My family went to visit some folks one Sunday afternoon and as we were playing outside, we heard a dog barking in their cellar. We wondered why he was locked in their cellar. We asked them if we could let him out to play, they said yes and we played with him that afternoon. As we were leaving that day, the folks we were visiting asked us of we wanted him, so we asked our parents, they said yes and we took him home with us. We asked them what his name was and they said "Hector".
Hector was a German Shepard, trained at a police academy. The police academy kicked Hector out because he was afraid of the sound of guns. Hector was also really afraid of thunder and if there was a thunderstorm, he would bend the steel bars in front of our cellar windows then proceed to break the windows to get into our cellar. I remember one day we had visitors and as they were leaving it started to storm, Hector jumped in their car and wouldn’t leave.
Hector was a fun dog to grow up with, we played hide and seek with him. We used to throw a rock or stick out in the driveway and then go hide in the barn amongst the bales of hay. Hector would look for each one of us until he found us all.
We also took Hector down to a stream where we dammed up a spot for a swimming hole, we would throw a big rock into the water, Hector would dive in and swim to the bottom for the rock and you would see bubbles coming up from the water. If the rock were too big for him to grab with his mouth, he would dive and drag the rock out of the water with his front paws. Sometimes he had to make various attempts to be successful, but he was diligent.
He also knew every pressure point in the human body. We would play games, pretend like we were going to hit each other with a stick and Hector would grab us very gently, not breaking the skin and hit a pressure point in our wrist that would be like hitting a funny bone and make you drop whatever you were holding.
We also would tell Hector to go out and round up the cows for milking and he would nip their feet and run back and forth behind the herd until he got them all in the barn.
Our barn had a chute that we would throw hay down to feed the cows. The chute had a door that we would close flat to the ground so that no one would accidentally fall down it, when not in use. Hector liked to sleep next to the chute in the barn, in the winter because the warmth from the cows would come up through the slats in the boards of the chute door. One night someone left the chute door open. When morning arrived and we went do our chores, we heard a big noise like a bale of hay falling thru the chute. It was Hector! he awoke from his sleep and thought the door was closed. Luckily he was not hurt, only his pride.
One winter day, my brother and I went hunting. We strolled by a tree and saw droppings from a porcupine. Hector stuck his head into the hole at the bottom of a tree to sniff out what was there. The tree hole was fashioned so that when he stuck his head inside he could not get it out, he was stuck and started to panic. I calmed Hector down and told my brother to get Dad and to bring an ax, so we could chop around the hole in the tree and get Hectors head out. My brother ran to the farmhouse and when he got there he was all out of breath, panicky and could barely speak, my Dad thought that we had an accident with our guns and that I had been shot. In a few minutes, my brother told my Dad the story and he had to hike 2 miles in knee-deep snow to get to the spot where we were. Little chops of the ax around the hole in the tree and Hector was free, acting like nothing had happened.
In the fall Hector loved to hide in the leaves that we had just raked up in the yard. In the winter, we would build a snowman, he would watch us as it was built, then as we went into the house, he would commence to tear it down immediately.
We found out by accident most of the things that Hector could do. I only scratched the surface of the stories and the games we used to play with Hector There are so many things that he knew and we only saw a fraction of it.
He was the smartest dog I have ever known.