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On The Light Side

April 9, 1988

MONMOUTH, Ill. (AP) _ Madeline, the vagabond dog, is home in New York after eight months on the road.

The 6-year-old black Labrador retriever disappeared eight months ago from its home with Peggy and Edward Clark in Lowman, N.Y. She flew home Friday courtesy of the folks in Monmouth.

″I’m just so thankful she’s coming home,″ Mrs. Clark said. ″I hope she recognizes us.″

The dog’s 2,000-mile odyssey started with a truck driver from Ohio who picked Madeline up on a highway in upstate New York last August.

After several months in Ohio, he dropped the dog off with his friends, Jackie and Bill Barton, in Monmouth, a city of 10,700 in western Illinois.

Maria Lawson of the Monmouth Chamber of Commerce said the dog was thin and ill when it arrived from Ohio and some of the Barton neighbors suggested Madeline be put to sleep.

″The Bartons really saved Madeline’s life,″ Ms. Lawson said.

Instead of killing Madeline, the Bartons nursed the canine back to health and made her part of the family. Then they noticed a telephone number etched into the dog’s dirty red collar. They dialed the number, and Peggy Clark answered.

″I was amazed,″ Mrs. Clark said. ″I’m delighted and very grateful to the people in Monmouth for taking care of her and getting her on the way.″

The Chamber of Commerce handled flight arrangments and paid for Madeline’s $300 ticket.

Madeline will find things have changed since she left. She may find her doghouse crowded because the Clarks have a new black Labrador.

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PITTSBURGH (AP) - A schoolteacher who was racing a 5 p.m. postmark deadline to qualify for a newspaper contest did what he could do to get his letter through.

Robert Rafail, a sixth-grade teacher at Lafayette School in Uniontown, Fayette County, and sponsor of the seventh- and eighth-grade stock market club, taped three pennies next to a 22-cent stamp to meet the new 25-cent postal rate.

It worked.

The letter was postmarked April 6 and arrived with the pennies intact, said Denise Hunkele, manager of educational services for the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette.

Rafail was competing in the newspaper’s Stock Challenge, a stock-picking contest. He said he left school very late Wednesday and wanted to meet the 5 p.m. postal deadline but didn’t want to waste time waiting in line to buy a 3- cent stamp.

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