Thursday, January 09, 2014

The Value of a Dog—Lesson #2

First_responder : Abstract vector illustration of an ambulance with sirenes Stock PhotoSome of you know this story. Please bear with me, because others don’t, and because I have  a point to make here about dogs and their importance in our lives.

Sophie woke me a little before 2:30 Wednsday morning. I can lie in bed and tell by her bark how serious the “threat” to our safety is. This was serious, a frantic bark. And it kept on. Then I saw tail-lights in the driveway, and the motion detector light activated. I thought someone was going around to the back, so I pulled on some clothes and looked. Nobody. I looked for those tail-lights again and realized that they were emergency vehicles—aha! The police had once again caught someone at the corner by my house. It certainly had nothing to do with me, so I went to the bathroom, got a drink of water—with Sophie still barking. Then it all happened at once—the phone rang and someone pounded on the door. I looked through my glass door and saw several men on my porch and one had a bag that looked like an EMT bag.

Grabbed Sophie and opened the door to a kind man who said, “We had a medical alert call for this address.” I assured him I was all right, said I do wear an alert bracelet but hadn’t set it off, hadn’t heard it go off. He asked several times if I was sure I was all right, and I said I was. He was neither impatient nor angry, just kind. As the men left, my neighbor wandered up and said “You okay?” Yes, I was.

I looked and realized other neighbors were out there. I thanked and reassured them, but then the house security system started going off and the phone rang—I had to run to assure the security people they should NOT call the police. Somewhere in all this my son-in-law from Austin called and asked if I was okay. I could hear him reassuring Megan, my daughter. Then he said Jordan, my younger daughter, was on her way, so I called and told her I was fine, to go back home. She said she was so close she’d come ahead. With all the confusion and newly awakened from a deep sleep, it was not my finest hour—not sure I was even coherent.

I called the medical alert company and they did have an alarm. They guess I rolled over on the bracelet. I asked if I should take it off and they said no. They advise sleeping with it on. The problem, of course, was that I didn’t hear the phone when people called to verify the alert—no hearing aids and sound asleep.
Today I have thanked and apologized to everyone (including a Facebook expression of thanks to first responders), and I’ve learned some lessons. The ringer on the phone by my bed is now on, and I’ve found out how effective my security systems are, but the big thing is I will really pay attention to Sophie’s barking. She’s an alert watch dog (now sound asleep in the comfy chair across from my desk).

The good news: I wrote nearly a thousand words on the opening of a new novel that morning. Yes, it’s about an unexpected first responder visit in the night. My mom used to say all things work to some good.

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