Posted on November 3, 2017

If you enjoy reading about small-town goings-on, you will love the book, More Stories – Elgin, Etc. The paperback is available in large print for readability. To purchase the book for $19.95, contact the Elgin Depot Museum at 512.285.2000.

Here’s an excerpt from the book, written by Judy Davis, a long-time Elgin resident:

Sam, The Ecumenical Dog

The Davis household was seldom without a canine member. In the late ‘60s Nell and Syd were suffering from empty nest syndrome – one daughter had married and the other was working in Dallas.

Syd made a trip to the Austin pound and fell in love with an overgrown collie/shepherd mix who was to become the next member of the Baptist Davis family. He named him Sam. Nell welcomed him with open arms and trimmings from round steak, which became his favorite meal.

These were the days when dogs roamed freely around neighborhoods. On the second day of Sam’s Elgin citizenship, he heard a loud ringing of a bell and went to investigate. Located a block behind his new home was the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, pictured above, which had a new pastor, Father Everett Trebtoske, better known as “Father Treb.”

Thus began a long and lasting friendship between Sam and Father Treb.

Every time the bell rang at the Catholic Church, Sam made his appearance and became its most loyal parishioner. Whenever Father Treb said mass, Sam lay up on the altar platform while the service was in progress. Only one person ever complained about Sam’s presence inside the church. That person was Father Treb’s dad who didn’t think a dog should be part of the service. Father Treb paid no attention to the complaint and Sam continued his services to the church.

The high school football field was behind my parents’ house and across the street from Sacred Heart. Sam attended all football activities either with Syd or Father Treb. One night when Elgin was scrimmaging Cameron, Sam made friends with some of the visiting opponents. The next day Sam didn’t appear at home for breakfast or for mass when the bell rang. Several days went by and still no Sam.

Nell and Syd were sad to think Sam had met his untimely end. Father Treb, however, felt Sam had gone home with someone from Cameron, and so he ran an ad in the Cameron newspaper reporting the “parish dog” was missing.

A few days later Father Treb got a call from Cameron letting him know Sam had jumped into their pickup — they thought he was homeless. Father Treb advised Syd who was soon off to Cameron to pick up his wayward canine.

Upon their return from Cameron, Syd dropped Sam off at the Catholic Church for a homecoming with Father Treb and the parishioners, and he was back in his appointed position on the altar the following Sunday.

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