So adventures today started with Ben and Jeremiah meeting around 4:15 for a river-loop ride – something usually hopelessly uneventful and pedestrian.
The BOM had said mostly that it was fucking hot. No shit Sherlock. In BOM’s measurable units it was 35ish and the perceptible temp was way higher. But there were also forecasts of storms. And heading out I looked at the radar and these stormy-bad-boys looked evident — but hopeless and small. There was more sweat dripping off me than those storm clouds.
But about an hour later when we all grouped up and were riding south we noticed all those black, black storm clouds right ahead were looking a bit more menacing.
But we took our chances. We saw heaps of lightning and though it was a bit frightening I commented that it would be pretty crazy for two people in Queensland to get struck by lightning in the space of a week. Yet that actually happened!
Of course we got drenched towards the end. There is no dignity in riding a bicycle. But the storm passed and I got to ride the last few kilometres wet, but without any further suffering in that department. Still quite a bit dishevelled I stopped for lights at the intersection of Milton Road and Torwood Street. While waiting I saw a small dog wandering around on the other side — crossing the Torwood intersection a few times. A lady walking came upon it and I assumed the dog belonged to her for a second, but they passed like ships in the night. It was then I knew the dog was lost and I started debating in my head whether I should intervene. “Perhaps it knows the way home. Perhaps it lives just metres away”.
But then the lights changed in my favour and the dog started running across the road incredulous to traffic. It had started out in the opposite direction to me but I had clipped in (my shoes into the pedals) and 3 metres later I unclipped and that was the point I was committed. I stopped in the middle of Milton Road, turned around and chased the dog towards the other (river) side. I threw my bike down and as calmly as I could I walked over to the animal begging her to stop. Secretly I should admit in my head I was maybe hoping the dog would be scared of me and keep running and my responsibilities as a human being would be extinguished. But she stopped and came over to me and I grabbed her collar.
There was no tag, and that was really depressing. Meanwhile the car behind me had stopped too. I dug into my bag and dragged out my phone. But I was so wet and the phone was wet too and so I could not make the screen work and I had nothing to dry the phone on, nor my hands. It was tragic. So then the lady from the car came out and she was trying to help but said she had somewhere to be and had a bunch of kids in the car so I said to her, “That’s cool — but can you get the phone to work?”
She managed to dry the phone enough to ring Dee but there was no response. She then said that she had just searched the car for a rope to act a s a lead and couldn’t find one. I said, “Don’t worry — I’ll deal this. It’s cool.”
So then that idea of the “lead” got me thinking and I had my cowboy shirt and so I knotted that around the collar and started walking the dog and my bike home. All the while in clippy-cloppy cycling shoes.
I must have looked like a total freak crossing Milton Road, hopelessly soaked, with an equally soaked long-sleeved-shirt wrapped to this freaked-out dog, dragging a bike and still adorned with my helmet and sunglasses.
Finally Dee rang me back — she had been in the shower. “Happy Christmas,” I said. “We have another surprise puppy.”
And this was a reference to a dog (actually a puppy) Dee had rescued years ago. She then started driving to meet me. Meanwhile I walked up Torwood hoping to see someone who might recognise the dog. I only saw one lady and she said no.
Across Haig Road I had to stop traffic with an outstretched arm cause I wanted to walk the dog slow in case she broke free of my pathetic noose. It’s surprising how effective it is to cross a road and just put up your arm. Cars are mesmerised by that shit. It’s like in Crocodile Dundee where he hypnotises the buffalo.
So then Dee arrived, just near the Auchenflower Cafe, and I bundled the dog into the car and I rode home.
Inside Dee and I discussed what to do. I cancelled our dinner date — sorry Tiff and Ryan — and then we attempted to interest our new friend in water. Meanwhile another storm was rumbling over. The dog was shaking like she had epic Parkinson’s. She refused to drink or eat cat biscuits. We called the Council and that’s when we had to decide if she was a she. So we were about 80% sure and there were no reports of her missing.
I had to leave a message on the RSPCA phone line cause I imagine a storm is busy season for them. And just saying — this storm had not much rain but heaps of lightning and wave after wave.
So then I drove down to the shops just as things went absolutely epic in the rain-ness. I managed to stay about 50% more dry then I was before I had just changed clothes and bought some pre-made dinner and some dog food.
Back home the cat had turned up. She was not impressed. I was worried the dog would rip the cat apart but it soon became apparent it was the other way around. Normally the cat would come in for dinner and then disappear — especially on such a hot evening like this when inside was like torture to a furry creature.
But she stuck around desperate to claim and keep her territory. It’s quite funny — the cat is tolerant and even a bit scared of the chooks. But around dogs or other cats — she is like the Terminator.
Here is a shot of her just being vigilant of her enemy.
And here is the dog doing her best to be oblivious to that detail.
The heavens had subdued enough by then for the dog to eat one of those slivers of dog food and eat half a bowl of the cat’s crunchies. She licked the plate clean — something I wished the cat would do and seemed entirely appreciative. Again — unlike the cat.
So then we sat down on the couch trying to keep the dog safe from the cat and equally the cat satisfied that we weren’t replacing her. Quite a battle.
All the while on the couch we were hoping for the phone to ring. We got a random call at about 7:30 and it was the RSPCA calling me back. That was cool but still — a false alarm.
We watched some TV and I nursed the dog on my lap during the next phase of storms. It was incredible how scared she was. I thought about trying all my Psychology 101 skills on her but really — all I could do was pretend it was no big deal.
But then Dee was like, “OMG! It belongs to the people at Cafe Auchenflower!!”
And so I saw the pic (below) and rung the number attached and BANG! a happy ending!
And then we were tearing off down the street with the dog (now known as “Holly”) attached to us with some string. We greeted the owners and they told us she had dug her way out and had lost her proper collar and that they were on holidays when all this happened!
We responded that it was all cool and it would make the cat our new “super-friend” and plus it was a bit of an adventure. All’s well that ends well.