This is my dog, Sierra…
And this is the story…
We had been living in an unbelievable kaminica in Poznan, 100 years old and a huge neighborhood for history regarding the 1956 uprisings in Poznan (I’ll write about that another time). Our flat was smack in the center of the city. We were just a 1-minute walk from the trams and a 5-minute walk from the Opera House, fountain, and Adelyne’s Castle. Well, techinically it’s the Imperial Castle, but Adelyne grew up calling it her castle—we haven’t changed the name ;). We were also only a 15-20 minute walk from the old square (Stary Rynek). Needless to say, we loved where we lived.
Enjoy a few shots of Poznan here:
Above: City Hall located in the Old Square
Above: Tram living—Adelyne hardly rode in a car until about 3 years of age.
Above: Opera house
Above: Playing in the fountain
Above: The Imperial Castle, aka, Adelyne’s Castle
Ooooh. And totally rocking, we also lived just a 10-minute walk from the BEST outdoor market in the city! Fresh veggies and fruit to die for. Heavenly.
But, alas, our fairytale neighborhood had to come to an end. Our landlords wanted to move back into their flat-that meant we had to move out. Totally bummed. But what could we do?
So, as prices for rent in Poznan were soaring, we looked just outside the city for a place.
And we found a great place. It was actually a duplex, and much of the interior was wooden. Very beautiful and the neighborhood peaceful.
Here was a winter walk in our new neighborhood:
The thing is, we were the only foreigners. You could be 20 blocks from our home and stop and ask someone passing, “Do you know where the foreigners are?” and you would be directed straight to our house.
Funny stories…Once my husband was walking back from the nearby sklep (market) and tipped his head and said, “Dzien dobry,” to a passing elderly lady. She stopped him and said, “Who are you? Do I know you? Why are you saying hi to me?!”
Richard, amused, answered, “Well, ma’am, my name is Richard. Now you know me. Have a good day.” And he walked on—she was left staring after him in his wake.
Another funny story—Adelyne, our blue-eyed angel, was riding her bike through the neighborhood and saying “Dzien dobry” to all that we passed. No one smiled or even acknowledged her, so she started to say, “Hi!” instead. When no one continued to respond, she finally stopped, looked at us, and said, “I don’t think that they speak ANY language in this country!”
Let me just say…it’s very different living in a foreign country at times.
But let me get back to how my dog saved me…Again, remember that we are in a neighborhood outside of the city and EVERYONE under the sun knows that we are the only foreigners around.
And this is what happened…
I was home alone with Adelyne (my husband travels a lot) and I was taking out my key to get into my gate (you had to use your key to even get through the gate). And that’s when a van of men stopped right next to me. I tried to nonchalantly get inside of the gate as fast as I could and shut it behind me. Now, mind you, the gate is only 4 feet high. So it’s not as if they couldn’t jump it. But at least there was a barrier there.
This van of men started to talk to me. They did something very suspicious. They pulled out car documents and told me that they had found them and asked were they mine. (Car documents are a VERY big deal in Poland. You must have them to drive your vehicle. So to lose them is a very big deal)
I kindly but curtly informed them that they were not mine. But thank you for asking.
I knew that these men knew they were not my documents.
I turned around and walked quickly to my front door, in my house, and locked it.
They did not follow. But I was not fooled.
At 4am, in the pitch darkness of the very next morning, a car slammed to a stop in front of our house and I heard men and footsteps. I knew what was coming—they were coming. To our house. Probably to rob us. And hopefully not more.
And I did the only thing I knew to do (besides pray). I let my pitch-black dog out the front door, and locked the door behind her.
You see…I have a VERY big black dog. She is a giant schnauzer. Now, to be honest, she stands as high as a horse but is usually as gentle as a lamb. The people outside of our gate at 4am that morning, however, did not expect her. Nor did her gentleness come out.
As I heard approaching noises, I also heard my dog. Her shackles were up and her growl was just the right amount of “Get out of here” menacing.
She barked wildly and began running. And before I knew it, feet were stomping in the direction opposite of my door, back towards the gate, and a car was roaring off.
Yep. Jesus used my giant dog to save us that night. And, boy, am I ever glad!
Oh…and a van full of suspicious men never approached our house again.
Well done, Sierra…Well done.
Needless to say, we’ll keep this horse around, eh?
Future robbers: Beware!