I am casting my mind back to 2009, when my husband and I were given a pair of dogs. They were brother and sister, about a year old. We were told that Zeus and Cleo were Labrador x Rottweiler, although their appearance was of black Labrador. One could see that they had been well cared for as their coats were glossy with health. The owners were moving to a location where pets weren't permitted, so they had to regretfully abandon these two black beauties.
We already had a female Boerboel [pronounced boorbull] (a mastiff bred in South Africa for the purpose of guarding the homestead), so we decided to let Sasha have the run of the back yard; the "new" dogs could rule the front. We didn't want any conflict between the females, as we knew there would be bloodshed.
Everything went well for about a year. The dogs adapted well.
Shenay (our granddaughter) was spending time with us, while her mother made preparations for a birthday party for her daughter. One black day, on 17 August, we woke up to a horrendous sight. All three of our dogs had been poisoned. The two females were dead; Zeus was hanging on by a thread. We kept Shenay indoors to shield her from the agonizing sight, while I anxiously called the vet. Dr Willie was here within minutes. With feverish haste, he set to work, all the while, cursing the "f***ing bastards that had done this". Three days and five visits later, Dr Willie pronounced that there was hope: Zeus was over the worst. According to Dr Willie, the current method of poisoning was to spray oven cleaner onto raw meat, then toss it over the wall for the dogs.
It was a long, slow recovery for Zeus. We installed him in our lounge, giving him a couch of his own to sleep on. After a few months of nursing, Zeus could once again eat solid food; his chemically burnt insides had healed.
Due to the ongoing pet poisonings, Zeus still occupies his couch in the lounge every night. He has become a "spoilt brat", expecting a big bone every night which he waits for in front of the fridge, providing that there is no one "else" in the kitchen. According to Zeus' actions, we have come to the conclusion that we have an occasional "visitor" in the kitchen. He will skid to a halt on the passage tiles just outside the kitchen door, seemingly not wanting to put a foot over the threshold. He will sit there, shivering and shaking until I bring him his bone. On these nights, he will back up into the lounge, keeping his eyes on the kitchen door. It's as if he is scared that something will follow him. Whatever it is, is no "friend" of his.
Now with this kind of reaction from Zeus in mind, I would like to tell you another tale.
Normally, when we return from shopping, or when someone Zeus knows well comes to visit, he let's out an excited "Eeoowww" sound... Very distinctive, pretty loud!
Around midnight of 24 - 25 October last year, my hubby Ray and I were awakened by the infernal sound of somebody "gunning" their motorbike in the street, almost right outside of our bedroom window. I cursed long curses, reaching for my phone to squint at the time; it read 00:57. Before Ray could reach the window to scream abuse, the perpetrator drove off. We settled back in bed to resume our repose. I was battling to fall asleep again, when I heard noises coming from the lounge. I lifted myself on one elbow, cocking my head in an effort to hear more clearly. A loud "Eeooww!" greeted my ears. I was instantly wide awake again. As I listened, I heard Zeus prancing around on the lounge carpet, just as he would, had someone been having a game with him. I stiffened in disbelief, rousing Ray to go have a look.
I lay quietly, not daring to switch on my bedside lamp. Ray, with torch in hand, gamely trudged through the house. I listened intently hearing Ray's low rumble as he inquired of Zeus. "What's up boy?" A few seconds later, I heard the front door and security gates being opened... Then silence. Minutes later I heard Zeus bounding back into the house and Ray locking up. As Ray climbed wearily into bed, I asked "So, what was that all about?" Ray's reply, "I don't know; nobody that 'I' could see! He didn't even need to relieve himself."
In conclusion, the only "person" that Zeus could have been playing with was our daughter Angel. Angel had passed on 4 ½ months earlier; she always had a game with Zeus on her arrival at our house. Would it be any different now?
Well, that's what we would like to believe... What is your opinion?