Canine Home Invasion

mingggMinkey and I just had a morning we’ll never forget. I’m disabled, and the two of us live very quietly in a little cabin in the woods, way out in the countryside.  Minkey is a 100% indoor cat, so I have never had to worry about him getting squashed on the road, or carried away by owls, or ripped to pieces by the coyotes that howl in my forest at night. This peaceful Sunday morning, however, I opened my door to put the newspaper in the recycling box – and promptly suffered a Canine Home Invasion! Two extremely muddy Yorkshire Terriers rushed delightedly in, used me as a trampoline – and then they saw Minkey.

Before I could even blink, they were ricocheting round the room, knocking over ornaments, lamps, papers, and my teacup in their zeal to dismember poor Minkey, who went from napping peacefully in his sunny windowsill (yes: the picture  in our blog header) to backed-into-a-corner, stark-eyed, wailing terror.  There followed a horrible few minutes till I managed to  contain 2 of the 3 snarling balls of fur – they were in full-throttle Terrier “Kill” mode – and finally I managed to get my two canine Home Invaders outside (my clothes ripped to pieces and covered in mud in the process. Oh, not by teeth – their ailoruphobia aside, they turned out to be very sweet, happy little fellows – but by overenthusiasm and scrabbling paws.)

I managed to tie my two canine home invaders up, and remove the tag from the quieter (?) one’s collar (it was too hard to read on a bouncing dog) , so I called the “Pet Find” number on the tag.  Even with the mud and the wet, it was very obvious I was dealing with two little much-loved runaways – especially since one had a Hydro mechanism on its collar (I presume to give it a mild shock if it went off its home property.)

I got a canned response:  “We are closed till Tuesday May 19th.  For this dog, please call…”

Called the number and got a vet clinic in the nearest town.  “We are closed till Tuesday May 19th…”

Oh great. A long weekend, and everything’s closed.

I called the SPCA.  They were actually opening at 11 a.m (only 5 more hours to go!)  But then they added:  “If this is about a loose dog, please call the town.  It is a bylaw enforcement matter and we have no responsibility…”

So there I was, with a terrified cat up in the attic where I couldn’t reach him; and two little canine Home Invaders tied up outside, managing to strangle themselves in the process.

I tried calling the two people I know who live locally for help, but there was no response.  (Sunday, long weekend.  Sleeping in? Off on a day trip?)

I spent the next couple of hours sitting outside, entertaining my uninvited guests.  The water bowl got 3 laps, and then was merrily hurtled across the lawn (at least playing `Frisbee’ kept them happy for a bit.)  I managed to untangle them several times.  Finally, I had just made it back into the house again, to see if my two local contacts were home, when I heard a car pull in the driveway.

No, it wasn’t their frantic owner – but the next best thing:  A friend of frantic owner, helping her comb the countryside for the little rascals.

Handed them over with relief, and got a hug from the kind-hearted neighbour.  Cocoa and Puff yapped “goodbye” happily.  (“What a great morning!  Escaped from our yard, ran all over the countryside, almost killed a cat, got petted and played with – now we get a car ride too!”)  And off they were whisked – naughty Cocoa to go back to the litter of puppies she was supposed to be raising.

I tottered (figuratively speaking) back inside, and made myself  that panacea of British comfort, a cup of tea. My heart had gone all arrythmic with the physical exertion (and the shock of the Invasion and near-Siamicide), so I was very shaky and wobbly.

I was worried about my traumatized Siameasle, lurking wild-eyed in the attic – but as soon as he heard the kettle whistle, he shot down the narrow, cat-sized stairs, and  launched himself onto his Treat Stool.  (Minkey normally only gets a cat treat in the morning, keeping me company while I take my pills – but I guess he figured that he deserved an extra one, after his horrid morning.)

I gave him one, noticing the treat had almost as soothing an effect on him as the cup of tea did on me.

We are now almost totally back to normal, but there is something I really want to say before closing this bizarre little episode:

  • Dog owners, even if you keep your pups in the yard under control (leash, kennel run, electronic zapper) PLEASE put a tag on them that has your OWN phone number – not some generic “Pet Find” service.  And make sure the tag is LEGIBLE – I had the worst time (once I wrassled it off Cocoa) in figuring out that very worn number, and it took several guesses to get it right.

After all, long weekends do occur – and if you don’t want to spend 3 days of anxiety (to say nothing of the poor person who has found your animals) allow people to phone you immediately, if you have a lost pet.

And if poor little “indoor” Minkey can be attacked by a pair of unexpected predators in his own home, your “controlled” dog can just as easily escape, one day.

Don’t let your pet become one of those sad photocopies on telephone posts or grocery store bulletin boards.  A simple tag with your OWN PHONE NUMBER on is all it takes.