Monday, June 20, 2011

Kurt- Our hero till the end

Kurt was the most laid back retired Rottweiler that I had ever met.  (Mind you, I hadn't met many--but I bet he was the coolest dog of them all!) 

I remember one day, as I was getting ready for work at my university position, there was commotion outside, with Georgie barking, and after looking outside the front windows, I noticed that even Kurt had gotten up from his usual 'lookout' position and was standing erect.  There was an unfamiliar car coming up our driveway, and as our house is somewhat private, it is unusual to get unannounced visitors early in the morning. 

By the time I had made it downstairs to the front door, there was a car parked outside, and it contained 4 men in uniform. At first I was a bit concerned, and immediately thought that there might have been an accident involving a family member, or some dire reason why an unmarked car containing 4 uniformed men just sat in the car at the front of my house. Kurt was standing at the drivers door, complete with tennis ball in his mouth (he obviously wasn't too concerned...) so I approached the vehicle.

As it turned out they were from the Army and wanted to get my permission to walk through my property and up into the hills behind our home to explore the area. 

'Sorry, Ma'am', the driver stated as he rolled down his window low enough to show me his identity, keeping an eye on Kurt at all stages.  'There is a general concern that there could still be unexploded devices from past war exercises in this area, and we would like to explore beyond your property if you don't mind.'

'Sure!  Go ahead', I replied, stepping aside, while Kurt just sat there with the tennis ball in his mouth grinning at these 4 men.

'Er, Ma'am, would you mind calling your dog away.  The men just don't want to have to hassle with him' the driver urged somewhat in a pleading manner.

I smiled and told him to get out the car.  He hesitated, while I told Kurt to sit.  Kurt spat out his ball, somewhat disappointed, and did as instructed.

'If you would just extend your arm slowly, and let Kurt smell the palm of your hand, he will be satisfied that you are not a threat, and you may come and go as you please.  I really do have to get to work, so I will just leave you here now, and I trust that you will be OK '

'Er, Ma'am, we would rather that you don't leave us here with that dog.'

'His name is Kurt.'

'Don't leave us here with Kurt.  We will hurry our task and be finished as soon as possible.'

I watched, along with Kurt at my side, as the two men in the front of the car stepped out, and looking somewhat waryingly at Kurt,  started to walk through to the back of our house yard and cross the wire fence into the back bushland.  I then turned to the 2 other men in the back seat and gave them an enquiring look, which they attempted to miss while they hurriedly looked at their phones or just anything else, except Kurt and I.

Giving a shrug, I went back into the house and Kurt laid down, next to the driveway in front of the house, with his tennis ball once again close by.  By this time I had phoned my office and said that I would be delayed, but that my explanation would probably be worth it, and then waited, wondering how much longer these two men would just sit in the car.  Occasionally Kurt would grab his ball and wonder over to the window at the right side of the back seat door, and push it up against the glass.  Nothing.  No movement from the car.  Obviously these men did not know how to play this game!

After about 10 minutes, the left back door opened and one of the men looked as though he was attempting to leave the vehicle.  Kurt was ecstatic!  He quickly grabbed his ball and raced around to that door, hoping to entice that human to throw his ball so that he could chase it!  But no!  The human just jumped back into the back seat and slammed the door shut.  (I was having a hard time trying to stifle my laugh, but if this was the army I was feeling a bit insecure.  If a dog could stop them, what would something more fierce do?  I tried to chastise myself for thinking like this, but just was getting impatient and figured that 4 men could have been accomplishing this task faster than just the two.) 

Eventually the other two men from the bush appeared and I went down to the car to greet them. 

'So, what did you find?'

'Our equipment hasn't shown any traces, but we will be investigating  further.  Thank you for cooperating, and giving us your time.'

'I'm sure my office will be interested', I replied, trying not to smile, and patted Kurt on his head as he stood next to me with his tennis ball in his mouth.  Reaching down, I took the ball, and gave it a good throw - to which Kurt took off immediately, like a bullet and tried to retrieve it as fast as he could, almost smiling at someone finally understanding the game!

The car backed out of the driveway a little way, did a turn around, keeping an eye on Kurt, and drove down our driveway.

Needless to say we never saw them again.

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