April 20, 1946:
Shiner, the dog of the Morgan family of 1523 Mulberry St., took on a new role in the household. The year-and-a-half-old pup became the mother to four baby chickens brought home by brothers Howard Jr., 13, and Warren, 11.
Her pet parents described Shiner, who got her name from the black ring of fur around her eye, as “just dawg” and “no pedigree but has personality.” She was well-known around the neighborhood.
A stranger had given the young dog to the brothers more than a year earlier. At first, Mary Morgan, the boys’ mother, thought bringing a puppy to live in a third-floor apartment was not the best idea. After trying to find the puppy a new home, however, it became clear that Shiner was at home with the Morgans. In her role as mother to the chicks, Shiner kept them warm and also clean by giving them tongue washings. The family reported that Shiner had become protective of her chicks as well. If a stranger approached the box where they lived, she growled ferociously until she felt they were safe.
She would even separate her young chicks when they began to roughhouse too much, gently grabbing one with her teeth to separate them.
Howard and Warren said they felt a bit sad to lose their puppy pal to motherhood.
Brian Fulton has been the librarian at The Times-Tribune for the past 15 years. On his blog, Historically Hip, he writes about the great concerts, plays/musicals and celebrity happenings that have taken place throughout NEPA. He is also the co-host of the local history podcast, Historically Hip. He competed and was crowned grand champion on an episode of NPR quiz show “Ask Me Another.” Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9140; or @TTPagesPast