately presented to me for I was known to be a sucker for animals and we certainly couldn’t keep him there.

I took him home to Newmarket and my parents, who were also suckers for animals, took him in. I called him Angus.
One day he disappeared. I felt sad but not entirely surprised, for he never seemed a very affectionate dog.

Then, on a visit home I saw him again. So did everyone else in town.

There was a big military parade, for we had a basic training camp nearby. We all lined up along Main Street and listened to the marching bands and watched the vehicles go by, and there, sitting proudly on a cannon, was Angus.

People called out to him but he paid no attention. He was a soldier now, and he sat on the cannon, chest out, eyes straight ahead, and ignored the crowd.

That afternoon we had a visitor – the sergeant who had now adopted Angus and called him Jock. He used to walk along pouring water out of a pitcher into a bowl to wake up the men, he said, but now there was no need.

Jock went with him on his morning rounds, and got the men up. Everyone was fond of him, and the sergeant begged to be allowed to keep him as mascot until the end of the war.

We said of course. Jock/Angus was never really ours and it became obvious he was used to living with large numbers of people. We saw him periodically in parades, as proud as before.

Then, finally, the war ended and once again the sergeant came to our door, with Angus on a leash. He offered to buy him, but he was afraid we wouldn’t accept.

Angus didn’t belong to us, so how could we sell him? He had liked being in the army, and he liked the sergeant and undoubtedly cheered many lives en route.

We gave him away, knowing this was what Jock would want, and hoped the two of them would be happy together.

Martha Morgan (1921-2014) described herself as “a literary Jack-of-all-Trades,” having written for magazines, radio and television. In her column, “Notes From Over the Hill,” which launched in 1993, she found her true niche. Unlike columns that offer advice to retirees, Martha’s take was a humorous look at the quirks and foibles of aging. Her book, Notes From Over The Hill, is a collection of her popular musings. Buy it today for yourself or as a gift!