October 12, 2004

Dog Story

Newest Munuvian Loren Bliss has a POST about having dogs around and his unfortunate current lack of such. All ye dog-lovers should give it a read.
Rachel, I'm looking in your direction...

Which reminds me of what's probably my only interesting dog story.

It was the summer of '86. Ronald Reagan was mid-way through his second term; the Mets were kickin' National League ass; Bridgeport Jai Alai was in full-form; Ferris Beuller's Day Off was in the theaters; The Cosby Show and Married... With Children were showing to sides of a demented coin; Milli Vanilli was still three years away.

I was 23 years old, just out of the Air Force, and working at the local Roy Rogers Restaurant. I was closing, so I usually left work at about 1:00am.

Whilst stolling leasurely down Boston Avenue in the middle of the night a dog started barking at me from behind.
I stopped and turned. He was a golden-furred doggie of unknown (to me) pedigree, had his right front paw lifted off the ground, and barked at me from a good 20 feet away.

I didn't have a whole lot of experience with dogs at that time, so I wasn't sure what to make of it. Was he warning me off? He was clearly not attacking me.
I turned to walk on and he barked some more.
I turned to him and saw that he'd run up a little closer, but was still keeping his distance. Paw up and barking.

Hmm. Maybe he wants me to follow him! I had no idea if those Lassie-type stories of dogs going to "find help" were true or not. Me? Dogs? Never met before.

So, I took a few steps toward the dog he immediately turned away and began to lope back down the street.
Still unsure of what was going on I stopped. Was he running away from me?

He looked back and saw that I'd stopped. He stopped and turned and barked again.
Okay, now I'm sure. He wants me to follow him. Maybe there's a kid dying on the side of the road. Or trapped in an old refrigerator. Or fell down a well, I dunno. But I guess it was up to me and my stinging tired eyes to find out.

After jogging behind the dog for about a block and a half I stopped for some reason. I guess the doubt about this 1:30am chase through the deserted side-streets of the neighborhood felt a little weird. But as soon as I stopped the dog turned and barked again -- still keeping that 20-foot distance.

I jogged on until he ran into the front yard of a house and barked at it's front door. He'd look at and bark at the door, then turn to me.
Crikey. He's locked out and wants me to let him in?!

I learned that you just can't tell a dog that not all humans carry the same keychain.

It was only after a few minutes that a car pulled into the driveway. The car stopped (to my right) and the driver stared at me. His wife leaned forward and stared at me. The look on their faces was classic. There's a strange young man in our walkway and our dog is on the front porch. What the...?

The dog ran up the car as the driver got out.

"Is that yer dog?" I asked calmly.

"He is," he said as he squatted to pet him.

"He found me on Boston Avenue," I explained, hoping to wipe that suspicious look off his face.

"The door!" his wife exclaimed as she got out of the car and went into the house.

After a few minutes I "decided" that the dog had gotten out threw a side basement door left ajar and didn't know how to get back in and that he wanted me to let him back into the house.

Like I said: You can't explain to a dog that not all us humans have the same set of keys.

I thought that he must have thought I was an idiot for not understanding that he brought me all the way home to let him inside.

Of course, what was really going on in that house I'll never know.

Ah, well. At least I got to find out why people love dogs and that Timmy wasn't trapped in the well again.

Posted by Tuning Spork at October 12, 2004 09:36 PM

Never heard that one before. You're a good guy, Spork.

Posted by: Freedom's Slave at October 15, 2004 07:46 PM
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