“Good night Michael!”
“Good night Gregory!”
“Good night Mom!”
“Good night Dad!”
“Good night Boys! Sleep tight!”
“Good night Opie!”
“Yeah, Good night Opie!”
And all the lights are out. We sleep with the windows open. Yes, we live in the city, but the distant wail of sirens and the occasional person driving by with their music blasting is our lullaby.
My husband is the first to drift off. Eventually, I have to shake him into a new position. His snores are drowning out the truck horn sounding in the distance. Finally, it’s quiet and we drift off into that deep comfortable sleep, the kind you crave after a long and busy day — all muscles relaxed, deep in the cocoon of your warm bed, boneless relaxation.
I sleep , but the sound of Opie’s nails on the wood floor shift me to drowsy wakefulness. What is he up to? He’s fully house trained, but I have little boys who get up in the middle of the night to pee. It’s hard for me to countenance that our 8 month old puppy can “hold it” until his 6:45 AM walk. I look at the clock. It’s 4 AM. I wonder if the 2 hours and 45 minutes sleep is worth, the “clean up” if it turns out he’s picked up the boys’ late night habits.
It’s not. I sit up in bed. Opie is standing at the window peering intently outside. His tail is up, not curved, but straight up like an exclamation point. We have french doors with window side panels in our room. He’s looking out of the open side panel. There’s something out there.
Then I hear it. A low almost inaudible growl. Opie is not happy about whatever is skulking about in the ivy. He hasn’t even noticed that I’ve swung my legs out of the bed and am standing next to him. He’s intent on the darkness. Of course, I can’t see anything. Whatever is out there hasn’t crossed the motion sensitive backyard light yet. When or if it does, Opie will wake the entire neighborhood with his doggy outrage.
“Opie, go to bed!” He looks at me, clearly contemplating ignoring me. He looks back out the window and gives a soft “Woof!”
I close the window panel. ” Go to bed, Opie!”
Opie turns and goes back to his bed. So do I.
I crack the window panel near my head and just then catch a strong whiff of the scent that must have woken Opie!
I close and latch the window.
I make certain the latch is set on both windows.
Through the window I can hear Wednesday, the little terrier next door. Obviously, she’s caught the scent as well.
For now, we’ve dodged the skunk.