That’s why the tale of “Rucker: The Lost Country Dog” should be a huge hit with small fry. The sweet yet noble-looking pooch is the star of a story that takes him all over Roswell as it was in the early 1900s, trying to find his way home.
The book about Rucker and his journey has just been released by the Roswell Historical Society, which has made Rucker its official mascot.
“Rucker lives on Arnold Mill Road with a family with four boys who work at the saw mill. When the mother tells the boys to go into town to pick up some dressmaking supplies, Rucker hides in the back of the wagon because he’s always wanted to see the town,” said Elaine DeNiro, author of the book and archivist for the Roswell Historical Society.
When he sneaks out of the wagon to explore, he inadvertently gets left behind when the boys return home. In trying to find his way back, Rucker visits places like Barrington Hall, Canton Street, Hembree Farm and Crabapple to try to get information to help him on his journey.
The text was written by DeNiro, but all of the illustrations are photographs from the society’s collection. Rucker himself is a dog that was in a family portrait of the James Jasper Stewart Family, who did live on Arnold Mill Road and whose family owned the saw mill.
Society member Connie Huddleston digitally captured the dog’s image and inserted it in all of the location photos, which she also worked on to improve clarity and composition.
Award-winning local photographer Gittel Price shot the book’s cover photo.
One question needed to be answered while the book was in production.
“We don’t know what kind of dog it is, so we had a contest on our Web page for ideas,” DeNiro said.
The consensus? Rucker is probably a German shorthair pointer. Which led the inventive folks at the historical society to an idea for a new and novel fundraising event.
“We’re going to have a Rucker Fest on the town square Oct. 16. That month is traditionally Oktoberfest, which is of German heritage just like Rucker,” DeNiro said.
From noon to 5 p.m., dogs and their humans are invited to take part in contests such as obedience skills, best Halloween costume, best tricks and a dog/owner look alike.
There will be pet product vendors, pet adoption groups and the historical society’s own doggie treats. Food available includes hot dogs and bratwursts.
The 32-page book “Rucker: The Lost Country Dog” sells for $12.99 plus tax and can be purchased at the society’s office on the second floor of the Roswell Cultural Arts Center or at The Chandlery on Canton Street. All proceeds benefit the historical society.
To keep up with all things Rucker, go to www.roswellhs.org and click on Rucker’s News.
He also has a blog at www.ruckerinroswell.blogspot.com.