Friday, 9 December 2011

Isle of Dogs

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered why our next door neighbour keeps her dog in a cage when she's out of the house.

We live in a neighbourhood full of dogs, and it's easy to get judgmental. There's the appealing little fella across the way whose people let him wander in their unfenced backyard. There's the lady around the corner whose bichons frises younger daughter and I discovered crisscrossing the road two blocks north of where we live -- in the midst of after-school traffic. They had dug their way out of her yard, and she swore they had not been gone for more than half an hour -- even though half an hour is the time they'd spent at our house after we'd carried them all the way home. Opposite us is a lady who also let her tiny white dog wander up and down in front of the house without a leash. When I pointed out to her that he had crossed the street and was now wandering up to the opposite corner, she was astonished: "He's never done that before..."

When we discovered that our neighbour in the other side of our semi-detached keeps her Jack Russell terrier in a cage (rebranded a "crate") when she's at work, we felt so sorry. We can hear him barking and yelping and call through the wall: "Hi Jerry!" There's silence and then the barking resumes. He's not a loud barker, but we worried about his being bored and lonely.

The Sunday before last, I was dusting around the living room window. I was probably avoiding doing something else, but the dusting was badly needed. I happened to glance out the window and spotted our semi-detached neighbour's weekend guest on the sidewalk with her own small dog on a lead while she checked her cell phone. I went back to my work, and heard her steps on our shared front porch.

What happened next was so quick, I couldn't quite fathom what had happened. In a brown streak, Jerry had zoomed across the street as a car screeched to a halt. Next-door Guest dashed after him, hauling her own dog. Jerry had crawled under a parked car and was cheerfully ignoring her pleas, until (swoosh!) he dashed back to our lawn, halting another automobile. NDG attempted to find a lull in the traffic to get back to Jerry, but he flashed across the street one more time. By this time, I was on the porch, wondering if he could be tempted into our place, which has always held some fascination for him (perhaps due to lingering whiffs of our late cat who departed this house and this life a little over a year ago). NDG was so frantic, she had dropped her own dog's leash. A lady rushed to her rescue and helped her corral Jerry, then thoughtfully caught the little white dog's leash and held her while NDG bundled the unrepentant Jerry back to his door.

"Has Jerry been naughty?" I inquired kindly, remembering a long-ago afternoon when I nearly lost a close friend's three Schnauzers. (I should tell you about that some time. Imagine three Schnauzers wandering unconcernedly up the longest street in Burnaby.)

"Jerry has been very naughty," she agreed emphatically. "She usually keeps Jerry in his crate, but I don't know how to latch it, so I didn't put him in, then he slipped out when I opened the door..."

Occasionally, we catch a glimpse of Jerry some mornings through the window in the neighbour's front door. He sits glumly in his crate, staring at the opposite wall. We're less sympathetic now. The rogue.

1 comment:

SOL's view said...

Ah, those Jack Russells are mighty fast, energetic little dogs! Certainly a handful. :)