freya
Freya, not Rufus.

I woke up feeling groggy and sluggish as I do during allergy season. June is late for allergy season, but all bets off this year regarding what happens when. I think it’s part of everything being great again.

So Freya wakes up unusually bouncy and exuberant. Freya is a lazy dog. The laziest. Basset Hounds talk about her behind her back she’s so lazy. But not that morning. She was all wags and play bows as she followed me down the stairs (nearly tripping me) and into the kitchen. I did my best to acknowledge her excellent mood but was in no condition to keep up. After a couple of minutes, she asked to go outside to do her business, so I opened the door.

We have a fenced-in backyard, so I could drowsily watch her through the window as I sipped coffee from the pot Christian had made and contemplated pouring it over my head to speed up its effects.

As I finished my coffee, I saw Freya do her business, so I grabbed a bag to clean it up and headed outside. As I walked back to where the mess was, I saw a flash of yellow to my right, and the other side of her fence! A dog was running in the neighbor’s backyard!

My mind raced. There was no way for Freya to get on the other side of the fence. Right?  Not unless it had been damaged.

So I called Freya and she came running from the far side of the house and still inside the yard. Phew!

But she barreled past me, and right up to the other dog who had popped out of the bushes in my neighbor’s yard and was looking at her. At her from the other side of the fence.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Freya is the most dog-friendly dog we’ve ever had. She’s lazy, and she loves other dogs. That’s Freya in a nutshell. Add a love of peanut butter and iceberg lettuce, and you’ve got her figured out.

Freya and the dog were in love. They immediately started playing, starting out oblivious to the fence and then literally whining because they couldn’t get to each other.

So I had a problem. I didn’t want to let this dog get away and run into traffic or get more lost than he already was. But I didn’t want to just invite him into the yard with Freya there either. While he seemed friendly, that kind of immediate introduction, especially on one dog’s “turf,” is risky. (Seriously, don’t do stuff like that.)

I managed to get Dagmar’s attention without leaving the yard. I sent Freya inside (and was impressed that she obeyed) and told Dagmar to head to the front of the house with a leash while I tried to keep the dog’s attention through the fence.

Even without Freya there, he stayed nearby. He was a friendly guy. He knew “sit,” and I read his name, which was embroidered on his collar, and he responded to it. I worked with him until my wife came around to the other side of the fence. He went right to her and let her leash him.

His collar had a phone number on it too. I called the number, and an older man answered. He was relieved to hear someone had Rufus.

Down the street from our house is the Knickerbocker Country Club. It’s one of the reasons I liked this house when we saw it a few years ago. Not because I have the money for a Country Club (or would spend it that way if I did) but because Country Clubs are large pieces of land that people do quiet things on.

It turns out Rufus’ owner is a member and told us he has special permission to let Rufus run free there. (He must be an important member.) Rufus wandered through an open gate, and there he was.

So it worked out well. And it woke me up, too.

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