Leon Dog Wonder, being an apartment-based dog, must be taken out to relieve himself numerous times a day. Its a routine now, which includes him coming into the study every night at around 10.30, crawling around my chair legs to sit between my feet and stare up at me with big brown eyes saying "Out. Now. Please?" If I´m still watching a movie he´ll do exactly the same thing, but place his head directly between me and the nailbiting ending I´m trying to absorb without his guilt-causing gaze.
And so every night I put on my shoes again, grab his lead, and perhaps even his flashing collar if I´m daring to enter the park after dark (something I only do with DrH, or on my bike, because riding hell for leather through a dark park full of dog-dug holes, with nothing to guide you but the intermittant flashing of a dying dynamo powered bike light and a red blinking dog collar in the distance is the only form of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants excitement you get in suburban Germany). And then I go down 2 floors, put the lead on the dog, check I have poo-bags and go out into the night.
These nightly walks are NEVER more than 20 minutes. I mean, hell, I´m a few minutes from bed myself, the last thing I want to do is get all that endorphine aerobic rush stuff going on. And trust me, a slow walk, stopping so that my canine companion can sniff and pee on the lowest branch of every second bush is enough to start that for me. So quite often, especially if it is a bit later, these walks are less than 10 minutes.
But in the time that I´ve gone out and come back, someone in my house comes out and double locks the front door. EVERY TIME. In the TEN MINUTES that I´m gone. I don´t even understand why they do it. Ok, so its a rule in the house here that the front door gets locked after 8 o´clock. With a key. From the INSIDE.
Because it´s not, like, enough that you need a key to get in from the outside anyway, due to the lack of doorknob. No, they want to make sure that in the case of a fire we all BURN only inches from salvation as we need our keys with us when we´re running through the house, in our pajamas, in a mad panic trying to escape the death trap that the house has become.
Am I being to melodramatic? Well, maybe a little. BUT THEY DO IT. In every house I´ve lived in in this country we have to double lock the doors at night. "`Cause if, like a robber comes in, y´know, and he could pick the lock the first time, well, y´know, he´d have to spend a whole extra 20 seconds to get it to turn the second time y´know?" Chew, chew, spit out gum, thems thinking folk, thems is.
So why does someone do it to me every night when I´m out? It really is not "Oh, yes, 11pm, there´s that nice, attractive, couldn´t be a day over 23, Aussie coming down the stairs with the clackety-clack of those little doggy nails from that cute and clever little mutt. She´ll be going for a quick walk, come back and double lock the door when she gets in."
No, its "There´s that chick and her damn dog again. Quick, while she´s out, double lock the door, turn all the lights out and pretend no one´s here. Maybe she´ll get the hint and fuck off."