Weve all suffered what in polite company are called brain bloopers.
Youll be driving along and space out and blow through a red light or a stop sign.
You put dinner on the stove and then take the dog for a walk and end up talking to neighbors for an hour while dinner chars and your kitchen walls turn black.
So one can excuse Darlene Welsh of Churubusco for having an absent-minded moment last week, and she can thank her dog for making sure everything turned out OK.
Welsh had come home in the early evening and pulled her car into her garage. Welshs garage, though, is a bit of a tight fit, so, as she often does, after she pulled into the garage, she put the car in park, got out of the car and checked to make sure the car was all the way in the garage.
She didnt want to close the garage door and have it land on the rear end of the car.
Indeed, shed pulled in far enough, so she closed the car door, hit the button on the garage door opener and walked into the house.
Throughout the evening, Welshs dog, Mac, a West Highland terrier that is normally calm, was acting a little strange. She wondered whether he wasnt feeling well. That happens with dogs, you know. They eat things they find on the ground from time to time and it makes them sick.
Welsh watched some television and later that evening went to bed, and Mac jumped in bed with her as he usually does.
Around 3:45 a.m., though, Mac began to act strange again. Welsh woke up to find the dog standing over her, possibly with at least one leg on her, acting perturbed. Welsh had no idea what the dog wanted.
So Welsh got up and took the dog downstairs, planning to let the dog into the backyard. Instead, a perturbed Mac went to the garage door.
It was only then that Welsh realized what was going on. The night before, when she had gotten out of the car to make sure it was all the way in the garage, she had closed the car door, closed the garage door and, in a brain blooper, gone inside, leaving the car idling for nearly nine hours.
Because she has hearing problems and the car idled quietly, she never noticed.
Mac was the only one who did.
Welsh tried to open the door leading to the garage, but it seemed to be stuck, like there was a lot of pressure on it. She finally got the door open and hit the button to open the garage door and then called 911.
Police and then fire crews arrived. The carbon monoxide level inside the house was 200 parts per million, about 20 times normal.
The fire department installed fans to air out the house and told Welsh to keep her windows open for several hours to let the house air out.
In all of this, Mac the terrier didnt seem to get a lot of credit, but Welsh does have some suggestions for other people who might make the same mistake.
Get a CO detector, have a good seal in the door between the house and the garage, and get a smart dog.
And dont forget to turn off your car.