The Queenie alarm is going off. Steve has crossed the fence line and is next door. You can hear her thought process and feel her distress as her Morse Codian bark rings out.
Queenie is a quiet and gentle soul most of the time. She’s old, deaf, and arthritic. Even her eyesight is impaired, but she has psychic puppy powers and always knows when Steve has crossed our property line to go next door. He’s over there with the neighbor’s squirrels, walking on the neighbor’s grass and she wants to be there too. She wants to explore their property, roll in their lawn, and chase their squirrels. When she was younger and different neighbors lived there, she used to jump the fence, but jumping fences is relegated to her dreams these days.
We’d get a call from Birgit next door. It was the same message on the answering machine every time. “Your dog is out. Over and out!” Now Birgit and Web next door were good people. They were pretty much cat only people, but loved all animals. They were elderly, politically active and not afraid to call animal control if animals needed controlling due to human irresponsibilities. We were lucky to get the voices messages we got rather than having to bail Queenie out. The owners of the peacock Birgit thought was trying to break in through her window didn’t get the courtesy voice message, but we did.
Did you know that although peacocks are quite beautiful, they are not blessed with pipes that will win many votes on Avian Idol? Trust me, it’s true.
In a high pitch sing-songy way, I’d call “Queenie, Queenie, Jelly Beeeeeeeanie!” and she’d come bounding home. Yes, I did call her just like that. What’s more, I didn’t care who heard me, except for Queenie of course. Picture the opening credits for Lassie, if you’re old enough. Hear the music. “Queeeeeenieeeeee……..” Well, maybe I wasn’t that good. Still, she came home every time.
As happens with time, she can’t jump or hear much anymore, so the neighbors are no longer treated to my golden pipes. Instead, they get to hear Queenie tell the world that she too wants to go next door. Come to think of it, she just might win Canine Idol. She’s that good.
She keeps it up and gets her wish. She gets to visit next door and all is good until Steve goes home to get a tool. I stay next door with Queenie, but she stops rolling around in their grass and the alarm starts in again. She and Steve are reunited once more. See, it was never about the squirrels or rolling in the grass over there. Her reasons for wanting to be there had more to do with the whos than the whats.
I guess it really doesn’t matter what side of the fence you’re on as long as you’re with the one you love.