T was early in November and the Canadian winter was already here. I sat in my chair, just after breakfast, and looked through the one window of our shanty, from which I could see the prairie and the end of our cowshed. Suddenly a large gray animal dashed across the prairie into the cowshed, and a smaller black and white animal ran after it.
“A wolf!” I cried, and seizing a gun, ran out to help the dog. But before I could get there, they were out of the cowshed and on the prairie again. The wolf turned to attack (lie dog, and the dog, our neighbour’s collie, ran about, trying to bite the wolf. I fired a few shots, which did not hit the wolf, and both animals dashed off across the prairie again. Again the wolf turned, ready to fight. The dog seized the wolf by the leg, but retreated to avoid the wolf’s teeth. This scene was repealed many times. The dog each time tried to get nearer to his master’s house, while the wolf did all he could to run away toward
the wood. I followed, and at last overtook them. The dog, now seeing that he had help, seized the wolf by the throat, and did not let go. It was now easy for me to come near them and shoot the wolf in the head.
When the dog saw that his enemy was dead, he at once set out for his master’s house four miles across the snow. As he ran, he left a trail of blood on the snow from his many wounds, but he did not stop. I learned about this wonderful dog from his master, and wanted to buy him at any price, but the reply of his owner was: “Why don’t you try to buy one of the children?” So I could do nothing. But he told me to wait until there was a puppy, the collie’s son, and I had to be satisfied with that.
I looked at my new puppy, – a ball of black fur with a very white ring round his muzzle. I named him Bingo, the name of a dog in an old English story.
The rest of that winter Bingo spent in our shanty, eating much and growing bigger each day. When the spring came, I began his education. He learned to go and look for our old yellow cow that pastured on the prairie, and to drive her back to the cowshed safely.
He became very fond of doing this, and nothing pleased him more than an order to go and fetch the cow. He would dash away, barking with pleasure. In a short time he would return, driving the cow before him. And he gave her no peace until she was safe in a corner of the stable.
Soon he grew so fond of doing this that he began to bring the cow home even without an order. At last not once or twice, but a dozen times a day he went out and drove the cow home to the stable. It seemed that whenever he wanted a little exercise or had some free time, he dashed out across the prairie and a few minutes later returned, driving the unhappy cow before him. The cow grew thin and gave less milk. She watched nervously for that dog, whom she hated, and was afraid to go out to pasture.
This was too much, and I had to force Bingo to give up his pleasure altogether. He could not understand it at all and, in disgust, now stayed all day with the horses, near their stable. The cattle belonged to me, and the horses, to my brother, and though I did not see my dog often now, yet both of us felt that the bond between man and dog is one that lasts as long as life.
Not long after that Bingo acted as cowherd again, but that was the last time. In autumn of the same year there was a prize at the Annual Animal Fair for the best dog in training. I entered Bingo. Early on the day of the Fair I drove the cow to the prairie.