CRANBERRY — Casey, the most faithful employee at Cranberry Industrial Park, works for her keep and an occasional pat on the head.
"A big German shepherd; she looks like a threat," said Jimmy Clopein, owner of Dun-Rite Auto Shop. "The worse she might do is jump up on you, wanting to be petted."
Nobody here knows the black-and-tan dog's age, but everyone knowsher favorite foods. At most of the 12 businesses, Casey easily sniffs out food and canine snacks.
Tina Stanley, a secretary for A & L Garage Doors, keeps a water bowl and a pink food dish under her desk.In a nearby file cabinet, a large bag of dog food sits among the office supplies. Casey's breakfast often consists of dinner scraps transported from Stanley's Gettysburg, Pa., home.
"She prefers fast food, but she eats whatever we have left over," she said.
Casey is not above pilfering her meals, said Al Murphy, a Mount Airy resident and owner of A & L. He laughed when the animal he considers "one of thefamily," made off with his lunch last week.
"She senses when lunch is here," he said. "If you leave it within her reach, she'll get it."
Judith A. Harris of Harris Automotive Inc. said the whole park adopted the dog about seven years ago, after Casey's owner abandoned her and his business.
"Everybody pitches in and takes care of her,because she is such a good dog," she said. "The park is her home. She has been here since she was a pup."
A large pink "necklace" lists Dun-Rite as Casey's address and an emergency phone number. She alsowears her current license tag with rabies information.
The businesses share the cost of Casey's
medical care. They also pay her "bail," if she lands in "jail," at the Humane Society.
"She is not a stray; she lives here," said Harris. "If we can't find her, we know where to call."
The "street-smart" dog hangs around the park, said Clopein, Casey's legal owner. Occasionally, she crosses Lucabaugh Road to "bathe" in a nearby stream before returning soaking wet.
Harris said the affectionate shepherd knows everyone's schedule. Casey begins her morning "rounds" when she hears Nick Spealman and his HarleyDavidson.
"She can hear that (motorcycle) engine roaring down Cranberry Road, and she waits at the mailboxes for Nick," Harris said. "She follows him into the garage where he keeps about 30-pounds of doggie cookies."
Several businesses have a Casey corner in their offices. The dog likes to stay outside under her favorite tree and near the Dumpster in good weather, said Clopein.
She rarely gets caught out in bad weather. During the dog days, Casey stays put in the air-conditioned offices. When storm clouds gather, she's at Harris' door "lickity-split" barking and scratching.
"She heads straight for theold quilt I keep for her," said Harris.
Occasionally, the dog slinks into Harris' building, hides upstairs and is accidentally locked in for the night. Casey trips the company's alarm system, necessitating a midnight call to Harris' home from Westminster Security Systems.
"Even they know Casey is the probable culprit," she said.
Clopein tried giving Casey a home on a farm years ago, but the dog "wouldhave none of it." She ran away so many times, he finally brought herback here.
"She's more than just a dog; she's our mascot," he said. "This is her property."