+ Hector, the Stowaway Dog +

by Captain Kenneth Dodson + Illustrated by FM[?]

The Reader's Digest Junior Omnibus has several true maritime stories. This one starts out with the author watching a smooth-haired fox terrier going from ship to ship in Vancouver harbour. The dog goes up each gangway, looks around the deck, sniffs at the cargo and then leaves the ship and goes on to the next. After Dodson's ship departs it turns out the dog is aboard. Eighteen days later the ship is approaching Yokahama and the dog becomes more alert. Once the ship is berthed and the unloading has begun the dog becomes very excited by a ship nearby. A small boat pulls alongside it and two men get in. The dog becomes all the more excited, prancing around and barking. The two men see the dog and they get excited. The dog jumps into the water and swims to the small boat where he is pulled from the water by... his owner. Of all the ships in Vancouver going every where in the world, the dog has picked the one that would get him back to his owner.

Kenneth Dodson

Captain Dodson

Kenneth Dodson was born in 1908. He shipped out of San Francisco at the age of seventeen and later went to navigation school. While at sea in WWII he wrote many long letters to his wife Letha and one of them made its way to the poet Carl Sandburg, who became a fan of Dodson's writing. Sandberg encouraged Dodson to keep at it. Dodson's first nove l, Away All Boats was published in 1954. He last book, The Poet and the Sailer, collected the letters between himself and Sandburg. Dodson died in 1999; his obituary was in The New York Times.


In the main image above, just under the model ship's bowsprit, are those the initials FM?

Hector illustration

+ Omnibus Home Page + The City That Died to Live + Man Overboard! +
+ Pigs is Pigs + The Princess Who Wanted the Moon + Annie Oakley and the Wild West + I Killed "Moby Dick" +
+ The Night My Number Came Up + The Day I Met Midnight + Hunter + History and Horrors in Wax +

+ If you want to comment about Hector, the Stowaway Dog, please write to omnibus@chebucto.ca
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+ A labour of love by Jane Kansas, last updated on September 9, 2013.