‘Oreo’ — Patriot’s most successful ambassador and indeed the epitome of love itself, everyone’s favorite dog — was struck by a small red car Thursday night and killed at the very center of the Town he loved so much.
That little guy owned the Town of Patriot and has for over a decade. A very quiet dog, he patrolled Patriot several times each day with special attention made to his beloved Patriot Baptist Church. Fisk’s Grocery and the Patriot Post Office were on his daily rounds as he eagerly greeted all — young and old — with the thump of that beautiful black tail.
It is rumored that he was engaged in his favorite pastime of following the kids around Town as they played and rode their bikes when he was struck and killed.
Oreo’s beginnings can be traced back to Patriot as early as 2007. He was believed to have been two-three years old at the time — and possibly as old as 17 when he died. Originally believed to have been dumped, he was generously taken in, fed, and sheltered by Sandy and Van Thacker who provided care for all the town’s strays at that time. He was soon known as Oreo because as a primarily black, short-haired dog of mixed lineage he had a white ‘ring’ or collar around his neck.
He had a dreaded fear of riding in cars, storms, loud noises and being confined. Again, thanks to Sandy and others like Brian Hughes who were patient and loving, he was able to overcome some of his fears. He flourished on the pets, belly rubs and love of many and never missed a meal.
Following in the footsteps of his master Sandy, he began attending both Bible Study classes on Wednesdays at the Patriot Baptist Church and Sunday morning services. For several years now, he has been a regular participating congregant of the Patriot Baptist Church occupying his favorite spot by the piano or sitting on the steps to the pulpit with the kids.
Pastor Mike Jones relates how even on his last day, he found his guard dog Oreo patiently awaiting his arrival on the front steps of the church that morning. With the recent need for social distancing, Oreo became famous as an integral part of Pastor Jones’ weekly video church services. Pastor Jones is quoted as saying: “Any question I ever had about whether animals have a place in Heaven were erased by Oreo. I’m sure we will see him again someday.”
The Patriot Baptist Church will have a short memorial service next Sunday at 11:45 a.m., immediately following the morning worship service. It will be held behind the church where Oreo is buried, next to the Butterfly Garden. The Patriot Baptist Church is located at 156 Main Street in Patriot. Everyone is invited to attend.
In addition, a collection is being taken for a permanent grave site memorial. Anyone interested in donating may leave a donation at Fisk’s Store in Patriot or send it to the Patriot Baptist Church at Box 71, Patriot, Indiana, 47038.
— Kay Cook