Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Only Me...

   So here's a problem: got home from a late movie with Joni, Renee and Joe. As Joni and I were talking, I let the dogs out. We chatted for a bit, and then I went to bring the dogs in so I could go to bed (it was 12:40 am by that point). I went to the back door, and Taylor was eagerly waiting to come in. No Aki. Hmmm....
   I called several times, and it was silent outside, with no sign of her. I stepped onto the deck and looked around, calling. No Aki. "I bet she's caught another wild animal," I thought.
   Since the floodlights only illuminate the north side of my yard, I went into the house to get a flashlight and a warmer coat. Back to the yard. As I approached the south side, I heard a faint rustling. I was frankly creeped out, so I went back in the house and made Taylor come out with me. If there was a person or wild animal out there, I'd be able to tell from his reaction. He showed no fear, but acted a little nervous, like he anticipated that someone was going to get in trouble. He was right.
   As I scanned the fence line with the flashlight, I found a small hole dug under the fence... and suddenly an Aki face appeared, from THE OTHER SIDE of the fence! She tried frantically to fit back through, but given the angle of the hole and the pitch, she couldn't. She was trapped in the neighbors' yard. How was I going to get her out???
   All the neighbors' lights were off... it was after 1:00 am, and they were fast asleep. I went into the front yard and confirmed that the gate on their privacy fence was locked. What to do? Aki wasn't wearing her collar and ID since she just had a bath. She was naked. She was bound to be cold; her coat is thin and the temperature was dropping quickly. She couldn't spend the night out there alone. Should I throw a blanket over the fence? If she had to spend the night outside, I was fairly sure the neighbors would recognize her as mine when they woke up and found her. But their big dog, Sammy, was vicious with other dogs, and if they let Sammy out without seeing Aki, it could be very bad news. What to do??
   I could hear Aki frantically running up & down the fence line, trying to find a way back. Would she dig another hole through which she could return? Ultimately I resigned myself to leave her out there. I couldn't wake up the neighbors at 1:00 am! Aki was going to learn a very tough lesson. I came inside, walked upstairs, changed into my PJs and went to bed.
   As I was lying awake in bed feeling guilty that my baby was possibly freezing to death outside, it struck me that I wasn't sure that the neighbors' privacy fence went all the way around their yard. I threw my coat over my PJs and went back out front with the flashlight, quietly jogging down the sidewalk and into the neighbors' driveway. Sure enough, it was a chain link on the other side of their house, & the gate was unlocked!
   I had to get Aki's attention without waking anyone, since their bedroom was now directly over me. I didn't want them to mistake me for a prowler and call the police! I whispered as loudly as I could. "Aki? AH-KIII!" I had to call several times before she oriented herself and realized where I was.
 Aki was promptly collected, the gate closed, and I carried her back into the house. She was appropriately scolded for being a troublemaker, then hugged & snuggled because I was so happy to get her back without incident.
   I sometimes think I exist just to provide comic relief to others...