Actually, I rarely go into the basement. Sometimes I just need a few screws or put something down that I later want to dispose of completely. But that doesn’t happen often. Not that I’m scared of the basement, quite the opposite. It’s just not nice there.
Now Mowgli had gotten into a strange behavior: when we came back from a walk, he ran straight to the cellar door and barked. This went on for several days. As I struggled to convince him there was nothing, the crescendo of his barking grew to a deafening volume that made me sweat at the neighbors and opened the basement door for the mate to see for himself THERE IS JUST NOTHING . He ran down the stairs, looked around briefly, came back – and kept barking. Same game the next day. After a few days I noticed a foul smell when I opened the cellar door and in my imagination I saw a fat dead half-decayed rat with long yellow teeth lying on the cellar floor. Finally I made the bold decision to retrieve the rat and followed Mowgli to the basement. A rat was nowhere to be seen, but there was water on the basement floor, which was rotting away. It had already penetrated the walls and black edges had formed under boxes that were standing around there… A disaster! Even more so if it hadn’t been discovered!
Why didn’t I immediately think of checking it out myself? I have to admit I didn’t take Detective Mowgli seriously. Also, my head was full of important things. And somehow I didn’t want to face the suspected horror either… – did I expect it to go away by itself? I was semi-conscious, but my dog was wide awake. Now that I’ve figured out the reason for his report and taken care of it, we’ve been able to get home late at night without the neighbors having to fall out of bed.
Since I like to learn a lesson from such incidents, this time it goes something like this: Even if something doesn’t belong to me but is allowed to be used, it’s my responsibility to ensure that it is in good condition. It doesn’t make sense to only pay attention to the order in the apartment if the air is permeated with the stench coming from the basement. Not caring is like pulling the covers over your head when you suspect a monster is outside. It’s about taking responsibility – with all the consequences. The place where I live is my habitat, my sphere. And it should be orderly and beautiful, so that it is a pleasure to be in it. Where there is joy, there will also be love and harmony. My sphere becomes a space where the soul can breathe.
The second lesson I take is that I had better listen to Mowgli. Well, there are still people who see an animal like my dog as a kind of self-breathing machine running a specific program that can be influenced through patient conditioning. But Mowgli’s behavior raises questions: If it wasn’t a rat (or some other animal that might fit his prey scheme) but water, what reason did he have to alert me? Why did he persist in his opinion and not be dissuaded – until I looked into the matter? Why is he happy now and not barking anymore, although the smell is still clearly noticeable when we enter the house?
Well, I’m curious about the explanation…