This is a true story from my college years in Kent. Of course, Richard is imaginary. But the Lost Puppy and what happened to him is true. 

Taking the trash out in the summer, I have to climb the side of the dumpster because I am too short. I grasp the edge and toss the trash bag over my shoulder without looking. A panicked rustle erupts from within the dumpster which peaks my curiosity. Hauling myself up the rest of the way, I peer down at a most amazing sight.

A puppy. No more than six months old. He looks up at me with sad and confused eyes.

“Puppy!?” I cry. His little tale wags happily as he tried to climb up the garbage to me. I am able to just reach down far enough to grab him by the collar, but no more.

“This is going to hurt, puppy,” I say. Then I yank. He cries a little until I get him in my arms and together we hop into the grass. I am bathed with kisses from the grateful bundle in my arms.

After getting a hold of the wriggly baby, I carry him into my apartment where Richard is reading. He looks at me for a moment while I giggle with my new friend on the floor. I try to discover an ID tag, but find none. Just a collar and a what was left of a leash.

“What are you doing?” he asks me.

“I found him,” I say though my laughter. “It’s he cute?”

“I suppose,” Richard shrugs. “What are you going to do with him?”

“Well, I’d like to give him a bath first,” I answer. “He stinks.”

“Where was he?”

“In the dumpster. Someone must have cut his leash and tossed him in there. There aren’t side doors for him to have climbed in through.”

“Well, that’s not very humane,” Richard says. He returns his attention to his book and leaves us to our business. After some time, I was able to secure a borrowed leash from a friend and took my new friend to the pet store. We picked up some food and shampoo and returned to the apartment where he got a full belly and a bath. Richard and I determined that we would hold onto the little guy until we could find him a more suitable home. A one bedroom apartment is no home for a dog.

The landlady did not mind us holding onto him, either. She felt responsible for him since he was found in one of her dumpsters. She charged no extra fee unless we decided to keep the pup.

Richard and I took our new friend to the park for a walk as the sun went down. We walked the path around the pond.

“What are you going to call him?” Richard asked.

“I’m not sure,” I answered. “Something cool though. Like, Rex.”

“That is a stupid name,” Richard shook his head.

Our little friend wiggled side to side as he strolled down the path.

“Nova,” Richard said finally. “Because he walks like a Chevy Nova drives.”

After a few days, we determined that a one bedroom apartment was no home for little Nova. After a quick check up with the vet, the great search for a forever home began. After several dozen phone calls, there was a taker. A woman willing to drive the forty-five minute drive from her home to meet him seemed like a good Forever Mom. But we were selfish and wanted to scope out her place ourselves. So we packed all that we had for Nova, his baby gate, his leash, his toys, his food, even the de-worming medicine we were given and off we went. Little Nova spent the ride in my lap, his head out the window.

As we pulled off the highway to the new home, we began to see the houses. All of them were huge, with big front yards and bigger back yard.

“Little guy,” I said to Nova. “You just won the lottery.”

A quick meet and greet and Nova had a Forever Mommy. With a nice big house, an 80 foot backyard that went down a hill into a pond and two cats to play with.

We learned later that he had been renamed Quincy. But the apartment was never quite the same.