I had just gone to bed after watching a TV show on police pursuits in Venice, Italy, “The World’s Most Shocking Gondola Chases.” After settling in under the covers, you-know-who put his paws up on the bed. He needed a boost up on the bed as he is too small to scale the summit unassisted. As he climbed up on my chest I rubbed his head and petted him. Then I petted him again: every time a pet dies, we all wish we could “pet them one more time,” so I had gotten in the habit of giving him that “last pet” whenever I petted him. It served us both well.
“Goodnight, Rexie.” A casual flip of his tail signaled his “and to you, too.” Some hours later I awoke to a noise in the house. I assumed it was Rex on a perimeter check, making sure the neighborhood skunk hadn’t crawled through his doggie door and eaten his dog food, but his nearby snoring indicated otherwise. I held my breath. The noise continued, soft and muffled.
Suddenly I saw a light, like a flashlight, flash down the hallway. “Oh my GOD!! There’s a burglar in the house,” I thought to myself. My heart pounded as I could feel the fierce throbbing of the elevated pulse in my jugulars. What should I do? What would Clint Eastwood do? What would The Three Stooges do?
While I nervously checked off the possibilities, Rex hurled himself off the bed, fangs bared, and tore down the hall toward the noise and flashlight.
“Rex!” I yelled, to no avail. In a second I heard a ferocious growl burst out of Rex, a loud thud to the floor, and then . . . a gunshot! I jumped up out of bed and ran to the bedroom doorway, half-afraid to look around the corner into the hallway. Suddenly there was more commotion and then I heard the screen door slam.
My mind raced at the scary possibilities. Was Rex shot? Dead? I didn’t hear him, or anything for that matter. I finally gathered the courage to look around the corner and flip on the hall light. There was Rex, sitting up and wagging his tail, apparently unscathed. He triumphantly spat out a small piece of Levi’s.
“Rex! You’re okay!! You attacked the burglar!! Oh, Rexie, Rexie, Rexie!” I sat down on the living room floor and he hopped up into my lap. I hugged him, while in shock of having had a burglar in the house, and he licked my face.
My thoughts soon returned to the crime scene. I wondered what the thief got away with, if anything. Most of the stuff in my house was the result of hard bargaining at flea markets and garage sales, so the thought of losing anything valuable was remote. I did get up and make sure the black velvet painting of Wayne Newton was still on the wall. It was.
There was something lying on the floor by the front door. I got up and picked it up. It was a wallet. The burglar’s, obviously. I figured Rex bit him on the ankles, or, if Rex had jumped up way high, on the shins, and the burglar fell to the floor. When he got up, his wallet must have fallen out.
I looked inside the wallet. There was a driver’s license, credit cards, and a picture of him and what appeared to be a wife and child. What a waste, I thought to myself. What a waste.
I called the police and reported the intruder and gunshot and suggested they stop by a certain address and pick up Rex’s prey. I told the cops the thief’s name and suggested he would have a hole in his jeans and probably a Band Aid or two on an ankle, or possibly, a shin.