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It's Thursday July 27, 2017

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Mister July 2017 - Doc
Super greeter and employee of the year

M
arsha Paplham owns Marsha’s Cottage. Many customers come to search through the brightly colored clothes and sales racks. Others come in for another reason: her official greeter, Doc. Doc is Marsha’s dog and her most requested employee. Some people stop by just to see him. It may be the only time they’re in town that year, but they make a special visit to see if Doc’s on the clock. “He’s had a lot of lovin’ put on him over the years from little kids that come in.” From some of the bigger kids, too.

For being Marsha’s most memorable employee, Doc is Mister July.

Mister July 2017
Doc, super greeter.
Mister July 2017
Marsha and a very happy Doc.

Doc didn’t begin life at Marsha’s Cottage or even as Marsha’s dog. Marsha and her friend, Joe Bliss, first saw Doc chained to a tree in a neighboring yard. Only a few months old, he lay with his head resting on his paws, watching the world go by. His original owners left him outside no matter the weather. Marsha would pass by and tell him, “One day, you’ll be mine.” The owners soon relocated, but left Doc tied to the tree. Occasionally, they would come by and throw some food his way. “They moved away from this house and kind of left him behind.” Saddened by the neglect and determined to do something, Marsha enlisted the help of veterinarian Sherri Hicks to broker a deal for his release. Sherri pulled through. Marsha welcomed Doc into her home before his first birthday.

Mister July 2017
Doc and Joe playing on the floor.

Doc has the look of his Chow father, but the temperament of his Golden Retriever mother. He’s been leash-less since being freed from the tree and has an established route through the town. In years past, it included any establishment where he might find a regular meal. During construction of the defunct Walmart Express, the crew worked nights and grilled steaks or chicken in the early morning. Doc showed up near the grill, tail wagging, waiting for any part of their breakfast. They obliged. Doc became a breakfast regular. When the crew finished their work and left town, Doc fell into a funk. There would be no more steak breakfasts.

Mister July 2017
If you need to get rid of a few breakfast steaks, Doc can help you out.
Mister July 2017
He sees you when you’re shopping.

Being the friendly and opportunistic sort, Doc moved on and found other dining companions. Like those available on weekends at the Stallings House. Soon enough, Doc became a full-fledged wedding crasher. He knew where to go and who to charm, making friends with each new group of wedding attendees. Marsha eventually put a stop to Doc’s Saturday visits to the Cottage; it was easier to keep him home than try and pry him away from his weekends grill-side at the wedding venue.

Mister July 2017
Treats and ear scratches are always appreciated.

Though most of Doc’s weekends wanderings have been curtailed, his nose still leads him across town when any large event is on. Marsha was most recently called to O’Town during the Boat Show. Upon her arrival, she found him making friends at the outdoor tables. With the practice of a seasoned wedding-crasher, Doc charmed his way into the diners’ hearts. He was well-fed for his efforts and had the good grace to act chagrined when Marsha arrived to collect him. She has to keep close watch on Doc when there might be free food on offer.

Mister July 2017
Marsha and Doc during the construction of their home.

Doc turned 13 this past April. During the month, on no particular day, Fay Bond brings Goldie to Marsha’s Cottage. The canine siblings celebrate their birthday, eating treats and opening cards together. He has other canine friends as well. Pete, an Australian Shepherd, lives next to the Cottage. When Doc needs an escape from the excitement of retail therapy, he goes visiting. He may show up next door to see Pete, an Australian Shepherd. Or he’ll wander down to his best friend Hunter’s house and wait patiently at the door to be let in. When Doc goes wandering or Marsha has a late night, she can most often find him there, curled up with Hunter. Doc doesn’t lack for companionship, human or Canine.

Mister July 2017
Looking for the next customer.

Until recently, Doc and Marsha would howl together. These days, though, his larynx is beginning to collapse. The heat is starting to get to him. He has pain in his hips and trouble climbing the stairs. Marsha may have to consider a lift in the future to get him into their house. Thirteen years is a long time for any large dog. But Doc is still game to greet visitors at Marsha’s Cottage. After walking through the hallways and checking on other customers, Doc takes up his post near the door. His years of lovable and loyal service make Doc the July Pet of the Month.

Listen to Marsha and Doc howl:

Mister July 2017
Doc, head on paws, waiting for Marsha.

Celebrity most resembles: Brad Pitt

Favorite Fashion Accessory: Close-cropped fur
Likes: New customers, old customers, ear scratches, outdoor grills
Dislikes: Loud noises, unruly children
Local relations: Goldie, Fay Bond’s dog (and Miss July 2011 Pet of the Month)
Most recent foodie destination: O’Town
Repeat foodie destination: The Stallings House


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Know a pet that is a standout? Send in some details and a photo to pet@towndock.net. Tell why that pet deserves the coveted TownDock.net Pet of the Month Prize Package --- accolades, a pat on the head (snakes excluded) and a box of Milk Bones ( or snack suitable for the species).

We regret that we cannot offer a college scholarship to Pet Of The Month winners.


Animals caught near the HarborCam attempting to suck up to the judges will be disqualified.