How Did That Get Here?



hen it happened, Herr Doctor didn’t know his world had changed. He only noticed his laboratory felt different.

“What happened?  Is everyone OK?  As he stood up, Herr Doctor saw that the others had been knocked to the floor too. “Was that an earthquake?”

 “I’m OK,” said Julie. “I don’t know what it was, but it was big.”

 “I’m alright too. What was it?  Brenda, always proper, was straightening her dress.

 “Whatever happened, it’s over for now. But my laptop rebooted. Maybe something electrical. Maybe lightning.  Fred was the resident nerd. He kept all the computers running and they couldn’t do without him, but they wanted to. He was a strange person who only cared about “my network”.

 “How did that get here?” asked Herr Doctor.  “Who brought that in?” 

He was staring at a small, brown and white dog in the corner who seemed just as surprised to be there as the others were to see him. The dog was about 12 pounds and clearly a mutt, but with a lot of wire haired terrier in him. Herr Doctor and three of his graduate students had been sitting around the work bench they used for a lunch table at SLURP when the shock hit. SLURP wasn’t the laboratory’s real name. Robert Sampson, the alumnus who donated all the money to build the Sampson Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Research in Physics had made his fortune in baby foods, so the students called it SLURP instead of SLERP and the name stuck.

 “Not me” said Julie. “I didn’t see it until just now.”

 “Me neither” chimed in Brenda. Brenda was a mathematician, more used to abstract thinking than observing the physical world like Herr Doctor and Julie. Fred was silent, but the sneer on his face told everyone that he wanted nothing to do with the dog. Fred obviously had no room for a dog in his life....