I was talking on my cell phone this morning when an unfamiliar number beeped in. And an unfamiliar number always makes me a little nervous, so I wrapped up my conversation and took the call.
It was my Vet's office (my vet's office?) informing me that someone in Lowertown had possession of my dog.
First off, I did not know my dog was missing.
In any case, Margot, the helpful Vet employee, gave me a number to call and when I did, I wasn't too surprised to hear the voice of Patience Renzulli on the line. Patience had gotten a call from my neighbors, Bob and Connie, who described a soggy FurGirl (it would be raining [if you'll excuse] cats and dogs.). Not entirely sure of FurGirl's origins (she is shaved and in a sopping wet state probably harder to recognize), they had secured her within their side porch fence and called Patience (expert on all things dog related) who told them to get the number off FurGirl's rabies tag and in this way traced her to my vet's office.
To say that FurGirl was lost is a bit of a stretch. Bob and Connie's house is within shouting distance of my own and FurGirl couldn't have been "missing" more than about ten minutes, fifteen at the outside. And while I'm sure FurGirl was probably somewhat disoriented by the rain, the more serious infraction is this: FurGirl has been trained since babyhood not to go into the street without us. And you can't get to Bob and Connie's without crossing Madison Street.
I explained this to Patience whose immediate suggestion in this serious disciplinary situation was to give FurGirl "a hug and a treat". I thanked her for the advice and got off the phone, pulling on a jacket over my jammies (yes, life is good when you're in your jammies at 10 a.m.!). Naturally, I could not locate an umbrella so I went on without it.
Almost as soon as I hit my back yard, I could see FurGirl doing the "Over here Mommy!" dance on Bob and Connie's side porch, just across Madison, her nose just visible above the fence.
I slogged over and opened the gate whereupon FurGirl leapt out, immediately alarming Bob and Connie's dog, an English Bulldog named Audry Hepburn, who was at her usual guard station inside the house at the front window. FurGirl was feeling frisky enough to engage in some nah-nah-nah-nah-nah, I'm-outside-and-you're-not barking and posturing with Audrey, something she absolutely would not have had the nerve to do were Audrey on the outside of that window.
Now sopping wet myself, I wasn't much in the mood for fun and games and I called FurGirl back and we set off toward home. At which time FurGirl had to come to the full realization that she was In Trouble.
Now, there are those that say dogs have a short memory and they forget everything in ten seconds or whatever, but I assure you, FurGirl knows the rules and she absolutely knew that she sure as heck should have never crossed over to Bob and Connie's for any reason.
By the time we got up the steps and in the house, FurGirl was doing the old slinking around very low to the ground routine in the hopes that she would maybe become invisible under the circumstances.
I left her on the back porch while I shucked off my jacket and wet shoes.
By the time I got back to the porch? I found this:
A sopping wet Furgirl at her most pathetically contrite holding her poor, poor defenseless baby, Number Five the stuffed Serta sheep, within her gentle, motherly chops.
I suppose a better doggy Mommy might have followed through with some appropriate disciplinary action, but me personnally, I'm a much bigger sucker than that.
In the end? She got the hug and the treat.
And a Bizzyville SuperSnap to my concerned friends and neighbors: Bob, Connie, and Patience.