I got back from Christmas that year on the 27th and that night it snowed. The next morning, I thought it would be a fine thing to take a walk in the park next door and enjoy the unspoiled beauty before melt and lots of foot traffic marred it. Of course it was brisk and pretty and invigorating and good.
On the way back, I noticed one thing slightly spoiling the perfection of the scene, in addition to my own footprints. A spot of trash, no doubt left by careless park-goers. I would pick it up. As I neared it, I saw it was a bag with what looked to be the remains of a six-pack in it. Nearing, I saw some bottle caps still on. Then I saw all the bottlecaps were on! I reached down, exposed it, and saw it was Lowenbrau, my favorite brand! Pristine, chilled in snow! It was like divine providence! A great omen!
So I picked it up and noticed a receipt in the bag, and wanting to solve this mystery, I looked closer. Not a receipt - a handwritten note. And it said, "Merry Christmas, Jumper." Unsigned. And for one brief moment I thought God had sent me a message.
It took a while and two incidents to get it all straight. A week later my friend called and asked if I had gotten my Christmas present. He explained he had dropped it at my door when I was gone.
About two months later I found a note on my door. "Come get your dog at the pound. Call this number. Signed, the Dog Police." My dog Lucky! So I called. The man said he had discovered Lucky shacked up in the woods with a female German Shepherd and their brood of puppies, and they had attacked the landscaping crew, defending the pups. All this a complete surprise to me.
The last piece of the puzzle. And it also solved my question about why Lucky had been pushing his food bowl down the stairs all the time. He was actually trying to carry his food to his secret family in the woods. And he had been carrying all sorts of likely presents to them as well. Such as a six-pack from my front doorstep he undoubtedly planned to open when he got there.
Lucky was trying to be a good father. The result was that his family was jailed, I had to bail him out and leave them to their fate, and not only that, I couldn't afford to get him out of the calaboose unless I agreed to have him neutrified. Which they did.