Friday, 20 February 2015

The Rescue of Elliott

The neighbours were firecrackering up a storm. Elliott was going crazy, trying to dig into furniture, hide behind furniture and generally make a nuisance of himself. Oh yeah, and climb up the furniture and burrow his way into the sofa which was expressly forbidden. I let him sleep outside in the hall. He had already toppled a stack of CDs and upturned my chair and really, I just wanted to rest and watch really stupid shows on youtube without this dog jumping up in fright every two minutes.

Well, in the early hours of the morning when I was still in the deeps of sleep, I could hear Dadda shouting. Apparently he had discovered Elliott on the sofa. He shooed him out into the porch. I turned over and fell asleep again, briefly noting the fireworks that were going off like gunshots and wondering what Elliott was doing because, well, he was quiet. Not scratching at the door trying to get in or howling away.

Anyway, when I finally untangled myself from the sheets and sleepwalked through the morning chores and went to take him for his walk...I realised he was under Mum's car. Deep under it. So deep that he had got his head stuck in the undercarriage. I tried to poke him out with a stick. He growled, snapped and bit the stick. I threw a bucket of water under the car (Elliott hates to be wet).

No cigar.

At this point I started to get worried. Mummy's car has lain in state in the porch for nearly two years now. At some point the battery stopped working and Dadda stopped trying to start it every day and run a random wet cloth over its body. It lay neglected there and the tires sighed and flattened.

I called Dadda out and he suggested that we try to lift the car to allow for Elliott to scramble out. Well, Mum's car is heavy. Real heavy. We couldn't lift it a centimetre, let alone an inch.

I declared I would go out look for the car wash guys. Maybe they could help lift the car so Elliott could get out. I went to take out some money first. If I got those guys over, I would have to pay them for their services. I worried about Elliott - who had been stuck there since morning. It was now past 3 in the afternoon. Which meant that he had neither had water nor food in that time and the ground, well, the ground was incredibly hot. Poor, frightened silly dog.

Wouldn't you know it, it being the first day of CNY, those overworked car wash guys had been given the day off.

My mind scrambled around in panic as I drove around blindly wondering who to ask for help.

Suddenly, unbidden an image came to my mind of this van that I sometimes see driving around the neighbourhood - Jaws Auto Rescue. I also thought of AAM of which I am still not a member. Never mind. I would try Jaws Auto Rescue first. I found the number online and called.

At first I didn't seem to be making any headway. The guy, Uncle George was clearly in the midst of celebrating. I had to shout over the phone to make myself heard. But, guess what? He was only a street away. So he came and although I had explained it badly, got the picture when he saw Elliott's legs sticking out from under the car. He was quick with the jack and lifted it up enough so the recalcitrant, much-embattled dog could scramble out. Elliott came out gratefully, wagged his tail at this stranger and then proceeded to follow him around sniffing at him. He also ran out to pee for a bit and then came back and ate his food with gusto and relish. The relish of a formerly trapped dog.

Uncle George filled all the tires...and then as he opened the car doors (which were stuck from not having been opened for over a year), he recoiled. The floor was submerged in slimy water. The car had been leaking for all this time and we had not been aware of it. Before this, we had been idly discussing selling the car. Now, he said, no one would buy it...all the circuits would be shot. We would have no choice but to sell it to the "kereta potong", the people who would buy the car for scrap.

I paid him (pay whatever you want, he said, then asked why I was paying so much) and then patted Elliott on the head and came back inside the house and ordered a pizza. Actually two. One for Dadda and one for me (since I am vegetarian for Lent). Elliott is resting comfortably on his green bed inside the house, fed, watered and well, having cleared his bladder and bowels by himself.

I am sitting at the computer, waiting for the pizza. After that, I think I will go out for a movie or something. It's miraculous how the right kind soul can just turn your day around.

But that is what Uncle George did, while filling me in on all the gossip of the neighbourhood. About the old man who kept the dog (Blackie who was a cute schnauzer that wandered free around the neighbourhood trying to make friends with the other dogs; Arnold was jealous of him) who died a couple of years ago, the car wash Rela guy who had also had a stroke and died (he was a friendly man who had once said to me when I went there for a car wash; miss, why you so fat-fat?).

Anyway, it was a good day. A good start to the Year of the Goat.

Gong Xi Fa Chai.

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