Yesterday morning I got up early, practically with the sun (why, oh why, can I not sleep in on vacation?? Never mind, it was beautiful outside). Greg got dressed to go on a bike ride and I settled down with my book in the front room (see previous post), Louie at my feet.
I watched Greg pedal away and got engrossed in my mystery novel. A few (15? 20?) minutes later Louie got up and wandered away toward the back of the house. Now and then I heard him sniffling and scuffling. At one point it sounded like he bumped into something (it happens a lot with his surfer dude haircut). I heard Greg's footsteps--way earlier than expected--so I got up, rounded the corner to the kitchen and called out "are you back already?" I saw a decidedly-not-Greg arm as someone turned around the corner to walk (scamper, run) away from me, Louie happily dancing at his heels, tickled to have a new friend.
The guy, deer in the headlights and mortified, turned back at me (keep in mind, this is 6:30 a.m.) and stammered. "I'm so sorry...I'm the former caretaker of the cottage and I had to come get something out of the barn..."
Did I pepper him with questions?
For example, the barn isn't in here, is it?
Why didn't you knock first?
Why tiptoe around?
Did I threaten to call the police?
Did I refer to my karate skills or pick up a cleaver, ready to defend myself and my three sleeping children?
No, no, and no. Here's what I said, in the potentially dangerous situation I was in:
Oh, um, that's okay. I just thought you were my husband. He's out on...a...bike...ride.
Translation in criminalese: go right ahead and do whatever bad business you were up to, there's no one here to stop you! Happy to cooperate! Always thinking, that brain of mine. Safety first!
Anyway, he turned around lickety split, headed to the barn and left a few minutes later with his brother (license plate: my4sons).
I turned and looked at Louie sternly, my hands on my hips.
He looked up at me proudly, wagging his tail with a gentle smile on his muzzle. Translation in puppyese:
I did good, right? I welcomed him and licked him and followed him. I just love people. Treat? Sigh.
We're a couple of crime fighters, Louie and me. Please take away my McGruff neighborhood watch card. I'm a lousy watch dog, too.
p.s. I'm pretty sure they were legit. I'm checking with the owner just in case. Also, they really shouldn't just walk in the house. I know that much! (Or maybe he just needed to use the restroom?)