The sound of that single, yet determined bark woke me from a deep slumber; I’m sure Reese gets bored now and then and doesn’t want to be the only one awake. She was completely oblivious to our contentment, and hoped this time one of us would be excited to play fetch with her…..at 2am!
Her dream shattered when, I gave her a poke with my toe and told her to ‘settle down.’ She did. Apparently, that wasn’t at all what she was thinking, and we soon learned it was an unfortunate case of ‘the dog who cried wolf.’ Later that morning we were told that a house on our road had burned – a shell remained. My first thought, of course, was for the occupants – a lady and her two small dogs. Thankfully they would all be okay. Our neighbour had been taken to hospital, and her two dogs were finally rounded up by animal control and taken to the shelter. Everyone was safe for the evening.
My second, third, fourth and fifth thoughts; how did my husband and I not hear all the sirens? Hopefully, if a fire started in our home the dogs would be a bit more vocal than a solitary “woof”! Did our neighbour not hear her dogs? Did she keep her dogs crated in another room – how did they manage to escape? What if we weren’t home and a fire started? Thankfully, I do have a sticker for the window in our front door which indicates, for rescuers, that two dogs and a cat live here.
I am paranoid about leaving something plugged in and tend to keep things unplugged unless in use. Also, it may seem obsessive compulsive, however, when I use anything with heat; hair straightener, oven, iron, I will unplug or turn off the appliance, make sure its secure and after double-checking the electric socket or stove top, I say out loud to myself “unplugged and safe.” By safe, I mean the appliance is not accessible to my pets, and they can’t knock it over. There is nothing worse than ‘that feeling’ in the pit of your stomach. I also rarely use candles – too easy to forget about, or knock over (especially with animals running around). My husband and I used to have to block off our fireplace as Charlie would get as close as she possibly could to be extra cozy. Every so often, we would slide her away from the heat – her coat would get too warm.
Our neighbourhood is a mix of older cottages and newer houses. As I type this, I still don’t know the cause of the fire – faulty wiring in an older building perhaps. Thankfully our house was wired not long ago. We are fitted with smoke detectors and replace the batteries every year on our May long weekend – I guess I associated the smoke from the fireworks and the occasion is my reminder.
The loss of my neighbour’s house is tragic. Thankfully she and her dogs will be okay, and I share this post as a reminder to be vigilant and remain safe.
The loss of material things though often sentimental, and perhaps not replaceable, we can overcome. Firefighters will, of course, advise us not to enter a burning building to rescue a pet. I will do everything in my power to avoid my pets being in that situation; my animal companions are what matters most to me.