Our pet life settled into a routine whilst we were at the shop. The chickens produced eggs as did the geese. These I sold in the shop. Trog, the cat, lived on top of the computer whilst the dogs mainly waited for us to finish work so we could go for a walk, with only the occasional game outside. The geese, having had a second hatching of goslings, had taken to attacking them when they were outside so the dogs were a little wary.
We had an environcycle sewerage system at the store. It was a complicated system with blowers and fans and an alarm system in case of malfunction. A man came to check it every six months to ensure that it was functioning correctly and to add whatever chemicals were necessary. This fellow was petrified of the dogs so Roger accompanied him into the back yard whilst he did his work.
The next thing I know is that the fellow raced into the shop in a state of high agitation “Your husband needs you. I don’t think he is too well.” He said as he ran out the front door leaving me alone in the shop.
I raced out to find my husband with green bile oozing from his mouth collapsed on the back patio with both dogs lying by his side. I checked him out thinking he must have had a heart attack (he had a good pulse though a trifle rapid) or a stroke. I got him onto his side and when I was sure he was breathing okay I raced into the shop and locked the doors. This was the only occasion in our four-year tenure at the shop that we closed at a time we were supposed to be opened.
I called the ambulance and had the usual argument with the operator as to how the ambulance could find us and raced back to Roger. He was still as I had left him. I decided that I had better lock the dogs in our bedroom and leave our front door open for the ambulance when it arrived. The dogs were not at all happy at this strategy particularly when they heard the strange voices and the noises of equipment being brought in and out.
When the ambulance left with Roger on board I followed shortly afterwards having let the dogs out.
On my return from the hospital I found Jerry sitting outside our front door waiting for my return. He had been so stressed that he had jumped out the bedroom window destroying the flyscreen in the process. He had also demolished the side fence in his efforts to get to the place he’d last heard my voice. He stayed there as he knew this is where we would return to.