When I joined the Sheriff's Department in 1977, Glen Sillery was the sheriff. He and his wife Norma, like most county Sheriffs before him, lived at the jail. Norma had a tiny little dog that had the run of the place and kept watch on anyone who entered through the front door. After Glen retired, Charlie Stewart was elected sheriff, and he also had a dog, Bingo, a German Shepherd. Charlie claimed that Bingo was a great tracking dog, but the only tracking I ever witnessed was Bingo tracking down some treats that the jail officers fed him . . . Ha!
Well, when I took office as Sheriff in 1995, my wife and I decided that we would buy a dog for our youngest son, Brett, who was 6 years old, and we would bring the dog to the jail every day so that the dog wouldn't have to be penned up at home all day, and also for the prisoners to have a dog as their pet. We didn't want a large dog or one that barked all the time, so we decided upon a Boston Terrier. My brother and I had one when we were very young. A nearby farmer raised that breed, and he gave us one that had a crooked tail. His name was Trooper, and he was a very playful and loyal pooch . . . one of the best dogs our family ever had.
As luck would have it, I located a Boston Terrier puppy for sale down at Greencastle. It was kind of small as far as Bostons go, but it was so cute we just couldn't resist, so we bought it and named it Fred. Our son fell in love with it, and it became his constant companion. After we had potty-trained it, my wife, who served as the matron, started taking it to the jail each morning after she dropped our son off for kindergarten. Well, Fred became an instant hit with everyone . . . the jail officers, the deputies, and the inmates. He was petted and pampered, and he thought he was a real police dog. Although we gave him regular dog food, he also had LOTS of snacks and leftovers from the inmates, who considered Fred as their jail mascot! I really believe Fred helped the inmates by keeping their minds off their troubles. Sometimes Fred would take a nap in the afternoon in one of the trusty's cells, and they just loved him! Fred was a great addition to the Sheriff's Department during the three years that I served as County Sheriff.
When I retired from the department in 1997, we took Fred to our home in the country to stay for good. By that time, our youngest son was 9 years old, and he and Fred were inseparable. He trained Fred and taught him lots of tricks and stunts. Fred was just like another kid in our family. I think he missed all the attention that he had experienced at the jail, but he loved being outside and playing with our son.
One day, late in October, I watched from the kitchen window Brett hitting a softball out in our yard, with Fred running to retrieve it and happily bringing it back to him. They kept it up five or six times when I noticed that on the next swing, the ball hit the end of the bat and strayed out towards the road. I strained to see where the ball ended up, and since I could not see it clearly I then headed out the front door to take a look. Just at that time I heard what sounded like a large truck coming down the road. I looked toward the road, and the ball was in the middle of the road, with Fred running to it. Just as Fred reached the ball, the large grain truck passed our house . . . and Fred never had a chance.
My son stood there in shock as I went out to pick up our beloved Fred from the highway. My wife was crying as I carried Fred back to the yard. All three of us just could not believe that Fred was gone. I got the shovel from the garage, and we buried Fred in the yard and I placed a cross on his grave. We knew that God would take care of our Fred in Heaven, but we knew we would miss him terribly.
That day was one of the worst days of our lives. That evening, I searched the ads for any Boston Terriers that might be for sale. I finally located three for sale, two males and one female, down by Loogootee in southern Indiana. I called the seller at 8 p.m., and told him that I was headed there, and to hold one for us. We arrived after 10 p.m. Well, we bought the female for my wife's mother. We bought one of the males for our son . . . and we bought the other male, too . . . as a spare! The new Boston Terrier members of our family were Frank, Griffey and Misty and they all lived to be about 12-13 years old. We loved all three, but we will always remember Fred, the happy little police dog . . . and guess what? Our youngest son is now 31 years old and is a police officer today, and a few years ago he bought himself a Boston Terrier . . . a little one . . . and his name is . . . Freddy!!!!

John "Butch" Dale is a retired teacher and County Sheriff. He has also been the librarian at Darlington the past 30 years, and is a well-known artist and author of local history.