Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dogs on the loose

You know, you usually don’t expect a whole lot of interesting stuff to happen when you go outside to get the mail. Usually, you walk outside, open the creaking mailbox, frown over the spiders hurriedly crawling back into the darkness, then reach in to grab the mail. You retrieve the mail from the mailbox, groan over the sight of a bill, then lazily, disinterestedly close the mailbox and turn around to walk back into the house.


Yet it is something we do day after day after day. Well, except on Sundays! Boring stuff, I know, but it’s one of those monotonous rituals of our lives!

Except today, for me, going out to get the mail was not as boring as it normally is.

After I got the mail and released the obligatory groan over the sight of a bill, I turned to walk back to my house … then nearly jumped sky-high. I saw this THING charging right at me, barking its head off.

The first thing I realized was that this “thing” was a dog.

The second thing I realized was that it was a small dog.

The third thing I realized was that this small dog actually belonged to one of my neighbors. Apparently, it had somehow or another gotten outside! I don’t know the neighbor personally – I’ve been to his yard sales and have seen his wife moving around in the front yard – but I did know that he had a few Chihuahuas. This one was one of his and I soon learned another one had gotten out, too. Following the trail, I saw WHERE they’d gotten out (one of them even crawled back through the hole under the fence as if to show me just how it had been done) and there was a third Chihuahua at that fence, barking and wagging its tail.

Uh-oh. My neighbor’s dogs had dug a way out of their yard. This was not good. So I went to the neighbor’s door and knocked, hoping I could relay to them that their dogs were getting out of the yard. But nobody answered. I waited a while and still no response. There was a car parked in the driveway but that didn’t necessarily mean someone was home.

I decided to come back later to try again. I walked back to my house, advising the one dog still on the loose to stay out of the street, and proceeded to have lunch. As I ate lunch, I kept my eyes on the dogs through my kitchen window. I noticed a UPS van pull up to the house and a UPS carrier jump out of the truck to deliver a package. Just as I was wondering if he’d leave it there after no answer at the door, I saw another neighbor walk out of her house carrying her baby to go talk to the UPS guy. Hm, did this mean she knew those neighbors and often held packages for them for when they weren’t home?

I watched the dogs some more after the UPS truck drove off. Two of them were at another neighbor’s fence, barking at the big dog that was in that yard. This fence has an opening on one side and I was worried that the big dog could stretch his head through far enough to bite one of the little dogs. (I have heard too many stories of small dogs wandering into yards and being mauled by large dogs.)  I was concerned about these dogs getting hurt, maybe even run over by a car, before the owners got home, so I decided to walk over to the other neighbor’s house to ask her if she knew the people who lived there and could let them know that their dogs got out. But when I got there, she told me she didn’t know them and suggested I check in with another neighbor, a neighbor who I actually know. (Our sons play together.) I walked to this neighbor’s house and told him the situation. Fortunately, he DID know those dog’s owners, and he jumped into action to take care of that problem. I stood at his door and made idle chit-chat with his son while he was over there.

Soon, the dog’s owner pulled up in his truck, and my neighbor told him about what had happened. He waved his thanks and got his dogs back in his yard.

I am grateful I was able to help make sure those dogs were okay. Normally, most people think they should not get involved in things like that, but we are a tight-knit neighborhood and we all watch out for each other. Also, I just didn’t feel right ignoring this and going about my own business. I would have felt pretty bad if something had happened to one or all of those dogs and I could have prevented that. I mean, I just lost my dog, and I know how painful it is. I didn’t want that to happen to my neighbor. So, in the end, I’m glad I did something and that the dogs are once again safe. 

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