A Rude Awakening
Friday morning, around 2:30am, I heard a knock on the door. It wasn't the normal sound of knocking-- as if a neighbor was stopping by to say hello. It was an insistent pounding, followed by a ring of the doorbell and then a few more knocks. There was a moment of silence, and then a repeat of the knocking/ doorbell ringing. I got out of bed and looked out the window. I saw a police car. My mind began to race-- were they here to notify me that someone had died? Were they looking for Michael? Maybe he's wanted by the law and I don't know it?? I got dressed and went to the front door just as the officer was pounding on it with his flashlight for the final time. When I opened the door, he told me that he had a complaint from a neighbor 2 streets away about my dog's barking. Well, I hadn't heard a thing-- I was in lala land brought on by my regular dosage of Tylenol PM earlier in the night. In my bedroom, I had a vaporizer going and Michael was watching an episode of "Charmed" on DVD. I wouldn't have heard a train if it went through my backyard. Anyway... the only dog outside was Clara. Apparently she had found a possum, or saw a cat or something and she was barking. She wasn't alone, though. The dogs in the yard behind me were howling, the dogs across the street were yelping too. Something was going on and all of the neighborhood dogs were talking about it. I apologized to the officer, but explained that there really wasn't anything I could do to stop her if she was barking. As long as the neighbor dogs were barking, she would join in. I explained that Clara was a special case and how I've had her for years and never touched her. Bringing her inside was not an option-- petting her to calm her down was out of the question. The officer told me that I needed to do something to manage my dog and if I couldn't manage her, I needed to call Fulton County Animal Control and let them "take care of her".
I wanted to explain that Clara has lived in my backyard for almost 5 years and that this was the first complaint I've ever received- but all I did was apologize and go back to bed. I considered calling Animal Control. Maybe they could come out and catch her. Maybe it would be better if she weren't around-- I wouldn't have to constantly worry about her getting pregnant again.
I woke up with a clearer head and I didn't call Animal Control. I figure every dog should get a chance to howl at least once every 5 years. Last night was a sleepless night for me-- I laid awake listening for Clara's bark. She didn't make a sound all night. Hopefully it was a one time thing--- and hopefully my neighbor caught up on a good night's sleep.