Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wild Kingdom

It's been many years since my life has been complicated by the wilds of nature. Not since the apartment in the hood have I been kept awake at night by the vocalizations of the rodent family.
Until last night.
Last night I was shaken from my slumber by a loud squeak... it sounded across between a bird and someone squeezing a large rat with vice grips - so, yeah, not a pleasant sound. Azmo was immediately out of his crate and bolting downstairs.
This was 2:45 in the morning.
I tried to ignore the whines of the dog for the next 20 minutes, but I eventually gave up and stumbled downstairs to let him out. Upon reaching the bottom of the deck stairs he tilted back his head and began to bark. All along the right-hand side of the yard, like a caged beast (which, technically, I guess he is) he ran the length of the fence - 180 feet of it - barking.
At 3:10, I finally got him quieted down and inside, where he ran to the dining room and whined at the window. Eventually, he tromped upstairs, jumped between Kate and I, and put his head down.
At 3:25 the squeaking began again, and off went the dog bounding from living room to dining room alternating between piteous whines and full-on growls. Being a sucker for punishment, I let him back outside and followed him with a flashlight. While I didn't see a fucking thing, he apparently did and once again went about trying his very canine best to wake the neighborhood. Being the conscientious neighbor and dog-owner that I am, I quietly smoked my cigarette and let him get it out of his system.
If I wasn't going to sleep, no one was going to sleep.
At 3:45 he was back in his crate with the door closed. I never close the door. I like the idea that if he hears something suspicious, he can get out and deal with the situation. He sees the closed door and assumes it's locked, so I figure this time I can get some sleep.
3:47AM - SQUEAKCHITTERCHITTERSQUEAK
3:47:02AM - Azmo through open the door of his crate and took the stairs 4 at a time. Well, I don't know that he took them 4 at a time. I was in bed, after all, and not counting how many steps he was skipping on his way down to the first floor. I rather like the image of this red 75-pound blur barely touching pad to every fourth step in an effort to rush to defend his territory.
I'm building this up too much, aren't I?
I tried to ignore the whining this time, but every time he would quiet down the SQUEAK would re-appear and set him back off. In addition to that, there's apparently a large owl that hunts around our house. He joined in the chorus about 3:50...
4:00AM - Dog in crate. Crate closed. Crate LOCKED.
4:02AM - SQUEAKCHITTERCHITTERCHITTERCHITTER
4:02:01AM - The dog whines. I growl something esoteric about the dining habits of some of our Asian cousins and Azmo FINALLY quiets down for the night...

In retrospect, I guess I could have closed our bedroom windows so we wouldn't hear the animals outside and saved myself a lot of sleeplessness and you a lot of time having to read this.
Look, I never claimed to be the smartest tool in the she-... erm... yeah.

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