by Jo Cross
Cuchara– Beginning with 1932, we always rented Kamp Komfort, except for 1935, when Wanda Jameson rented the cabin to four girls from Virginia. They cut quite a swathe that year, as almost all the boys paid them quite a bit of attention. My sister had married the year before, so mother and I came to Cuchara alone, and rented Oso Comfy from Mrs. Blanche Sawyer.
In 1932, however, we became well acquainted with the Sawyers. Carl, the youngest of the three sons was there all that summer. He organized hikes for some of us neighborhood kids. He was my sister’s beau, and Mary Louise Newby was escorted by Lee Cox, a La Veta boy who worked for Lloyd Powell. Lee and Carl had an old stripped-down Ford the four of them drove all over the country. Its last trip was when they were driving down Red Hill, and hit a porcupine. The poor beast was only grazed, but he left too many quills in the tires for further progress. It sat on its rims until Bob Allen bought it.
That summer something happened, I’ll never forget. A family (I think from Iowa) rented a cabin for the summer, along the Cuchara River. Like most Cuchara residents, they stayed until they barely had time to get home for school to begin. The morning they were to leave, their German Shepherd didn’t answer their calls. They walked and drove all over the area, calling him, but he was not to be found. Finally they decided something must have happened to him, and they had to leave for home.
Long after dark, everyone heard mournful howling from the Rock Wall. It came at intervals the next day and night. We learned that owners had left and the dog had found himself abandoned.
Carl Sawyer was not about to leave the dog to his eventual fate. He bought a bag of dog food, filled a bowl, and took it up the Rock Wall, above the rental cabin. He called to the dog, then sat down and talked quietly to the dog. The dog came to within several yards and watched Carl, but would come no closer. Carl didn’t look at the dog, but continued to talk quietly to him. It was a huge dog, more black hair then tan. It had lost all faith in people. Carl left the bowl of food and went away.
Each day, Carl took food to the dog, and each day the dog came closer. Eventually on the sixth day, the dog came to the food, ate, and allowed Carl to pet him. Carl attached a leash to the dog’s collar, and came with him down to the Sawyer cabin.
Carl called the family who had owned the dog, and discovered they wanted him. The man started out and drove back to retrieve the missing part of their family.