He got through that broken wooden fence again. Why won't the neighbors fix it? Who lets their fence get in such a state of disrepair? Not just missing pieces in a few places, but whole sections on the ground. The entire fence surrounding their yard is falling apart. She ran for public office last election, but she can't repair her fence? Good fences make good neighbors. The fences surrounding our yard that are in the best shape are the ones we stand at and chat with neighbors. The broken ones, we don't.
This time when Ronon got out, the vet called. I was so afraid the police were going to pick him up again, but on the other end of the line a familiar voice told me a neighbor had him. Just around the corner. Great. Just one problem. Cora is down for a nap. I risked the tears and woke her up. (She is not a happy kid when woken from a sound sleep.) It is cold out, but not too far to walk, so we bundle up, grab the leash and head out.
We get to number 12 and I can see Ronon in their breezeway. He is being his usual rambunctious self. I hope he didn't break anything. I hope they are used to dogs. My apologies start flowing as soon as the door opens. The man is doing his best to keep Ronon from bolting out the door to me. Ronon is beside himself; practically delirious from the freedom.
- I'm so sorry.
- We need to patch the fence, again.
- He's only gotten out a few times.
Words tumble out while I fumble with the special collar that Cora must have clipped together when I wasn't paying attention.
- You should have your info on his collar, he says.
- That collar will never hold. He'll slip it right off in two seconds, he says.
I haven't gotten it on all the way, I retort in my head. Gimme a break.
Cora coughs. It is a hacking, thick cough. She is still getting over a really bad cold.
- You should have called us, the woman says. We could have brought him to you.
- Yea, he says. Sounds like you have a sick kid. It's cold out.
- It's not far, I say blithely as I finally get Ronon's collar clipped.
I hope they see how he instantly calms down. He knows the collar means business.
- We're just around the corner, I say. And it's not as cold as yesterday. I continue in my head. And, how could I contact you exactly? I don't even know your name.
Thankfully, Ronon walks quietly by my side down their driveway and into the street. Dog in one hand, toddler holding the other, I leave the house of judgement.