The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

We are not dog people, so being awakened at 12:45 one morning by a large dog barking directly under the bedroom windows wasn’t expected. After a bit of flailing around, I discovered the dog parked under the windows on the other end of the bedroom:

Dog on patio

Dog on patio

That’s entirely enough dog that I was unwilling to venture outside and attempt to affix it to, say, the patio railing, where it could await the town’s animal control officer in the morning:

Dog upright

Dog upright

It’s not a stray, because it wears two collars: one with leash D-rings and the other carrying a black electronics box that could be anything from a GPS tracker to a shock box that’s supposed to keep it inside one of those electronic fences. If the latter, a battery change seems past due.

Being a dog, it spent the next two hours in power-save mode on the patio, intermittently moaning / growling / barking at every state change in the back yard: scurrying rodents, falling leaves, far-distant sirens, neighborhood dogs, you name it. We would be dog people to want that level of launch-on-warning, but we’re not.

If parvovirus were available through Amazon Prime, I’d be on it like static cling. By the kilogram on Alibaba, perhaps?

Grainy photos taken in Nightshot IR mode with the DSC-F717, which works well enough after I (remember to) jiggle the Memory Stick to re-seat the ribbon cable connections.

Hat tip to Sherlock in Silver Blaze.

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  1. #1 by Hexley Ball on 2016-08-21 - 13:26

    Hard to tell by these photos, but it looks a bit like Old Shep there has a white muzzle — meaning that you might be looking at an old timer with a case of doggy Alzheimer’s. The critter might have gotten out of a house/yard somehow and then gotten disoriented. No fun for anyone involved – the dog, the owners, or you guys :-(

    • #2 by Ed on 2016-08-21 - 16:15

      Good point. He certainly believed we had an opening for a guard dog and volunteered for the job; perhaps he mistook our patio for his own.

      Fortunately for all concerned, he hasn’t been back since that morning…

  2. #3 by Red County Pete on 2016-08-21 - 17:09

    Lost dogs can get pretty perturbed. It might be a bit Border Collie and decided that guarding a patio was part of its job description. Never had a pure Lab Retriever, but they tend to be barkers. Our half-lab will bark mightily at squirrels and the neighbor’s truck. Add in “I’m lost and it’s dark”, and you can get all kinds of discussion.

    I hope it made it home safely.

    • #4 by Ed on 2016-08-21 - 18:16

      Lost dogs can get pretty perturbed.

      Wait. Dogs aren’t supposed to get lost: that’s not in their job description!

      Some dogs we see on the rail trail can barely fog a mirror, let alone run even a minimal dog emulation. We humans have been messing with their genes for way too long and bred out all the doggishness that made them useful, once upon a time.

      To misquote Heinlein, I could eat a pound of hamburger and puke a better dog than that…

      • #5 by eriklscott on 2016-08-22 - 11:07

        Injured dogs will sometimes seek out a safe place to hunker down for a while. I’ve had this happen myself when a pitbull took up for a day on my back porch. Ended well, though – we called a friend of ours who happened to be a vet. She couldn’t even get close to the dog, so we called animal control. Between the time of the phone call and the guy getting there, the owners had called. They came out and picked her up – about two and a half miles from home. Turned out the pooch had been struck by a car and had taken a pretty hard hit.

        • #6 by Ed on 2016-08-23 - 08:49

          She couldn’t even get close to the dog

          Those are different dogs on the rail trail: the ones lunging and snapping at our legs as the owner hauls on the leash with both hands, assuring us the pooch wouldn’t hurt us and is really very friendly.