In this mini-series, I am offering up three short stories, two of them based on true stories (ie: true in spirit, not necessarily to the letter), the other a total fabrication. You decide.
“Did you know your dog is on the roof,” asked a well meaning passer by. “She is running around up there and barking at the birds.”
Alaska was a medium sized samoyed dog. Bright. Smart. But ever so slightly mad. Alaska thought she could fly. We lived in a large, stone house, with a back deck off the 2nd floor living area. The deck had a drainpipe that slanted down from the roof to the deck and then over the edge and safely to the ground. Alaska used to climb this drainpipe up to the roof, where she would stand on the pinnacle and survey her landscape. From here, she could see the entire street. She could bark at cats below, frighten the birds, who thought they were nesting safely in the chimney, or just curl up and gaze at the stars on a clear night. When it came time to come in or to eat, she could presumably have slid down the drainpipe, but she chose instead to scuttle down the slant of the roof and leap into the air landing shaken but not particularly stirred in the flower bed.
The first time she climbed the roof nobody saw her go up or down. It was just after Christmas, and all we knew was that one morning there were some excited children outside in the fresh snow pointing out the evidence of Santa’s visit – tiny reindeer prints all over the white roof. Outwardly was agreed – inwardly we scratched our heads. The mystery was solved one day coming home with groceries when we heard her barking up over our heads. I cordoned the drainpipe off after that, but to no avail. Alaska liked the roof, and I wasn’t going to stop her. Eventually I gave up and brought in hay so she had a soft landing. And on clear starry nights…well, it was just as nice to take my blanket up there and join her.