JULY 7, 1948
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—There must be a great many people in this country who are interested in Scotties, and those who love dogs, particularly of this breed, write very often not only to Fala, but to Fala's mistress. So I take it they might be interested in the solving of one of the difficulties that I have experienced since I acquired Fala's grandson, Tamas McFala.
Whenever I let the two have their freedom as we walked through the woods, at some particular point they would forget me. My calling would be completely in vain. They had found something to hunt, and they were off.
Anyone who has Scotties knows they are independent little dogs and stand on their own. Also, they are good hunters. After several hours I begin to worry and start looking for my treasures.
One day they were seen on the main road, nearly four miles from our house, where an automobile almost ran over them. On another occasion a lady telephoned me from two miles away, asking if I would please come and get my dogs, as they had treed her cat in the backyard. On going down I found that quite a number of children living there had been swimming in the brook and the dogs had followed them into the brook and up to the house. Of course, when the cat tried to chase them, they had to chase back.
I brought them home in disgrace and for a day I tried to keep them constantly on their leashes, except when they were in their own yard. I soon found, however, that the wire mesh around their yard is big enough for Tamas, the younger one, to squeeze through. After running around for a while, he always came to the door and cried to get in.
That gave me an idea and the very next morning and every day since, on our walk, I have started out with the older dog, Fala, on the leash and let the young one run to his heart's content. He is never out of sight more than a few minutes. About halfway I put the little one, Tamas, on the lash and let Fala run. He sometimes goes off into the woods and refuses to return with us, but within an hour or so he will appear at the door asking to come in.
I do the same thing when I am out-of-doors working in the garden or over by the swimming pool having a picnic lunch. One of them is always on the leash, firmly anchored, while the other one runs around loose. They seem to recognize that this is a fair proposition and that each of them has a right to a certain amount of liberty, for now they never try to get away from me. They always let me put the leash on and fasten one of them before I let the other go free.
The younger one is much less dignified than Fala and also less secure. He follows me wherever I go in the house. And if there is a thunderstorm or if the children are making unusual noises, as they did on the 4th of July, Tamas retires completely terrified under Miss Thompson's desk and cannot be lured out.
Fala, on the contrary, lies with great dignity in the coolest spot he can find and will not be upset by anything except children who want to pull him around. When that happens, he, too, retires behind the bathroom door or under Miss Thompson's desk or under my feet, wherever I may be sitting!