George Marshall loved dogs. Some of his fondest childhood memories involved his dogs and friends’ dogs. The George C. Marshall Foundation is celebrating our love for dogs, so here’s a story about one of Marshall’s early furry friends.
“One of the friends of my youth was a black terrier, a short-haired terrier, named Trip. He was owned by a boy friend of mine who played with me practically every day. Trip always went with us. He was devoted to us and we to Trip.”
“I came back for a very brief visit to see my mother while I was a second lieutenant. I went up to Trip’s home … to visit. Trip was still lying on the stones by the old pump in the sun and his black coat had burnt almost brown. He paid no attention to me. He didn’t bark at me. He was so old he was just indifferent to me. Well, that was quite a blow because Trip was one of my close companions of my youth.”
“So I sat down on this long flagstone that was around the pump and succeeded in petting him, although he rather resented it in a way and was rather unwilling. I talked to him quite a long time trying to renew my youth and very much distressed that he couldn’t remember me at all.”
“After, I suppose, five or ten minutes, he took a little careful sniff at me and then he sniffed at me to or three times, and then he just went crazy over me. He had finally gotten a scent in his old nostrils and he remembered me. That was the most flattering thing that occurred to me on that short visit home after many years of not being there.”
I love this story of faithful devotion of both dog and young man.
(As told to Marshall’s biographer, Dr. Forrest Pogue.)
Before becoming director of library and archives at the George C. Marshall Foundation, Melissa was an academic librarian specializing in history. She and her husband, John, have three grown children, and live in Rockbridge County with two large rescue dogs. Melissa is known as the happiest librarian in the world! Keep up with her @MelissasLibrary.