It’s not surprising that, since they’re such integral parts of our lives, dogs are also part of our individual family histories, and the stories that come from them. When families get together for birthdays, holidays or just for fun, these stories tend to be trotted out and enjoyed once again by everyone. Here’s one we found enchanting, and we’re pleased to share it. Send us your vintage (1950s or earlier) family-dog photos and stories: email@example.com.
The Tate Boys & Judge
Taken in 1901 at Lakin, Kan., this photo shows brothers James and Victor Tate and their pup Judge (patiently serving as a cushion for Victor) and was sent in by their grandniece, Kristen Adame. The Tate family ran the town’s general store from the early 1880s until about 1995. James, who attended the U.S. Naval Academy, died at the age of 21 in the 1918 flu epidemic. Victor also attended the academy and retired from the U.S. Navy in the 1950s.
Judge’s story: Lakin was a rural community, and even dogs living on Main Street ran free. One day, Judge disappeared, and the children were heartbroken. Then, about a year later, James and his father, George, made a trip to Ulysses, a town about 30 miles south of Lakin. And there on the street, sitting outside a café, was a dog who looked a lot like Judge! On closer inspection, the dog turned out to be their lost pooch, who had apparently been dognapped and used to help herd cattle in Ulysses. Happily, Judge was returned to the family, and lived out the rest of his considerable life as the Tate’s family dog.