The phone rang, I got up from the dinner table and answered it.

“Keep your dog out of my rose garden.” a ladies voice screamed, then hung up. “Who was that?” Marilyn asked.

“I don’t know, some woman said to keep our dog out of her roses.” I said.

“What dog? We don’t have a dog.” Marilyn replied.

“I know we don’t have a dog, the lady’s nuts.”

We finished our dinner.

Two or three days later I was out back planting some Petunias in a small garden next to the porch when a lady stuck her head over the fence and yelled “I’m not going to tell you again to keep your dog out of my yard.”

“But we don’t have a dog!”

“That’s your last warning.” the lady said. I recognized the lady as the owner of the house at the end of our road. I didn’t know her very well at all. I guess I had waved at her a few times as she drove past the house. That was it. I had never spoken to her before. The next day I decided that I would go down and talk to her, to tell her that I was sorry about her roses but that we didn’t have a dog.

“Honey, I’m going to go talk to that lady and explain to her that we don’t have a dog, I’ll be right back.”

“I wouldn’t bother, it’s not your problem.” Marilyn said. Just then the phone rang, “If you don’t come and get your dog I am calling the police, right now.” the lady shouted.

“I’ll be right there.” I loudly answered. This was it, we were finally going to get this over with. I do not know why she thought that was our dog. I was going to find out now.

I walked down to her house, it was not a long walk, stepped up on the front porch and rang her doorbell. She quickly answered. And she looked mad.

“Ma’am, there’s a misunderstanding here, I don’t even own a …” I didn’t even get the words out.

“Let me show you something.” she said as she led me around the side of her neatly landscaped home. There in her back yard was a large dog, a mixed breed, sleeping in the shade of her Knock-out roses. “Now, Mr. Perkins, take your dog and do not let him come around here again!” she shouted.

“Mr. Perkins?” I said loudly. “Who’s Mr. Perkins? My name is not Perkins.” All the commotion woke the sleeping dog up. That dog looked right at me, then lumbered over and sat down at my feet, wagging his tail, and looking up at me.

I know that looked suspicious, but it really wasn’t my dog. I had never seen it before.

I just looked at the dog, then looked at the lady, then headed back home. The dog followed right behind me, all the way home.

Marilyn was in the front yard, waiting for me. “Why is that dog following you?” she asked.

“How the heck should I know, he just followed me.That lady thought my name was Mr. Perkins.” The dog stayed all day, following me around as I did my yard work. That night I gave him two leftover hamburgers that were in the refrigerator. He was still in the yard when we woke up the next day. He stayed a few more days, and we fed him a few more times. Before the week was over he had moved on, probably sleeping under somebody’s roses. But before he left we had given him a name.

Mr. Perkins we called him. And I bet he came out smelling like a rose.