Being the father of three girls, I have grown accustomed to squealing and screaming. The causes of said noises are varied, from fighting, insects, hairballs left by the cat, and, of course, any number of things which may be deemed as "gross".
In a category of it's own is the special scream which accompanies the appearance of a member of the arachnid family. This scream is of a pitch and volume which can only be heard by dogs and fathers. (Since most of us spend some amount of time in the doghouse, this shouldn't seem unusual).
My reaction to the spider scream is generally determined by the amount and volume of screaming. If the duration is short lived, I know it is small spider, and I need not bother. For the more intense screaming, my reaction generally takes one of the following forms:
1. Pick the spider up and throw it outside. This is usually not well received, as the spider may, of course, "get back in the house".
2. Swift execution of the death sentence upon said spider, carried out by the most expeditious means, be it paper towel or shoe. There was the one instance where I requested that someone get one of my guns. But, I digress.
Last night I asked the girls to let the dogs in.
With the Alaskan Malamutants weighing in at 100lbs each, and being of the rambunctious sort, this usually involves the two of them dashing in, and running around the house looking for any "treasures" that may have been left lying about, for which they might eat, or, at the very least, chew to shreds.
Last night, their entry was accompanied by the sound of screaming.
My first thought was that a spider, lying in wait, had taken advantage of the conveniently opened door, and was preparing to wreak havoc. Listening to the bedlam, and biding my time, I noted that the screams were interspersed with "come here, come here!" Finding it unlikely that my daughters would be attempting to coax a spider, I went to investigate.
As it turned out, THREE dogs had entered the house. The mutants, and a smaller black and white dog that looked like a cocker spaniel. He was running around, just as happy as could be. None of my neighbors have such a dog, so I was at loss as to his origins. Corralling him, I discovered from his tag that his name was Grady, and he had a phone number. The number yielded only voicemail, so a message was left.
But how did he get in the backyard? Surrounded by a six foot cedar fence, I found it unlikely that he had jumped in. He was fairly dirty, so perhaps he had dug his way in. Searching the perimeter of the fence, I didn't find any holes, but I did find six boards that were loose at the bottom, and could be pushed in, allowing a dog of his size easy access. Yet, the folks that live on that side have a little yappy foo foo dog. However, the teenage boys that live their have a gaggle of friend over all the time, so it seemed the most logical choice.
As luck would have it, Grady's owner was in fact visiting. He was very apologetic about the whole thing. I told him there was no need to be sorry, that I found we found the whole thing to be rather funny, and we were just glad to find his owner.
So, now I have a new scream to add to the list, under the heading "stray dog in the house".