January 27, 2003
The following story was written by Dennis Hamm, from Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Dennis was born and raised in rural Saskatchewan. He loves dogs and Tippy was one of his pet dogs. Tippy was a blue healer border collie shepherd cross, and came to live at Dennis's home since six weeks of age. Tippy walked 1 1/2 miles daily with Dennis and he was a good cattle dog. He loved porcupines. He died twelve years ago. Dennis remembers him fondly. Dennis's mother passed away five years ago on January 25. He would like to dedicate this story to her.
1976 was my last year in school at Morse, Saskatchewan. Rick Schwabe was the Phys. Ed. teacher. One day he decided that we should go outside to play ball. We picked teams, and of course, I was on the better team.
Rick Schwabe was out in center field, my friend Garnet Behm was pitching. Garnet was not a normal pitcher, he could pitch the windmill at 98 m.p.h. My friend Dwayne Penner was batting. Of course, I was the catcher. I can picture it even today.
I remember, before we started to play ball my friends said, "Dennis one of these days you are going to get hit in the face," and I said, "Who? Not I, l am too good." However, we should watch our words, as the game started to unfold differently. Garnet started into his wind up with the ball, Dwayne was ready to hit.Then came the ball! Dwayne hit the ball, it was a tick ball. The next thing I knew, I was seeing stars. I was dazed with blood running down my cheek. I was lying on my hip on the ground behind home plate.
I waved to Rick, who was out in center field to come to the home plate. He ran as fast as he could thinking that I was hurt very badly. When he got there he told me to go into the school and see what the principal thought about my injury.
When I walked into the school, the principal, Herb Holderbien, saw me and ran over to ask if I had lost my eye. All that had really happened was a fairly bad cut over my eye. Herb told me that I should phone home and let my parents know what had happened and that I was going to Herbert to get stitches. While I was on the phone speaking to mom, she asked me whether my glasses were broken, and I said, "Yes."
After receiving the phone call at home from me, my mom walked to the screen door. Looked out and thought, if only she could get a message to my dad, who was working out in the field. In the 70s, there were no cell phones, so there was no way of getting the message to my dad other than somebody walking out to the field and calling him.
Strangely, soon after Tippy my dog walked out to the field found where my dad was working and stood in front of his tractor and would not move until he stopped it. When dad came in for dinner early, mom was surprised. If Tippy had not stopped dad's tractor, perhaps, dad would have come home much later. When mom told him what had happened to me, dad asked mom whether my glasses were broken. Mom said, "Yes," and my dad was able to fix my glasses soon after I got home from school, so I could see well again. My life was back to normal. Thanks to Tippy my dog! I never again forgot to wear my catcher's mask when I played ball in school.