Sunday, April 26

Family Way

Miriam Dobyns, one of our local music teachers had a very harrowing experience a few weeks ago. It seems that she had a sick Cocker Spaniel that belonged to her grandchildren. Knowing Miriam as I do, she would go to the other side of the world to take care of anything that belonged to those kids. Her son, Jimmy, as I have always knowed him by, is her only son. To make a long story short, Miriam traveled all the way to Lexington to find out what was wrong with the kid's dog. From what I can learn the vet's report was the dog was going to have a family. He assured Miriam that it was nothing to worry about, that it would be several days. Miriam in relief, started on her way back to our fair city. She stopped at Dalton's Bus Stop in Stanton, Kentucky, yes, to get a cup of coffee and a sandwich. Low and behold she found that she was in the middle of a midwife operation because the unexpected thing had happened. From what I can learn she did a nice job. All puppies are O.K. Miriam is now thinking of hanging out her shingle to practice as a vet on all dogs. A mother's love folks will go a long way since Jimmy is a doctor., now no doubt that he will help his mother in regard to the immediate remedies of such occasions in the future." 1957

UPDATE: Response from Miriam's son - James: My mother loved Hazard and I am pleased that Hazard remembers her. Wherever there was music or drama in her Hazard, she was there and, of course, this was no more evident than in her home where the `love list' went from students, to birds (canaries which she loved to entice onto her head and hands) to dogs (several Shelties and Spaniels were usually present) and, of course, any children or grandchildren who happened to be present. She supplied the entire family and many friends with dogs and tried to do the same with the canaries. The only surprising thing about Roscoe Davis' story is that Miriam went to Lexington to get the diagnosis. She had the lore of a veterinarian and midwived many dog families in her time. I'm not sure how many of the pups in the story made their way into the home with my wife, three boys and myself but we never had more than two at a time, as I recall. Miriam could not be limited by such small numbers. If there is a separate heaven for dogs, she may be there. James H. Dobyns


  1. I think for whatever reason this didn't seem like just a dog that was about to go in labor. I think she thought something else was wrong this time for her to go to Lexington even though you say she had experienced this before.

  2. I expect you are right, Jack. I really don't recall the actual episode but, as I have noted, Miriam Dobyns was sort of a dog mid-wife with much experience in helping birth pups. I too think that there was something different this time but I don't know what it was. Of course, Miriam loved going to Lexington, as did most Hazardites, and may have seized upon any excuse to go there. Despite the narrow, curving roads of those days, it was usually safe unless one happened to meet Dr. R.L. Collins either going or coming. Near blind but not timid, Dr. Collins drove with accelerator down in the middle of the road. This was no great problem for us mountaineers, who were used to diving for the ditch as we drove amidst the coal trucks of our region.
    Jim Dobyns