One more post this evening before I retire for the night.
After Mom left this afternoon, I went back to foiling the poinsettia. Around 5PM I noticed it was still light out and since the dogs and I had not taken our 'morning constitutional' walkies, I told Carl I was going out to get some exercise before sunset.
I took both Pudding and Teddy dogs with me and we set out walking west until we got to the snowmobile trail on the other side of my mother's house. The last few days I've been walking down the trail with the dogs off-leash because they love to run free and it's a delight to see them tear off like two puppies instead of the ten year old dogs they are. (Remember, that's 70 in people years) I always keep an eye out for snowmobilers and the dogs come running back to me so I can scoop them up when one approaches. The trail was deserted tonight, though.
One thing I didn't reckon on was the fact that it had been rather warm today and the trail had deteriorated quite a bit with open field ( aka mud) everywhere. The snow that was still there was crunchy underfoot. Teddy gave up walking after the first 1 1/2 mile due to the snow hurting his paws, so I picked him up and carried him the next half mile. Pudding was having a good time running in circles, but I did reapply her leash when we got within a quarter mile of the highway. I called Joel and asked him to pick us up where the trail crosses the road and he obliged.
The last 50 feet to the highway was almost impassable on foot due to the mud (so squishy) and also due to the fact that I wear sandals to walk in, yes, even in winter. Sandals with holes in them, to be more specific, the truly nerdy kind with the Swiss Cheese holes in them. I know, I live in Wisconsin, but these shoes are SO light and comfy and as long as I stay out of deep snow, they work great (except in mud over my ankles).
I managed to get to Joel's car and sat with both rather wet doggies on my lap. Carl instructed Joel to go to the grocery store for milk, so off we went. Since I was rather disheveled, I asked Joel if he'd mind going in to the store without me and I'd stay with Teddy and Pudding in the parking lot.
Joel left us and I was thinking it was a shame we weren't parked in sight of the street as the dogs and I love to watch the traffic and people come and go, but I knew he wouldn't be gone long. Joel cracked the driver's window an inch because the dogs love to sniff out the window.
A few people came out of the store and got into their cars and left and the dogs (and ok, me, too) watched with great interest. There were two cars parked facing Joel's car in the parking lot and a few trucks. After a few minutes, Teddy and I noticed a thirty-something man leaving the store at a smart pace with a bag of groceries in one arm and his car keys in the other. Reaching a car parked two stalls away from us, he got in, set his groceries on the front seat next to him and appeared to put the keys in the ignition.
Suddenly, with a ghastly roar just like in a horror movie, a very large black dog lunged out of the back seat and his jaws shut within mere fractions of an inch of the man's head.
I have NEVER seen a man get out of a car faster than he did. It was truly gold medal Olympic-worthy speed. He vaulted out of the car, slammed the door shut, fell down and was back up and running before both of his feet were on the ground. He disappeared from our view for a time (my dogs were just as fascinated as I was with this show) and then cautiously returned holding one shoulder and pacing back and forth. I was afraid he was having a heart attack. I asked him through the crack in the window if he needed help, but he didn't hear me. He kept pacing and looking at the car and shaking his head.
I was stumped at this point. There were a few possibilities that came to mind right away...maybe he forgot he brought the dog along and his dog scared him (or hated him?) or maybe someone (a vengeful ex-wife) was stalking him and using the dog as ammo or to send a message (sort of like waking up with a horse's head in bed with you mafia-style); or maybe there was a crazed animal rights activist roaming the parking lot randomly dispensing stray dogs into any unlocked car in the hope they'd find a good home.
I was trying to figure out a way to ask the victim which of the above fit his predicament, but didn't want to frighten him with two more unfriendly, albeit, tiny dogs. I figured he'd had enough canine interaction for one night. Joel came out of the store and got into his car at just this moment, and had to move Teddy over so he could sit down. I told him to ask the guy if he needed help.
"Sir, are you alright?" Joel asked.
Our distraught acquaintance said, "Oh, man, my car is parked right there". ( Two car spaces away sat the exact same model of car.)
"I got into this car by mistake. I went to start the car and that dog scared the S..T out of me!!! I got outta there as fast as I could, but now my keys and my groceries are in there. I'll have to wait until the owner comes out, I guess."
I told him I'd seen what happened and he had a shaky laugh about it, but was still clearly agitated. I was glad he didn't need an EMT and told him so and we bid him a good night. (Of course, I talked Joel into moving a bit in the parking lot so we could see the 'rest of the story'.)
Ten minutes passed and many shoppers came and went and our poor hero was still standing awkwardly outside the wrong car waiting in vain for the owner to appear. Finally, he got into his own car to warm up until a lady came out of the store with her purchases and stopped just short of the passenger side of the car with the big black dog.
The poor guy approached her from her driver's side and apologetically told her what happened.
She said she was wondering how the groceries got into her car.
We couldn't hear the entire conversation due to traffic noise and being 'staked out' too far away, but we did hear her laugh and say, "Oh, ok, here, I'll get your stuff."
When she opened the door to give him back his belongings, her dog flew into a rage once again, causing him to take another step back.
He must have apologized again, because she said, "That's alright. I got into the wrong car once, too."
He said, "But was there a dog?!"
(Just when I think sitting in the grocery store parking lot is boring!)