I live alone at the edge of a stand of eucalyptus trees in Half Moon Bay. Two nights ago, I heard my dogs bark, and then someone rang my doorbell in the middle of the night. I was afraid to get out of bed and answer the door, because no one visits me in the wee small hours anymore, so I just waited till it all died down and went back to sleep.
When morning came, I looked on the floor at the side of my bed, and there was a very dirty puppy(mine). I thought I had it figured out: Luckily Puppily, my year-old golden retriever, must have gotten out of the yard and gone walking in the forest behind the house, and someone must have returned him to the backyard and rung my bell. He has a propensity to saunter off when you turn your back and do something like grab my Bluetooth headset or Josh’s high school yearbook, take it out to the backyard to chew on it. Then he walks back in the dog door like nothing happened. A day later, we discover the damage.
But when I opened my front door in the morning to go out of the house, there was a new clue: a note from the Sheriff: “We got a complaint about your barking dogs. Please keep them from barking.” So then I figured the Sheriff brought the elusive Luckily, the little self-walker, home. I called the Sheriff’s office to find out what happened, and four transfers later, left the Assistant Sheriff who came to my house a Voicemail apologizing.
All day long, Luckily wouldn’t tell me what happened. And then, glancing into the backyard, I thought I saw it: the hole in the fence he dug for his escape. I have an old, rotted, wood fence, and he had enlarged a small hole created by the cat. I grabbed a piece of plywood from the garage and plugged the hole, rolling a boulder against the wood to keep it in place.
Then I took the filthy puppy to the Dog Wash, plunged him into a bathtub, and washed off the souvenirs of the night before.
Fast forward to the next night. I decided to leave the dog door closed. But in the middle of the night Chauncey, my other dog, got up and ran to the door. Fearing an accident, I opened the dog door. But after everyone ventured briefly outside and came back in, I closed it and went back to bed again.
Once again I was awakened by barking. Both dogs were crazy, and it was just about 6 AM. I walked into the kitchen, and there they were, fending off a huge raccoon. The poor thing was so frightened it looked like a cartoon character as they chased it across the kitchen, into the living room. Luckily Puppily cornered it by the floor lamp, as I ran to get a stick and Chauncey, my adult retriever, barked on in sympathy.
I tried to chase the raccoon out, but the dog door was closed. Apparently, he was in the house when I closed it after the dogs’ last bio break, and now he couldn’t get out. I tried opening the front door, but the puppy kept him cornered by the couch. Chauncey looked a little more tentative, but added his voice to the melee.
After I’m sure everyone on the block was awakened once again, I got Puppily to focus on something besides the trapped raccoon for long enough to let the creature skitter across my hardwood floors and out the back door into the woods.
I doubt he will be visiting us soon. I still wonder who dug the hole under my fence. I plan to sleep all day.