“There’s a dead dog in your swimming pool,” is the sort of statement that people say that they have found in a foreign phrase book. When will you ever use such a phrase? Never. Or, in my case, this evening. Not by me, admittedly, but by a bemused Paul.
I treated the comment as mildly humorous and went to the Third Floor more as an unthinking response rather than in lively expectation. And there was nothing there. But a little movement to one side and emerging from the shadow of the tree, there it was looking more like a slightly twisted doll than anything else, but unmistakably a dead dog doll. In the swimming pool.
Investigation was called for and I hot footed it down from the Third Floor to Ground Zero to be met by two rattled friends still reeling from attempting to get a closer view and being attacked by a ferocious dog launching himself towards them only being repulsed by our flimsy bamboo fence. Toni moved away quickly and Paul fell backwards – luckily onto our gloriously artificial grass and was no more than shaken.
All was made clear. Obviously the ferocious cur that attacked Paul Squared and Toni was crazed with fear that his heinous crime of offing the poor crippled dog (I jest not) moving gently at the bottom of the pool had been discovered! Guilt screamed from every leap!
It is easy to reconstruct the events.
The dogs having been left (yet again) respond by escaping from their pens. The gate to the pool is flimsy and the plastic “fencing” recently propped against the gate totally insufficient to prevent a large, determined dog from getting out.
Having made his egress the smaller dog, crippled in both back legs is well able to follow. Once at the side of the pool any movement with the unsettling weight of dead legs could have caused the dog to topple in. Or perhaps a boisterous bit of play by the larger could have pushed the smaller in.
Whatever happened, once the small, old, crippled dog was in the water there was no way that he would be able to get out again. It was only a matter time before the inevitable.
And I hope all of the preceding works in the mind of the owner!
When I approached the fence the hysterical barking and the accompanying wailing from Paul and Toni dissuaded me from venturing beyond the limits of my demesne. However, the sight of the cadaver from a more advantageous viewpoint emphasised the reality of the fact that there was indeed a dead dog in the swimming pool and that was not something which could be tolerated. Even if I had no desire or intention of doing anything to remove it.
My first impulse was to phone the RSPCA and get them involved with the express intention of bringing home the guilt for the death to the inadequacy of the measures to keep the dogs safely within the garden of our neighbours. Dogs will be dogs and their human owners need to take responsibility, and when they don’t then they must be made to pay. And pay heavily.
I am quite sure that the telephone call from the police that our neighbour received informing her of the death was deeply upsetting and her grief is sincere but I do hope that she realizes that her own negligence is the cause and she must live with it.
Meanwhile the little realities of the event meant that I actually spoke to our neighbours on the other side and had a conversation longer than anything I have had with them over the last few years!
I am not sure what we can do to match or surpass this little tragi-comedy for the next day of the Pauls’ stay, but we are now going out to eat and that should be a much calmer experience!