Thursday 17 August 2017

It's never boring in Retire-Ville

The phone rings at 1am. I quickly pick up, expecting it to be the hospital, since I'm on call.
It's not. 

It's one of our neighbours.

"Hey, your dogs are barking so much, is everything alright? Are they in distress? Maybe there is a bear in the yard?!" I admire the approach of acting concerned. It's so much nicer than yelling at me, which must be the natural inclination at 1 in the morning.
The downside is that it makes me feel horrible.

Truth be told, I didn't hear them. When I sleep, I sleep, and a little disturbance like dogs barking won't distract me.
But now that I'm awake, I hear them. And they really are barking up a storm. There must be coyotes in the neighbourhood again. I apologize profusely, promise to make them stop, and then wake up Richard.
"Hey Rich, the neighbours called, the dogs are barking too much. Do something!"
He's uncooperative at first, but thanks to my superior skills of persuasion (i.e. incessantly poking him and telling him to get up), he eventually wakes up sufficiently to go outside and lock a couple of the dogs up. Once they're separated, they are a lot less mouthy.

As is my nature, I'm freaking out for a few days, worrying that we will have to move now, because our dogs are too noisy for tranquil retire-ville. But separating them at night does the trick, and I'm slowly calming down.

Until a few days later.

I'm returning home from an early call-back, driving towards our gate, when I see a couple of runners with a dog jogging towards our place. Wanting to close the gate safely before they reach me (because the dogs might run out to defend their property), I jump out of the car, close it and then try to quickly retreat. It's early in the morning, I haven't had coffee yet, and my introverted self doesn't want to talk to strangers.

Too late.

The runners are suddenly in front of me, waving cheerily. Sheesh, they are freakishly fast!
A moment later, I know why. "We've been wanting to meet you," the woman tells me. "We ran as fast as we can to catch you!" she adds with a laugh.


They live in the neighbourhood, on one of the properties that belong to the same, large subdivision we share with 30 or so other people. Even though they are far enough away that I've never met them, and only passed their house a handful of times over the last 8 months, they know us.
Or, more ominously, of us.

"Everybody is talking about all the animals you have," the guy tells me.
What, really?!
"Why?" I ask in astonishment. "Don't they have anything better to do?"
Apparently not.
We seem to be quite the hot topic of conversation, with a delegation of people having joined together with the common goal to make us more like them - less animals, more "normal".

We had a very pleasant chat, because the two runners seem like very nice, fun people - but we couldn't quite figure out what the neighbourhood's fixation with our animals is.

I have a feeling that this saga isn't over yet ...

xoxo Miriam

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