Mr. Newman and His Lucky Escape

By Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My father, always one to share a tale of his experiences as a garage door repair man, sat around the dinner table one evening told us about the time he almost got bitten by some fearsome guard dogs at a client’s house.

My father, Jack Newman, was well known for his residential garage door service in our neighborhood, and was often called to repair doors at short notice or in an emergency situation where people were stuck with their cars locked inside.

On this occasion the problem was apparently a stuck garage door which wouldn’t open. The house was large with a double garage set on some remote land outside the city and the owners were apparently quite wealthy.

On arrival, my father met with the owners and immediately got to work. He could hear a couple of large dogs in the backyard and saw some signs warning possible intruders of the dangers of trespassing. The signs featured pictures of two ferocious looking Dobermans, all pointed ears and large teeth, looking menacing and ready to tear apart any unwelcome guests.

The faulty electric door opener and the remote control

As my father worked on the door problem, which turned out to be a faulty electric motor on the overhead door opener mechanism, which he quickly identified, estimated the cost of replacement and once approved went ahead with the repair, he continued to hear the large dogs barking in the distance and considered what a large backyard this house must have.

On finishing the repair and making sure the remote control opener still matched with the receiver to operate the door when pressed, my father went to find the owners to let them know that the repair had been finished. Forgetting about the dogs for a second, my father went through the door which linked the garage to the backyard, and suddenly found himself confronted by two dogs running straight towards him at top speed.

My father froze, unable to move, and then found himself almost bent double as the two dogs reached him, teeth showing, and tongues out as they jumped towards him. My father was in hysterics as he looked at the two miniature poodles complete with ribbons in their hair, intent on licking him and being stroked. He could still hear the large Dobermans barking in the neighbor’s backyard some distance away.

As the owners appeared and saw my father laughing and being licked to death by their prize poodles, they explained that the signs were just a deterrent and they relied on the barking of their neighbors’ dogs to justify the warning signs, whilst their prize pooches provided the early warning system by alerting the large dogs next door.

Prized poodles

My father said his goodbyes and on his way home considered the guard dogs and how the neighbors and the dogs sub-consciously worked as a team, one providing the big barks and frightening teeth and the other providing the small ears and barks as the early warning, alerting the large dogs to potential danger. The thought of this reminded him how much easier life can be when people work together and help each other.

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