Monday, December 1, 2008

I've heard of a cat burglar, but a dog burglar?

The sweet cocker spaniel and I went to my parents' house for our mellow, adult, 3 person Thanksgiving celebration. Wednesday night is steak night at the country club, so Dad insisted we go out to dinner. With some trepidation, Mom allowed the sweet cocker spaniel to have the run of the house while we were out. I insisted she would be fine and cause no trouble. In fact, I thought her only activity in our absence would be shifting from lying on her left side to lying on her right.

As we left the house, Mom did what she always does: she set the house alarm. We had a lovely dinner then took a leisurely drive home so I could see the damage that had been done to my neighborhood by a tornado this summer. In the car, Dad's cell phone rang, but he didn't get to it. Then Mom's phone rang, but it was in her purse on the floor of the car so she didn't answer it. She was pretty sure it was just my sister, anyway. Then Dad's phone rang again, and it was my sister. Hearing only Dad's end of the conversation, it quickly became apparent that she had received a call from the alarm company that something was happening at the house.

I had a frantic 20 seconds or so, picturing my sweet cocker spaniel trapped in a fire, feeling betrayed because her mommy was not there to save her, or being brutalized by mean house burglars who didn't appreciate being greeted by a tail-wagging dog who licks. About the time that the house came into view, clearly intact and with no obvious signs of problem, Mom figured it out.

"We set the alarm with a dog inside the house!" Mom and Dad aren't used to having a pet in the house and I didn't realize the alarm had such a sensitive motion detector. Any movement in the house will set off the alarm. Obviously, Maddie didn't know the code to turn off the alarm. So the only trauma my poor dog had endured was having to listen to the alarm go off for several minutes just because she had the nerve to go to the kitchen to drink some water.

3 cops greeted us on our driveway. (I'm such a PD, my first instinct on seeing the cops was to tell them they couldn't come in to the house!) They insisted they wanted to go in first and clear the house, but I insisted all they would find was a 16 pound cocker spaniel. Indeed, Maddie was alone in the house (the cops did wander around just to be sure) and did not appear to be up to anything. Her only obvious interest at that moment was greeting me and sniffing the 3 strangers who came in with us. But maybe that wiggly-tail act was just a cover for whatever nefarious acts she committed while we were gone.

My parents have not reported any missing valuables or meat.


Anonymous said...

That's why super sensitive burglar alarm system and dogs is not a match... I always leave my dog in their dog house or at a friends or other family house whenever i need to go out.

S said...

It wasn't a problem last year when we left my pup in my room, far away from the motion detectors. Guess that's what we'll always have to do. It was just funny that none of us recognized the flaw in turning on the alarm while a living creature was freely roaming the house.

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