Doberman danger. The customer had a
pair of large dogs reputed to be so fearsome that the house bell
was at the gate rather than on the door. A ring of the bell
produced distant furious barking. With the dogs safely locked up
the owner would come and open the gate. I'd been there a few times
so was familiar with the procedure. On this occasion I rang the
bell but heard no response at all, not even a whimper. Hmm...nobody
in, must have taken the dogs for a walk, now what? It was important
to leave a 'no reply' card to let the customer know that I had kept
the appointment. If I left it on the gate someone might remove it.
Also it would have advertised the fact that no one was at home. The
card had to go in the letter box. There wasn't one on the gate so I
cautiously opened it and started on the journey to the front door,
which seemed miles away.
I was about at the halfway mark when the dogs came bounding
towards me. "This is it" I thought, "I'm gonna get torn limb from
limb". The dogs surrounded me and I waited for the first bite. What
I got instead was a big lick on the hand followed by lots more
licks and alot of fuss. To my great surprise and relief the dogs
were as friendly as any little lap dog. The owner eventually came
out. I apologised for letting myself in and explained why I had
done so. "That's alright" she replied "But please don't tell anyone
the dogs are friendly, I tell everyone they're ferocious. If word
gets out about this the dogs won't be a deterrent anymore". I
assured her that the secret was safe with me. On future visits to
the house I still went through the pretence of the 'vicious dogs'
procedure just in case anyone was watching. This was more years ago
than any dog lives for so I reckon that I haven't broken faith by
telling the story now.
When I was with the rental company,
call times were arranged by the receptionists and they fell into
three categories...the call times that is...not the receptionists.
These were: AM, OPEN TIME and PM. On this particular day things had
gone well and I'd finished all my AM and open time calls by
12.15pm. This left only one PM call to do for the rest of the day.
Strictly speaking, PM calls were started after lunch at around
2.00p.m but there I was with just this one call left. It was worth
taking a chance on the customer being at home since it had gone
I knocked at the door and, shortly after, heard a scraping noise
on the gravel pathway. The German Shepherd dog that rounded the
corner pinned me into the doorway and we ended up facing each other
in a kind of 'stand off' situation. The rules soon became clear.
I'd be OK so long as I didn't move. Every time I tried to leave,
the dog came at me again. The immediate future looked bleak. I
could be stuck in this predicament for the next couple of hours or
so. I reckoned my hair would probably have turned white by the time
the customer came home.
As luck would have it, he was actually in and had heard the
noise. What seemed like a very long time had probably only been a
few minutes...but that was enough. The dog's owner apologised for
the scare but, quite rightly, pointed out that had I called a
little later as expected then the dog would have been shut away. I
made a show of treating the matter casually and set about the
repair. However, the cup of tea he offered me gave the game away.
My shaking hand rattled the cup on the saucer like a tambourine.
What a good job the customer was at home! I repaired the TV and the
rest of the day was mine. I needed a few hours off after that.
The address was difficult to find. A
house name somewhere in a long country road was all I had. At last,
I thought I'd found the right place. It had no name on it but, by a
process of elimination, there was a good chance that this was it.
It was a sunny summers day and the owners of the house could be
seen working in the back garden. As I walked towards them I saw a
Dachshund attached to a stake by a length of heavy duty chain. The
chain thickness seemed a bit over the top for such a little dog. It
soon became apparent why this was. "Excuse me" I shouted, "I'm
looking for......" I never got any further than that. I'd made the
mistake of standing within reach of the chained up dog. After its
initial surprise the dog flew at me, the heavy chain didn't impede
the small dog's speed all. It bit me on the hand between the thumb
and forefinger and the blood started to drip. I hastily got out of
range as the owner approached. I assured him the bite was only a
scratch (drops of blood were on the patio now) and asked,
"Are you Mr ...?"
"Ah no they live next door" he replied.
"Oh..right..thanks..sorry to have troubled you" I said and made my
way to the right address.
I'd been bitten for nothing and still had to go and carry out
the repair. When out of earshot I began to mutter awful things
about dogs, the job in general and the fact that some people never
think about blokes like me who have to find their houses. The
incident caused a trip to the doctors and an anti-tetanus jab.
What a nosey dog! A very posh lady
living in a very up-market house in a very desirable area. Even the
miniature dog had a really well groomed look and was obviously the
customer's pride and joy. I got on with the repair with that little
dog getting everywhere. I used to hang my soldering iron on a bit
of chain which was attached to my tool-case lid. The curious dog
wanted to know what the soldering iron was and put its nose in
contact with the hot element in order to give it the 'sniff' test. It wasn't a serious
burn but I did hear a slight sizzling noise as the dog's wet nose
came into contact with the heat.
The dog didn't make any noise other than a slight grunt,
probably the doggie equivalent of 'OUCH' or something like that! It
started licking its nose and rubbing it with its paws as went out
into the garden.
I finished the TV repair and stood with the lady looking out
into her super garden. The dog was still doing the nose licking and
paw rubbing bit.
"I don't know what's the matter with that dog" said the lady,
looking rather concerned.
"Hmm ...I don't know" I said feeling a bit guilty, "Maybe it got
stung by something?" If my name had been Pinoccio I suppose my nose
would have grown an inch. Well, if I'd have said the dog had
sniffed the soldering iron there would have been a disagreement
between me and the lady as to who's fault it was, probably even a
complaint to the company.