Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Balu raises a helluva hullabaloo and saves my skin

As regular salmagundi readers know, I occasionally take myself and my dogs off to the West Coast for an escape from the stultifying Valley heat and a wander along the beach.

We went there last night; and this morning, at dawn’s crack, the dogs and I took the long coast path, a gorgeous cliffside meander with eye-boggling views over the fantastic Atlantic, all the way to Pearl Bay. Pearl Bay is mainly a surfing spot, but the beach is endless and breathtakingly beautiful, and this morning there wasn’t a single other soul to be seen. It was simply glorious.

The sand on the Pearl Bay beach is soft and sucky, and the walking is hard and time-consuming, so when we finally got back to the parking area at the head of the beach, nature was calling me quite desperately.

I’m not keen to use the beach loos, as they’re often in a bit of a state, and this morning was no exception. So, crossing my legs, I took quite a bit of time to lay strips of loo-paper down on the nasty toilet seat before finally sitting down.

And that’s where I was, my pants around my ankles, having a long-overdue pee and indulging in a lovely sigh of relief, when a large pair of man’s hands pushed at the door (the lock of which was, of course, broken) and a deep voice shouted something angry and intimidating in Xhosa.

My brain went into overdrive. I was completely trapped and helpless – pants around ankles; in stall with broken lock, in cement toilet block with only one narrow way out; and nobody around for miles. I pushed back at the door and, in a voice I didn’t recognise, screamed, ‘Get away!!!’

And little Hullabaloo, who’d been innocently sniffing around in the bushes outside (and clearly hadn’t even been seen by my would-be attacker), went completely mad. She started barking and snarling like I’ve never heard her before, and the man immediately stopped pushing on the door. ‘Get him, Balu!!!’ I screamed, frantically trying to yank my pants up with one hand while I used the other to hold the door closed.

And she must have, because by the time I emerged, my pants wet (yes, I’d peed all over them) but mainly safely up around my waist, there was no sign of the interloper and Balu was leaping around in excited circles, barking her head off.

I assume the would-be assailant had been waiting in the men’s loos (which are just across a dividing partition from the women’s) for a likely victim, and he may even have gone back into them and slammed the door on my ravening hound, but I didn’t stop to find out. I ran away as fast as I could, not looking back, Balu and Sara hard on my heels – and Balu, dear thing, turning furious circles and barking hysterically all the way.

Well down the cliff path, I stopped and put my hands on my knees and panted my lungs out. I was crying a bit (shock, I suppose) and smelled like a urinal, and my heart felt like it was trying to crawl out of my chest, but I was in one piece.

And I said to Balu, ‘My darling Monster Baby, as soon as my ship comes in, I’m going to buy you an entire sofa, and you can eat it all yourself!’

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ali g said...

Your wonderful wonderful puppy. Hope she bit deeply in the right places!
After that I'd also let her eat the dining room table and chairs as well.
take care...

Claudine said...

Oh wow! Glad you made it out ok. That's awful.

I second Ali G on letting Balu eat whatever it is that crosses paths with her.

tonypark said...