As any rescuer will tell you, life changes after you begin your participation in “saving lives.”  For example, you see animals on the side of the road that no one else would even notice, and it seems that somehow or another, animals always find you.  Such was the case just the other evening.

I was leaving my mother’s house late one evening, and we were walking out the door, chatting about our plans for the upcoming week.  We immediately heard a dog barking loudly and consistently with each breath.  At first we disregarded it as the neighborhood dogs, and then it hit us that his barking was constant, literally no breaks in between.  I looked at mother and said “That’s odd…those dogs aren’t normally like that, are they?”

Mother and I began investigating.  I drove down two doors down and shone my headlights into the yard as best I could without alarming other neighbors or the residents of the house. Mother grabbed her shoes and a flashlight and walked through the front yard to her neighbor’s.  I decided to get out of the car, and we took turns shining the flashlight into precise places, as it sounded as if the barking was coming from behind the bushes.  Being cautious to approach since it was dark, and we weren’t sure what lie ahead, we got as close as we could and went up and down, back and forth along the brush with the light.  Nothing.  Nothing other than the loud, persistent barking of this frantic dog.  Was the dog stuck?  Was it accidentally locked outdoors? Was it protecting babies from something? Where WAS this dog??

We called animal control, as we weren’t to fond of traipsing all over the neighbor’s front yard, and we couldn’t get anyone’s attention at the residence because nobody was home.  At least animal control or the police could approach legitimately.  So after mom made the phone call, we waited, and I prepared myself for an animal that I needed to take him, in case it was a stray or an injured dog.

The police officer showed up and asked how he could help.  We explained the situation, so he walked to the house and turned on his torch…and I do mean torch, as the thing lit up the entire neighborhood.  He promptly walked down the driveway and circled his light around the entire yard and the entire front of the two story home.  I couldn’t help but worry that someone might stick their head out of the door and ask what in God’s name we were doing.  Mother and I waited…wondering what he’d find. In my head I was thinking “If necessary, I do have that crate in my car….”

The officer turned around and said “He’s in the house.”

“Huh?” mother replied.

“Wha…what?” I asked in total confusion.

“He’s in the house on the 2nd floor.””The window is open and he’s barking.”

He shone his flashlight up to the window for mother and I to see.  Sure enough, there was a black lab mix, leaning into the window and looking at us like we were aliens. Barking, of course.

“Oh.”  It was all I could say. Humiliation had tied a knot in my tongue.

“I’m terribly sorry….”

Mother and I apologized multiple times, and then the officer was on his way.

Egg. On. Face.

So much for those rescue instincts.  Dad got a good chuckle, though.

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