From books of such widely varying quality as Cowboy J of the (which had its humor) and Ghost Cat (a slow moving mystery) Helen Rushmore has launched into something with real wit and circumstantial realism. Roy, an Oklahoma boy in the fourth grade, wants a collie very, very badly. And he gets one just like that, a stray from a minor auto accident right in front of his house. Though his parents are against the idea of keeping Chief, the name Randy promptly gives the dog, his brother Charles, in the eighth grade and a future lawyer, helps present the case and win a victory on a temporary basis. From then on there is fun and ustration as Chief develops into a real personality and Randy, in keeping his new out of trouble, develops into a real boy. Broad family humor and the simple descriptions of actual happenings, no matter how small, are artfully related to keep this going at a merry pace.