Monday, 09 July 2012
By Dani Ferguson Phillips of The Cataract Club
The summer of '96 did not start out to be a stellar summer for my daughter Julie. Her twin sister had just graduated and moved out of their apartment but Julie still had one class to complete before she was “officially” a graduate.
Most of her friends had also graduated and moved on to begin their careers. The campus was no longer bustling with the usual frenzy of students and it looked like it was going to be a long, boring summer.
Julie lived in a three-story apartment complex just at the foot of the campus. Her apartment was on the top floor and though the view was great, she had tired of the daily climb. She had been treading up and down three flights of stairs for four years and though the shapely curve of her legs was proof that exercise keeps you trim, she was ready to live on the ground floor.
However, living on the top floor did have some advantages. Since the apartment complex was surrounded by a forest of huge trees, it was like living in a tree house. Julie loved to open all the windows so the air could flow through the apartment.
Her front door opened to a private landing so she would regularly leave the door open to enhance the breeze while she sat on the floor in her living room and worked on her lessons.
One day she was sitting there studying when she looked up to see a dog sitting in front of her door. It was a very pretty Pembroke Corgi. She looked to be about a year old and was just sitting there staring at Julie.
Julie couldn’t imagine how her short legs had managed to get her up the three flights of stairs but she was a welcome guest. Julie, being a dog lover, tried to approach her but she quickly exited back down the long flight of stairs and was gone.
Every day Julie watched for the dog and usually about three in the afternoon she would look up to see her staring in the front door. Julie began leaving dog treats and a bowl of water just outside her door.
Day after day, the visitor got a little braver until one day she ventured over the threshold into the apartment. Julie checked her for a tag and found none. The little girl was friendly but still a bit cautious. However, every day after class Julie would find her waiting outside her apartment door.
Julie began calling the little dog, D.O.G, pronounced, "Dee O Gee". She was fast becoming Julie's new summer companion although it was still a mystery where she lived. She didn't look like a stray so Julie figured she must live somewhere in the apartment complex. Why she had ventured to Julie's three-story landing was a mystery but she quickly became a welcome intruder.
All summer Julie worked on her last class requirement and spent her evenings with D.O.G. They took walks in the park and mainly kept each other company.
Julie had begun to suspect that D.O.G lived in an apartment in the back of the complex. One evening when Julie was taking her trash to the dumpster, she heard a dog yelp. Just as she turned to see where the sound had come from she saw D.O.G get the heel of a boot from a young man.
D.O.G made a fast get-away into the bushes and though Julie called out to her, she didn't reappear.
Julie didn't see D.O.G again for about a week and just when she was about to go knock on the door of the apartment where she'd last been seen, Julie opened her front door to find D.O.G sitting outside her door. This time she wasn't alone.
With her were two puppies that D.O.G had painstakingly brought up the three flights of stairs to Julie's door. Julie decided right then and there that obviously D.O.G wanted Julie to help her. So that is when my daughter turned into a dog napper.
She waited until dark and loaded up D.O.G and her two boys and drove the two hours to my house. She arrived about midnight and I then became the receiver of stolen property.
Julie was able to find a home for all three dogs. They lived out their lives together running through farmland fields on 12 stubby little legs. We're still looking for our wanted posters at the post office.
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