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Story ID:1398
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Gilboa New York USA
Longitude:42.41 N
Latitude:74.37 W
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The time had come to hit the road. We had to get a move on. It was 2:30 A.M. on Saturday, and we had many miles to go. We had an early ring time so we had to shake things up. We were going to a dog show somewhere in Connecticut. I was loading dogs and supplies into our Plymouth station wagon. We were almost loaded, but I had a few more things to load. I already had two of the dogs loaded, but had to load Huggy and his crate.

It was dark in the kennel and I didn’t want to turn the lights on, so I went to Huggy’s crate, lifted it, and carried it out the door to the car. I decided to let Huggy ride in the first back seat because he always rode well. I took him out of the crate and put him in the back seat where he promptly laid down.

All was ready. We got in the car and began our four-and-a-half-hour journey. Tae fell asleep on the passenger side. I drove down East Windham Mountain to Catskill and got on the thruway heading south. I planned to cross the Hudson River into Connecticut on the Newburgh Beacon Bridge.

As I drove, I noticed that Huggy stayed in a sitting position. I asked him what was the matter. Why didn’t he lie down. That was out of character for Huggy. Usually he slept when traveling. After driving for over two hours, I came to a rest area. I pulled in to use the bathroom and get a cup of coffee. Tae woke up as I was pulling in to park, and she went inside the service area with me.

As we returned to the car carrying coffee and pastry, I told her something was unusual about Huggy. He sat up in the seat all the way instead of sleeping the way he usually did. I was hoping he was all right.

When we got in the car, it was breaking daylight and Tae turned around to look at Huggy. Suddenly she shouted, “That’s not Huggy, that’s Sarah!” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I turned to look, and sure enough, in the daylight it was plain to see that I had brought the wrong dog. Sarah was a litter sister to Huggy. No wonder Huggy behaved differently. It wasn’t Huggy.

It was much too late to turn around and go back to get Huggy, so we proceeded to the show. There were enough entries in ASCOB males that day to make a major (3 or more championship points) and I had broken the major. Now there were only two points to be had by the winner. I was not a popular guy. It requires 15 points plus a minimum of two majors to gain a Champion title. It also ruined our chances to get a major on Huggy.

When the show was all over, we loaded up the car and headed for home. While we were away for dog shows it was always necessary to have someone stay there at home to take care of our other dogs. On this occasion my mother, who lived next door, was going to do it. She was to go over to my house every so often and check on the dogs. She was to feed them, make sure they had clean water and plenty of it, let them out in the dog runs, and put them back inside in their pens at the proper time and so on.

My mother asked me to give her a key to the house before I left and I replied that I didn’t have one. I told her the doors were not locked. I never locked them. She was astonished. She wanted to know why on earth I did something like that. Somebody could get in and rob me when I wasn’t home.

I told her that being out in the middle of nowhere like we were, if anyone wanted to get in they could and nobody could see him. I said if I lock the doors the door or window might be broken to gain entrance, and while they were in the breaking mood, perhaps do other damage.

Mom assured that if somebody were to try to break in, someone might drive by and see them and call the police. I laughed at that and I told her people driving by would never notice and keep right on going. A question about what they saw being right or not, never dawning on them. Surely I was wrong about that Mom thought.

When Tae and I returned home late that night, tired and weary, all seemed to be well. The next morning Mom came over to see how well we did at the dog show. We explained our mishap with the dog mix-up.

Then Mom said, “You remember what you said about people driving by paying no attention if someone was breaking in to your house?”

“Yeah, I remember.”

“You were right. My friend Meda came and had lunch with me. After we finished lunch, she came over with me to check on the dogs. I had forgotten all about not having a key and I locked the door. We couldn’t get in. We took the screen off the front window on the corner and we got the window open and crawled through the window to get in. While we were doing it, three different cars went by, and none of the people even noticed. They just kept right on going.”

“You know what Mom? I hate to point this out, but you only locked the door you went out of. The kennel door and the fireplace room door weren’t locked either. You could have walked around to one of them and gone right in.”

Tae and I were not the only ones having our goofs. It was one of those days. Tae and I lived in that house for twenty-three years. During that time we never locked a door and never had an intruder, if you don’t count ghosts, but that’s another story.


First photo - Huggy winning, handled by Tae

Second photo - Huggy winning, handled by the author

Third photo showing the side of the house. Mom and Meda went in the window to the right by the Bilco Door to the left of the electric meter. Note the kennel door to the rear, which was not locked.


Please visit my website at: www.fredsstoryroom.com.