"Whose ARE you?" I mutter, put my coffee cup down, and go out my front door.
The dog looks around, perking his ears.
I pat my leg.
He comes BOUNDING over, short legs pumping, and flops over at my feet presenting a very wet and muddy belly, obviously ecstatic that someone was paying attention.
I holler for rdeck, with no result, hanging onto the dog's collar, and finally ring the front doorbell to get his attention. He comes to the door looking vaguely astonished.
The cats are evincing a healthy interest, peering around between his feet.
"Watch the cats. Give me the phone and the phonebook," I instruct him, and he obediently trots off to fetch the implements I requested, and then comes outside with them. I phone the Sudden Valley security people.
"Hi, there's a loose dog. I"m sitting with my hand around his collar outside my front door. Can someone come get him?"
"Sure," says the guy at the office.
We sit outside with the dog for a bit, no show from the security. rdeck goes back inside to try and get his nap. I stay outside with the dog. He is unhappy. He tries to climb into my lap. He complains and whimpers.
It starts to rain.
I phone the security again.
"Oh, they're both at an emergency call," says the office guy blithely. "A medical emergency."
"Shouldn't that be dealt with by an ambulance?"
"Yes, but one security car needs to escort the ambulance to the place where it needs to go and the other needs to be there to direct traffic. They can't leave just now."
Direct...TRAFFIC? In Sudden Valley?... [quiet boggle]
Okay. I give the dog - in sheer desperation - a handful of kitty kibble, under the noses of my two outraged cats who look at me with saucer eyes full of "You have BETRAYED us!". The dog inhales the stuff. The security people are apparently still playing sheepdog to an ambulance, but as an emergency measure a SV Maintenance crew arrives with a length of rope so that the dog can be secured to the pillar outside my front door and I don't actually have to sit there with a hand on his collar. We leave him outside.
The cats are vitally interested. The dog is VERY unhappy, and vocal about it.
I finally open a can of cat food - chicken and salmon in gravy, yes I know it probably lacks vital minerals but it's emergency rations, dammit, and I take that out to the dog, in one of the cats' bowls. More outraged stares follow me out.
The dog licks the bowl clean. and tries to climb into my lap again.
By this stage it's getting on a bit - it's after four - and I don't want to end up puppy-sitting this puppy all night. So I phone again, and the guy in the office tells me that the security people had put in a call to animal control. Gives me THEIR phone number. I call it, the animal control people swear they never heard of this incident and anyway it's SV Security's business to pick the dog up. They say they will phone security back.
Well, *I* phone security back, too. The guy in the office, caught in the middle of all this, finally tells me he gets off in five minutes and will be at my place in 15 to pick up the dog himself. It's now about ten past four.
We both go outside to wait with the dog, who's ecstatic to have company, trying to climb into both our laps, delivering doggy kisses left right and center, wherever he can get to. Finally a blonde woman comes trotting in from the street, and says brightly, "Hello! I hear you found a Corgi!"
It's hers, apparently. From a few houses up the street. From where it dug its way under a fence.
And got loose. In Sudden Valley woods. Without a collar-tag to identify his owner.
The dog gets handed over, the guy from the office turns up five minutes later to collect him, and gets told that it was picked up.
It's dark now.
Just what would have happened if the owner hadn't turned up? Where would this poor friendly hungry cold animal have ended up? I love dogs, but I don't want to see them roaming loose in this place - I like my deer, too, and unattended dogs CHASE wildlife. I want to keep my deer, thank you very much. Why can't people be responsible for their animals...?
And why is it that it took Sudden Valley security over three and a half hours to NOT respond to this call...?
All's well that ends well, I suppose, but I'm still vaguely annoyed about everything. And the cats are only now starting to get over peering outside into the night to see if that strange yowling creature is still tied up outside the front door of their house...