Wednesday, July 31, 2013

No Good Deed

It was late when Ken got home last night, well after midnight. I'd fallen asleep as I always do, on the couch watching Netflix, with one or more cats cuddling against me, and Duncan snoring softly from beneath the coffee table. The storm had departed but not before depositing a nice pocket of cool air above our corner of the world and I'd flung open the windows and patio doors and arranged our collection of tall and narrow or short and squat fans to pull that air inside and chase away the heat that had lulled me to sleep.

Duncan knows the sound of Ken's truck well and is quick to jump up, give me an excited kiss––more like a brush of his nose against my cheek, really––to wake me up, and then hurry to the door where he plops down, his rear end wiggling under him while he chirps and coos softly awaiting  the familiar sound of the key in the lock. Last night was no different, and while Ken took Dunc down for his last walk of the night, I readied his dinner and waited for them to return.

Fifteen minutes later the door opened and Ken asked, "There's a little dog––a collie puppy––just sitting outside our door. She seems to know Duncan. Do you know her?"

Apparently they'd gone downstairs and the puppy had appeared from out of the darkness, playing with Duncan and following them for a bit until she scampered away, her human companion never appearing. When Ken and Roo climbed the thirty-seven stairs to our door, she was sitting there patiently waiting for them.

When I opened the door and peeked out she was still sitting there. She jumped up and wiggled happily at the sight of me. "Joy!" I cried and opened the door. "What are you doing out so late?" She leapt past me, danced around Dunc then jumped up for a treat. I was very familiar with Joy, a miniature Border Collie who lives in the building across from us. And she knows me well, too. Each time I see her she drags her two-legged companion, Bridgett, across the way to visit with me and snap up the treats I'm more than willing to hand out. I'd never seen her off-leash and without Bridgett and was immediately worried.

"Do you know where she lives?" Ken asked.

"Somewhere in the next building," I told him as I moved out onto the patio to look for any signs of Bridgett. It wasn't long before I saw a car gliding slowly through the parking lot and knew it's occupant was looking for a lost dog.

I hurried into my shoes and socks and skipped down the stairs to intercept her as she passed. She was sitting behind the wheel of her car, sobbing hysterically but pulled over and hugged me when I told her we had Joy safe upstairs. It was quite obvious she was very drunk and it took awhile to follow her up the three flights of stairs to our apartment. She burst into a fresh round of tears when she saw Joy, who seemed far more interested in the treats Ken was still handing out, and Olive and Pip, who had gathered behind the couch to peer out at her, their bodies and faces concealed in the shadows but their eyes wide and curious at our unexpected guests.

It took some doing but eventually they departed, after more sobbing, some slight staggering, and more than a little careful negotiating of the stairs. If they lived any further than one-hundred feet away I would have driven the car for her, but she managed just fine. Joy was home safe, Bridgett was happy, and Ken and I didn't get to bed until after two in the morning. Duncan remained indifferent to the entire episode, more content with the company of people than dogs, and stayed under the coffee table out of the way of Joy's ecstatic energy.

The cats, however, took more convincing. They were a long time in coming out from behind the couch and needed to inspect every inch of the apartment before they were content that the adventure had passed them by safely. And by the time they came to bed they were more than convinced that it was time for breakfast.

Needless to say, it'll be an early night for me, and hopefully there won't be any more midnight surprises.

1 comment:

Max Mom said...

Trust you to be the pup's saviour! :)
What a lovely, beautifully written anecdote.
sending lotsaluv
c