Coffee is a good thing. Really good.
Last night, or more accurately, in the middle of the night, we woke up because one of the smoke detectors downstairs was first chirping, then talking. Anyone who has ever heard that sound knows how loud and annoying that chirping can be. Add in the voice saying, “battery low”, “battery low”, and at 2:30 in the morning it’s enough to make you lose your grip.
At first it’s disorienting. You wake up not really sure what’s happening. You notice the dogs are also sitting up, heads tilted to the side, looking at the door. What’s going on? Then you hear the first chirp. Damn. You know instantly what it is. You think to yourself, it’s loud, but not that loud. After all, it’s one of the detectors downstairs, so it’s not even on the same floor. Maybe, possibly, hopefully, we can all just go back to sleep and deal with it in the morning. You coax the dogs under the covers hoping the little extra bit of blanket buffer will help them to not hear it. They just get under, you just lay down again, and… chirp. Uhg! The dogs are back up, the little girlie is starting to shake as loud noises really bother her. Double damn. Then you think, OK, we’ll shut the door. That will help create an even greater sound barrier. Dogs calmed and back under, lay the heads back down on the pillows, close the eyes, start to drift off and… chirp… “battery low”. Oh for crying out loud! Time to get up.
We did. We got up, we went downstairs, we took the backup battery out, put a new battery in, headed back up to bed, and then… we couldn’t find the little girl. Relieved after putting in the battery we were back up stairs, Weston following, with the thought of how nice it would be to actually go back to sleep. Then, we realized Riley wasn’t with us. Weston was right there, but Riley was not. We started calling her and looking around. Something about her little personality is that when she gets frightened by noise she hides, and she shakes, and she never barks. For a dog that barks all the time in order to communicate with the people around her in all other situations, she doesn’t utter a sound when she’s scared. Not a peep. The couple of times we’ve accidentally locked her in a room she has never barked. Once, after shutting her in our room accidentally, we didn’t realize it for like three or four hours or something. We’d left the house and been gone, gotten home, and were going about our business when we realized she didn’t greet us when we got home. That was unusual because that’s when she’s normally at her loudest. We looked around and found her in the bedroom, sitting there on the floor behind the door just looking up, all tiny and cute. Not a peep out of her to let us know she was in there. So she’s very quiet when she’s scared. Meaning she’s hard to find. She’s also tiny. She can curl up in small spaces and she’s hard to see. And during a crisis, you know, a crisis to her, she usually goes downstairs to the media room or to our bedroom and curls up in a chair or on the bed next to a pillow, but she didn’t. The media room is downstairs so it was too close to the sound that was scaring her. The bedroom is where we’d been, so that was not for her either. We looked everywhere. Under couches, under beds, in closets she could get in, under tables, in corners… everywhere. She wasn’t in the house. We’d opened the doggie door since the dogs got up with us during this whole ordeal so the next logical step was to look outside. It was a bit stormy, though at that time it wasn’t raining, thank goodness, and we looked out. We couldn’t see her. Not anywhere out there. We stepped out on the deck and looked around, nothing. Then the little bits of panic and illogical thinking start in… Where is she? Did she somehow get out? If she did she doesn’t have her collar on because the pups “get naked” at night. If she did get out she’s hiding or running trying to get back to us, or… or…. or…. and on it goes in your head. We weren’t, either of us, mad at all. We started to get scared ourselves. We started to worry about her.
Finally I started to wander the yard on the periphery and found her, behind a huge tree near the back of the yard. She was hiding in the farthest point from the sound inside the house. She didn’t want to come in, even though the sound was gone. She was still shaking. And she was wet from the dripping leaves. I had to pick her up and carry her in. Luckily she calmed down pretty quickly when she realized the bad sound was gone and things were back to normal. Except by then it was nearly 3:00 in the morning and there’s nothing normal to the humans living in this house about being awake at 3:00 in the morning.
Adventures abound. Which is why coffee is such a good and lovely thing in the morning. Especially mornings after big nighttime adventures.