Monday, June 16, 2008

Better than Any Burglar Alarm

My knuckleheaded dog, Duchess, (lovingly pronounced "Duuh-chess") pesters to be let outside, and then pesters to be let in.

Bark-bark-bark-bark. I am so sick of the barking. Worse yet, most of the time it's an annoying, high-pitched, yappy bark, and it hurts my ears.

I want to go out: "Bark!"
Let me in: "Bark. Bark. Bark." (Let. Me. In.)
Look! A deer/rabbit/squirrel/wiggly tree branch/car/bird: "Bark!Bark!Bark!"
Kid on wheels!!: BARRARRARK!
My toy rolled outside the fence: "WhineBark!”

Duuh-chess is a pure German shepherd. She has a wonderful, deep bark, but it seems she only saves it for the UPS guy, infrequent visitors, or whatever might go bump in the night.

A couple weeks ago we were visted by a young guy trying to make a living sales-pitching alarm systems door to door. I told the guy that I didn't need an alarm system; I had a German shepherd. He laughed and tried convincing me that glassbreak alarms and whatnots would benefit. After a fair amount of conversation, I agreed that I'd at least discuss a fire alarm system with The Oracle, because fire is one of my biggest fears, and I often wonder if my puny smoke detectors are enough. I took his number, company info, and email address. He went on his way and I promptly forgot about him. I didn't forget about him intentionally. I had every intention of talking with The Oracle, but -- well -- my memory sucks.

He called me a few nights later to follow up. Agh! Yes, I'll talk with him right now and get back to you. I talked with The Oracle, and we decided that another monthly bill wasn't a wise investment at the moment, and I left a message for the guy telling him so.

Last week, when it was still pleasant enough to leave the windows open, I'm blithely working on a transcript and my kids are staring with glazed eyes at the television. My transcript is moving along nicely and I'm happy.


I bolt out of my chair and see the door open and my kids standing in the doorway, and I start screaming, "Duchess, Leave it! Leave it!" at the top of my voice while running to the door. I thought she had a neighborhood dog or something from the way she sounded. She's fabulous with people, but she has some major aggression toward little dogs, and I thought for sure I was headed for a lawsuit since my children, who know better, opened the damned door and gave her access to whatever it was she found.

On my front lawn is Alarm Company Guy, standing as stiff as a board with his eyes popped so wide I thought his eyeballs would eject out of their sockets. Duchess is between him and the kids, and all of the hair on her back is standing on end. I order her into the house, being careful not to scold her for (technically) doing her job.

Alarm Company Guy is visibly shaking. I can see his pulse pounding in his neck, and I'm fervently thanking God that he happens to be a young, healthy twenty-something instead of a fiftyish guy in heart-attack prime.

After I looked him over and saw that he wasn't bitten or bleeding or coding on my front lawn, the first words that came to mind were, "See? I told you I didn't need a burglar alarm." Thankfully, this comment elicited enough laughter to prove he could still breathe, and he managed to tell me that the alarm company was offering a better deal than what he described in his prior visit.

I profusely apologized for the scare, and then I told him we still weren't interested in an alarm system.

And I gave Duchess a cookie.