This past Thursday I arrived in in Portland for a few days' visit with my sister Romaine.
My sister wasn't at the airport to meet me as planned, but had left me a voice message to the effect that she'd be a little late picking me up because Lucy had run off and she'd had to go looking for her.
In Romaine's neighborhood there is a gourmet grocery store called Zupan's, where one can find, among other goodies, the freshest vegetables and flowers and the yummiest fresh pastries and coffee.
There's a local gentleman - whom I'll call "J" - who can often be found sitting at one of the cafe tables outside Zupan's where customers have their pastries and coffee.
Lucy and J took an immediate liking to each other, and while Romaine did her shopping Lucy would wait outside with J, who petted and played with her.
Last Thursday morning Romaine let Lucy out into her fenced backyard to play. But a little while later when Romaine looked out back for Lucy the dog wasn't there.
Had she jumped the fence? Somehow crawled under it? Romaine didn't know. But one thought did flash immediately to mind: Zupan's!
As Romaine was hurrying up the block towards Zupan's, a girl in a car pulled up beside her. Inside the car was Lucy.
The girl's name was Abby and she worked at the Zupan's bakery. She told Romaine that a few minutes ago Lucy came trotting into Zupan's, stopped in front of the bakery where the Abby was standing, and rolled over onto her back as if asking for a tummy rub,
It was deduced that Lucy's owner must live somewhere close by and was probably out looking for her pet at that moment, and so of course Abby should put Lucy into her car and drive around the area to try and find her owner.
A block from Zupan's Abby saw Romaine hurrying towards the store.
And so thanks to the kind-hearted dog-lovers at Zupan's Lucy and Romaine were reunited.
But not for long.
Later that afternoon, wanting to kill some time before my delayed arrival from Los Angeles to Portland (see post from 3/24/2016), Romaine decided to have a soak the hot tub in her back yard. She let Lucy out with her, figuring that if Lucy tried to bolt again, this time Romaine would see how and where she got out before and could then secure that breach.
But the weather was cool and the water was hot and so relaxing that Romaine dozed off in the tub.
She'd probably dozed for not more than a few minutes, but when she opened her eyes the dog was nowhere to be found. Lucy'd bolted again!
As Romaine jogged towards Zupan's a car once again pulled up beside her. This time it was one of her neighbors who'd been in Zupan's shopping when Lucy made her second appearance. She hauled Lucy into her car and was driving her home when she saw Romaine.
So once again Romaine was reunited with her ramblin' Lucy.
Later that evening after I'd arrived in Portland Romaine and I walked to one of my favorite local eating establishments,
But Abby laughed and told Romaine not to worry, that everybody at Zupan's now knew and loved Lucy and she joked that Lucy could stop by any time. A few of the other Zupan staff members came over and seconded Abby's fondness for Lucy.
Still, Romaine promised the staff that in the future Lucy would get her ration of love outside of Zupan's, fearing that, in truth, a dog regularly hanging out in a grocery store might be a little too Portland even for Portland.