It was late when I turned off the lights and went to bed. I hadn't even closed my eyes when Candy, who sleeps at the foot of my bed, began growling softly under her breath.
Thinking it was a nightmare, I whispered, "it's okay, Candy, Momma's here."
But she continued to growl; then suddenly jumped off the bed and ran into the spare bedroom barking loudly.
We lived in a basement apartment where the windows were even with the ground, so I got up and checked all the windows and door, but Nothing! All was quiet and still.
"Come on, Candy, back to bed," I said, but she continued to bark and run from room to room. Finally, I'd had it, so I swatted her little behind as I gave her a stern command. "Shut Up, Candy, you'll wake up the neighbors! Go to bed!"
She obeyed and got on the bed, but continued to growl softly and do a few low key "woofs" for good measure.
The next day I saw my Landlord installing iron bars on my windows, and when he told me the reason why - I felt like two cents.
"This morning I discovered the screen was removed from your spare bedroom window, and a pile of cigarette butts next to the window where someone had obviously been lurking for quite some time - but evidently had been frightened off by a barking, growling dog or something.
That evening I made amends. I bought Candy Lou, bless her little heart, the biggest, juciest T-bone steak I could find.
As for how we met, Candy Lou and I...would you believe our meeting was produced, directed and choreographed by God Almighty, Himself?
I've wondered about this myself.
Where she came from, nobody knows...but the weary little traveler, hungry, tired and thirsty had been trudging the highway for hours; but when she spotted a nice grassy knoll up ahead...she turned her back on the hot, dusty road below and wearily climbed up the steep embankment to the top of the knoll.
Finding herself a shady spot 'neath a Weeping Willow tree, she rested her tired and aching body in the cool, plush, neatly manicured lawn, and immediately started chalking up some well earned Z's.
The sound of a man's voice awakened her, but his voice was kind and gentle; "Sorry, little one, but this isn't a 'Holiday Inn for Dogs. Did you know you're trespassing on Government Property? Snoozing on the front lawn of a State Prison? No, little one, you're just lost and tired, but if you sit tight, I'll get you some water and chow, okay?"
She didn't understand a word the man said except "Sit"...but because he had a kind voice and she was tired, she stayed put.
Junior Purser, who answered to the nickname of "Junebug", was a trustee at the prison and the proud manicurist of the beautiful lawn on which she laid. He hurriedly fetched a bowl of water from his tool shed, some food scraps from the kitchen dumpster, and was back in no time flat, and watched the famished trespasser scarf it down, just as fast.
Twenty minutes later, and sixty miles south of the Prison, my telephone rang, and an operator said, "I have a collect call for you from a Junebug Purser, will you accept the charges?"
To this day, I still can't believe how easily I was conned into making a trip to the prison Sunday, (which was Visiting Day); conned into kidnapping a stray puppy from the front yard of the prison, and then conned into promising to find the little mutt a nice, friendly, and suitable home, since it was impossible for me to take on the responsibility of a pet at this time.
Yes, I'd been Conned by the best Con-Artist of all time; but I don't have time or space to go into detail about the long-time relationship between Junebug and myself - but let's just say we were entertwined through families, school and church, and he was just one of those black sheep that had gone astray - but we were still friends.
It's been over eight years now since Candy and I met - and I still haven't kept my promise to Junebug to find her a nice, suitable home. I've been busy and it has slipped my mind somehow. Wink, Wink!
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