Sitting in the Rain

My neighbor has a white Boxer. It’s a friendly dog. It spends the majority of most days inside. Sometimes in the evening my neighbor leaves the front door ajar, and the dog frolics outside until he is beckoned to return. I like the dog and always say hello when our paths cross. We get along well.

Yesterday in the early afternoon I took a short walk to check my mail. As I walked past my neighbor’s apartment I noticed the Boxer looking longingly out the window. By the time I returned the screen had been pushed out of the window, and the boxer had his head sticking outside. He was smiling.

Within moments he decided to leap. It was just several feet to the ground, so he landed safely. I opened the blinds on my balcony door so I could watch him. His first order of business was to run around marking trees. His tail was wagging. He was happy.

After he had marked trees, chased squirrels, and sniffed everything that looked remotely interesting he got bored. The Boxer realized he couldn’t  jump back through the window; he was locked out of his apartment. So he laid down in the grass. He stayed there for hours. When he would briefly get up to circle a few times his head and  tail were down. He was no longer happy.

Eventually clouds began to congregate in the sky. A slight breeze picked up. Rain fell. The Boxer got up and moved to the door mat in front of his apartment. He sat there forlornly in the rain, waiting for his owner to return and open the door.

I decided he was too big for me to simply lift back through the window (plus it might have looked bad if I was leaning into my neighbor’s apartment through a smashed screen if he happened to return). I was headed out to run some errands, so I didn’t want to leave the boxer unattended in my apartment (it also might have looked like dognapping). So I decided to keep the boxer company for a while. I went out and talked to him. He was happy to receive a little attention. We sat in the rain and talked about life [1]. He wagged his tail. He was happy.

By the time I ran my errands I was soaking wet.

[1] It turns out that hearing loss is common in white Boxers, with some estimates as high as 8% that are completely deaf and another 22% with complete hearing loss on one side. I had no idea. So it is possible the dog was just being polite and had no idea what I was saying.

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