by Earl Pollard
I was reading the stories of the good people of Russett when I remembered that there was a mad dog scare at Russett in 1940 that was real.
I remember hunting in the woods across the highway north west of the church and I found a nest of little pups that the mother dog had been killed on the highway. I picked what I thought was the prettiest of the litter and brought it home with me.
I had an old 1931 Chevrolet car at the time and a few days after finding the little pup, I left Russett for Blair Oklahoma and went to work on a farm there and a day or so later, Joe James came out there to work (as we could get twenty five cents an hour there at that time) and nine days from the time I left Russett, I got a letter from home that the little pup had got sick and died so he was tested for rabies and it came back positive and my younger brothers and sister were exposed as well as one or two of Joe James children so I let Joe take my old car home to take all the children to Tishomingo for rabies shots. I think they had to take them nine or ten days in a row. Supposedly the rabies shots are very painful as they are injected into the stomach.
The reason I remembered it was nine days after I had left Russett was because I was also bitten by the pup before leaving Russett and I knew if it was nine days it was too late to worry so I didn't go take the shots.
(editor's note) Recall we all called rabies "Hydrophobia", which means fear of water. Supposedly a dog with hydrophobia would froth at the mouth and folklore said if you threw water on the victim it would kill them. We had a dog that had fits and frothed at the mouth. My mom nearly drowned the poor dog that was later diagnosed as having worms. The folk cure for worms in a dog was to force feed them tobacco.