Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Dog Next Door

When the young couple with some small dogs moved in next door, it soon became apparent the dogs were very accomplished escape artists. He soon fixed the fencing, totally replacing the part that faces the alley.

The dogs are outside a lot, and yap a lot. Originally, I was concerned the yapping was due to some need not being met, but as time went on I realized it was just their nature.

Even with the fence repairs, every once in a while, someone escapes. Last night, it was the little female chihuahua like dog. She is white with black and brown spots. She is stout, but not obese...I went out to feed the outside kitties, or take out the trash, or something, and there she was, panting at my back gate. I grabbed her before she could get away, and check, but her family was not home.

As I went about my outside chores, I allowed her to run in the back yard: there was some stray cat food and plenty of water, none of which particularly interested her. She just seemed to want companionship, was happy to be carried, occasionally reached up to kiss me, panting happily.

I finished outside, and brought her into the house. As luck would happen my sparse social life included an activity that evening that involved meeting other folks, so it was one I did not feel I could postpone, nor did I want to. I put a note on the neighbor's door. I did not have their number, although they had had mine previously, and I put it on the note, again. I explained I would be gone but to call me, and that the dog would be locked in the back yard.

Well, as you may recall if you read my blogs, I have two cats, one of whom actually thinks she is bigger and tougher than dogs. Well, my little neighbor came inside, and started running around the house, sniffing. I was watching for marking, but best I could tell, nothing happened. Both cats were astonished by the visitor...

Haiku, the younger, more laid back cat, crouched with hackles up at first. Puppy sniffed. Sake arched her back, fluffed herself out big, and almost hissed. Whatever she said, Puppy bowed, dropped her head, and put her ears down... After that, there was lots of watching and staring. Eventually, Sake disappeared. But NOT before she was incensed to see Puppy climb off and on the sofa, crawl in my lap, and lick my face. And, when Puppy explored the sleeping baskets on the floor, Sake made it clear those were not for puppies. Puppy and Haiku chased a little, but not aggressively. Puppy discovered the waterbed, where Haiku likes to lay, and Haiku did not appreciate her bouncing. So, Haiku settled in on her chair in the office.

Puppy seemed to want to play, so I found a soft ball for fetch. When she started tearing up the soft ball, I found a plastic golf ball which she quite disdainfully eschewed. She checked out cat food but did not eat. She sniffed at water, took a couple of licks "just to see" but obviously was not thirsty, and did not appear distressed or neglected.

I delayed my departure as long as I could, and put Puppy in the back yard. She tried to pry the back gate open (and could have) so I used the geode door stop that kept my cats inside for years, when the screen door did not latch...As luck would have it, as I was in the front drive, preparing to leave, her owner, Heather, arrived.

Heather said Puppy was out earlier in the day, too, sitting at the front door. Waiting to get in... It is good to know she will not run away, but she is so cute, and so friendly, she would be subject to dog-napping quite easily... This time, I did get Heather's number, in case it happened again.

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