The shadowed figures were walking slowly with cautious stealth and talking across the street to each other in an apparently Middle Eastern language sprinkled with English.
One was using his phone as a torch and as the three converged towards the entrance to our driveway and a now discernible slowly moving dark shape, its beam reflected a shimmer of glass or plastic.
Now the exchanges were becoming urgent and still unintelligible until an abrupt exclamation in English fed a sudden apprehension of what was taking place.
"Let's go, give it up. It's hopeless"
'We can't give it up' replied a more assertive voice, "if we go he can be run over and killed."
As they spoke, the shape moved fully into the rays from the trio of headlights and was revealed to be a large dog, likely a German Shepherd. I could now see that the reflected glimmer was from an Elizabethan Collar.
Putting aside any conjecture or apprehension concerning the three people, my first concern was for the security of the two cat enclosures down the side of the house, which could be vulnerable to the possible rampages of a hostile or fearful canine.
Quickly throwing on some clothes and shoes and leaving the house lights off, I quietly opened the door and slowly advanced down the steps with the intent and hope of not alarming the dog.
Fool I may be but I knew this was not a time to rush in.
To be continued....
A Story in episodes of fate, perseverance and stubbornness, cultural divides, bureaucratic indifference and the occasional satisfaction of surmounting the odds.
Sunday, 2.40 a.m. Wake to the dogs barking.
It is not as uncommon as we would wish; the interrupted sleep, the disturbance of the night,
Abby and Blinky demonstrating any one of their variety of barks, ranging from annoyance at the nocturnal activities of the indoor cats, to bullying demands to be let out of their quarters for a toilet break or sometimes Blinky merely exercising his five kilogram small dog syndrome.
While still annoying, the frequency of such assertive displays had, partly due to our new experiment of ignoring them, gradually abated almost to the extent of giving some reliance that any sudden outburst might indeed need to be heeded.
Only three weeks had passed since the early Sunday hours were suddenly pierced by a raucous Abby and Blinky outcry in response to what can conveniently be described as domestic disturbance involving the new next door neighbours. Mindful of the resolution of that conflict, which saw the arrival of five police cars, a paddy wagon and an ambulance we were prepared to respond to any indication of alarm from Abby and Blinky. In truth we expected it.
Now, this 2.40 a.m. cacophony seemed to message a stressful urgency.
Coming to them immediately I realised the dogs were training all their attention towards the street and distraughtly directing me to the front verandah.
The darkness of the cul de sac was invaded by a flood of light directed from what seemed to be three cars cross parked at the top of the intersection. I could distinguish two or three people moving separately around the edges of the circle of light.
To be Continued