Thursday, March 22, 2012

The phone call I dread!

My heart stopped when I got the call. I was in my office, catching up on the emails and phone messages. When I looked at the callers ID, I noticed it was my neighbour. About ten thoughts occurred simultaneously: my house was on fire, it had been burgled or----no----- the dog----Perdy.
It was the latter. Somehow she had escaped. We had either left the gate unlatched or she had learnt to climb up to the gap where we put our hands through to unlock the gate. I had seen her of late, partially climbing to the gap and sticking half her body through, then pulling back when a few expletives were thrown her way. There was of course another possibility--- the metre readers (water or pwer0 had left the gate open, despite the return bungee cord I had attached.
My neighbours had been trying for about an hour to get her back in, saying that she was having a great time, eluding their efforts. It was one big game for her; albeit a dangerous one when she started to use the road as her playground. One of the neighbours reported hearing cars honking at the crazy dog as she sat in the middle of the road.
I advised the neighbour to just leave the gate open, hide and see if she returned. In the meantime, I asked to be let free to rush home and try to persuade Perdy to return to the safety of her own backyard.
The journey home was horrible. Thoughts of my little girl being squashed by a big truck, unable to avoid her, filled me with dread. I remembered the two cats (black ones--- my favourites) who had both been killed on that dangerous road. I remembered the grief and facing my partner with the news. The one huge minus of owning pets is their deaths, especially avoidable ones.
I hardly noticed the trip home, over the bridge. I did not glance at the wharves in Onehunga to see if ship[s were there or imagine what it could be like, traveling to the ports down the line a bit. No--- my thoughts were only on getting home. I had a plan.
I would park the car and try to remain calm. One thing that gets Perdy going is that if she senses my excitement or less than clam actions--- she goes off. It is a game or something she is scarred of. I planned to open the back door of the car if she was still playing silly buggers, say---‘walkies--- lets go down to the beach.’ Yes I was being less than honest and I would not want to do that too often, but I was not totally in control of my emotions.
I finally pulled up, parking crookedly in the car port. A little black and white face peered at me through the offending gap in the gate, tail wagging furiously. I noted that the gate was somewhat different. Someone had nailed an extra piece of wood, thereby precluding any more escapes, if that was the way in which she had attained her freedom. The neighbour appeared and I was not lost for words. I think I thanked him, using about fifty different versions exercising just twenty words. I think I promised him a bottle of wine--- damn---- it better be a good one.
I picked Perdy up, wanting to chastise her, but what could I say that she would understand. Unless I was there when she ‘broke out,’ she wouldn’t get the point.
I made doubly sure that she could not climb through the now narrower gap and pushed the rubbish bin against the hole. Jasmine the cat was more than capable of jumping the fence. I found another bungee cord and placed that across the gap too, with the added advantage that the gate was now possessing twice the ‘spring-back’ effect--- the gate would return to a closed position, if an errant metre reader left it open.
The journey back to work was a far more peaceful experience, but my thoughts were a machination of ideas about how I could make my ‘Perdy-home’ more like Fort Knox.
Thank God it was Friday--- I had time to build on my thoughts in the weekend.  Mmmm--- the Onehunga Festival---- looking forward to that and yes, I am taking Perdy!

UPDATE---- The festival was cancelled---damn--- I was reallllllllllly looking forward to taking Perdy. Oh well--- next year.
The picture on the blog will form the cover for  'TALK TO ME,'      OUT SOON AS A BLOG AND TO BUY FROM THE NEW WEBSITE. AVAILABLE MAY 2012.
She tried it on again ---but this time she just chased the neighbour's cat--- well,not quite, because the brave litle moggy stood up to her and Perdy came back home. We nailed some wood in the gap and hey presto---no more escapo!