That’s Alpha, my dog from the Marines. She was about 16 years old at the time that pic of her was taken at my family’s home in Princeton, New Jersey.
The second picture is a contemporary Teh Google Street View image of the entrance to my apartment building in Fuentebravia, Spain (I luvz me some Street View!). I shared the apartment with Chris Kelley and the orange arrow across from the building entrance marks the exact spot where I found Alpha back in late December of 1979.
She was a stray and had been clipped by a car and I heard her yelping and saw her from Chris’ bedroom as she ducked between two parked cars. I came downstairs to see if she needed help but she seemed OK, and after checking on her I walked over to a friend’s house a block away to visit.
Alpha spent my entire visit frantically running around my friend’s house, trying to get into the house via all the windows and doors.
When I left she followed me home and when we got to the foot of the stairs leading up to my apartment I told her that if she could get up the six flights of stairs to my apartment I’d take care of her. She was only about 4 months old at the time and had clearly never had to deal with stairs. I left my door open at the top of the stairs and for the next hour I heard her whining and struggling to climb the stairs.
When she made it through the door of the apartment she was soooooo happy. I fed her some pork slices in gravy from one of the two dozen cases of Marine Corps C-Rations that Chris, Corporal Joe Gordon, and I had recently “liberated” from the Marine Barracks storage shed.
For the next two years Alpha lived with me and Chris in our apartment when I was off duty and in my barracks room on base when I was on duty. She went out on patrol with me when I was on duty and she hung out with our other barracks dog, Stoner, both on duty and off.
In early 1981 Alpha gave birth to 9 puppies — all of which I delivered by myself, in my bed in our apartment and over a 12 hour period — and which I gave away to the Marines in the barracks.
All except one little beauty named Bitch, that is. She went to a pretty French girl named Maud Templeraud.
In September of 1981, after two years together in Spain, I rotated back to the United States and brought Alpha with me.
She retired to a life of leisure at my family home in Princeton where she lived until 1996, dying of old age at 17.
She was one of the sweetest dogs ever.