Church Hill residents say Midnight, the mystery dog, is their lucky charm

Posted at 12:02 AM, Dec 08, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-08 08:37:08-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Have you seen Midnight, the magical and mysterious border collie, wandering around Church Hill, herding people, saving lives?

“That’s a special dog,” said Janice Tucker, who credits Midnight with saving her life – twice.

Midnight is a longtime regular in the area surrounding the Ocean Grocery at 25th and Venable Streets  – the site where the latest million dollar winning lottery ticket was sold.

“I’ve known him since he was a little puppy,” said Dale Jackson, who figures that’s  been about 16 years. “Neighborhood dog.”

This corner is a different place – a little wilder than most convenience stores.

“Everybody thinks we’re just a bunch of drunks just hanging around,” said William “Shorty” Monroe, a longtime regular on the corner. “But it’s not like that. We’re a family out here.”

A big part of that family is this street-smart border collie mix.

“He follows me everywhere I go,” Dale Jackson said. “He’s watching that door.”

Who feeds him?

“Everybody,” the crowd said in unison, laughing.

Border collies are well-known herders of livestock, particularly sheep. But Midnight is a herder of humans, a watchdog of the first order.

“He’ll walks me down to the corner down there and make sure I get home,” said “Dee,” another regular. “I really don’t like dogs, but he’s on the money.”

Just down Venable is a large retirement home. Before Midnight illuminated the scene, plenty of those older folks were being robbed at gunpoint.  The area was so rough back in the day, the Richmond Police Department built their Church Hill precinct right across the street.

Janice Tucker says Midnight is literally a lifesaver. Not too long ago she was in the grocery and  “got some ice came back and fell on the floor and foam was coming out of my mouth.”

Clerk Ali Mohamed recalled, “She just fell down. I was like, what’s going on? She had a seizure.”

He called paramedics.

“That right there was what save me,” Janice Tucker said, pointing at the black dog with white trimmings. “Midnight! He licked me twice and brought me back to life.”

But it’s not all love for Midnight.

“I see him every day,” Mohamed said with a smile. “Sometimes he gives me a hard time. He goes inside the store, he runs around and I have to chase him and all that stuff. He makes me crazy.”

You can tell Midnight is smarter than your average hound. He’s certainly wise about vehicle traffic. In fact, if you look into his eyes, you can see he’s looking right into you, sizing you up.

“I love that dog,” said Janice Tucker, who said Midnight ran into her back yard previously and rescued her when she fell down with a seizure.

“He licked me back again,” she said, laughing.

That’s why when Midnight steps onto the scene, there are many who call his name and reach out and try to stroke his fur.

Every now and then, he’ll let someone touch him.