I'll be the first to admit that I prefer cats over dogs.
I know, I know, I'm probably going to get some hate mail over that statement, but it's true.
Dogs can be very sweet...but.
Cats can be left inside the house for a week while we're on vacation.
Cats generally don't have body odor.
Cats bury their treasures so we don't step onto them in the backyard.
Cats don't bark at every human or animal that walks past our home.
The other day, though, I was very thankful that we had volunteered to dogsit two sweet schnauzer girls for some friends of ours.
In fact, when a stranger knocked on my screen door the other morning and commented about how the dogs are excellent watch dogs, I didn't tell him that we are only dogsitting for a few days. I figured he didn't need to know that they would be going back home at the end of the weekend.
We occasionally have strangers come to our front door and ask if they could please come in and use our phone. I never let strangers come into our home like that, so don't worry, I didn't let him in.
This time, though, the man at the door was dressed fairly well but spoke like a snake. He was too smooth, too slick. His spiel about how he was trying to find a friend's house but didn't know the address and needed to use a phone to call his friend to get directions was too rehearsed, and the smile that went along with it was not sincere. The backpack he was carrying may have indicated that he has hopped from town to town as a wanderer. I don't know.
I was thankful that we had installed a separate lock onto our screen door many years ago, so this man couldn't easily force his way into our home.
I don't often call 9-1-1, but there have been a few times that I have found the need since we moved into our neighborhood.
This was one of those times.
After the man realized that I wasn't going to let him into my home, he asked if I thought there were any neighbors who would consider allowing him to use their phone.
I told him "no."
Unfortunately, after he left my house with a smug smile on his face, he walked down to the apartment complex across the street. From knowing someone who has lived in those apartments, I knew that none of the front doors contained screen doors, and many of the apartments are filled with single moms and children. That made me nervous for those families down the street.
So, off to the phone I went. I called 911, knowing that at 9:30 in the morning on a weekday, the police wouldn't be very busy yet, at least not in our little town. Within a few minutes, I noticed a police car parked at the top of the apartment complex.
A few minutes later, the two police officers escorted the wandering stranger back onto the street and seemed to be pointing to where he could find the nearest pay phone...or something. I don't really know what they were discussing, but I saw some pointing going on in several directions.
He wasn't arrested by the police, and the officers watched him for a minute to see that he was walking down the street, away from the apartment complex and my home.
At first, I felt a little bit embarrassed that I had called 911. After all, he wasn't arrested, and apparently the officers hadn't needed to be rough with him. The stranger was cooperative.
But something still hadn't been quite right. I could feel it in my gut. In the end, I was glad that I had felt led to call 911 and request officers to check out the situation. That way, they knew he was in town, in case there were problems that happened later in the day or in the days to come. At least the police would have a reference point to where he had been earlier in the day.
Like I mentioned earlier, several times a year we have people ask if they can come into our home to use our telephone. I always say "no." I've offered to call someone for them, but with me inside the house and them outside, and they've all turned me down, so I know that their requests to use our phone are not legitimate.
But this time, while this stranger gave me the creeps, I was very thankful to have Sophie and Sadie express their displeasure that he had come to the door.
And I was thankful that this time, we had a dog.
Oops - two dogs.
That don't belong to us, but treated our family well on a day that started with a stranger asking to come inside our home.
How do you protect your home from strangers who may wish to do harm to you or your family members? Do you have a dog for this purpose?
Hi! I'm Julieanne!