Homework: A Mutt on a Mission to Italy's Sights Last week, we asked listeners to send in stories about encounters with animals. Carolyn Sotka of Charleston, S.C., responded with her tale about a stray dog she encountered while touring Italy. She and her new boyfriend were greeted at the train station by a rag-tag, black-and-white mutt who seemed to beckon them to follow.
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Homework: A Mutt on a Mission to Italy's Sights

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Homework: A Mutt on a Mission to Italy's Sights

Homework: A Mutt on a Mission to Italy's Sights

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ANDREA SEABROOK, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Andrea Seabrook.

Last week, we asked you to send us your stories about encounters with animals.

Carolyn Sotka of Charleston, South Carolina, brought us this tale about a stray dog she met while touring Italy. She and her new boyfriend were greeted at the train station by a rag-tag, black-and-white mutt who seemed to beckon them to follow. They obliged, and he led them straight to the ruins of Pompeii � which was closed for the day. Undeterred, the scamp ducked under the fence and waited for them to follow.

Ms. CAROLYN SOTKA (Resident, Charleston, South Carolina): So we broke into Pompeii and began to explore. But we didn't get very far because it was Pompeii after all - a giant, sacred gravesite - and it was dark. We pretty much scrambled out and quickly, as if running from something, headed back into town. We bought some bread, cheese and wine, and walked back to the train station to head back to the Naples.

Mr. White-and-black dog slept with us, warding off the other stray dogs, but he was too dignified to beg, so I did sneak him a snack or two. After an hour, I began to worry what would happen to the little fellow when we left? How would he find his way home?

So I headed back up the hill to the town center and asked the shopkeeper we had bought our dinner from, to hang to him, but the storeowner just laughed at me. Don't worry, he said, this dog always picks a pair of lovers from the train, bringing them to tour Pompeii and then brings them back to the train. He will leave once your train leaves. We could hardly believe it, but we boarded the train and watched him from the window.

He sat staring at us until the train started to pull away. Then he turned with an air of confidence and left the station.

SEABROOK: Thank you, Carolyn Sotka.

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