Thursday, 21 November 2013

The midnight visitor

The night before last, I wasn't tired.  Not even a bit!

I tried playing mindless computer games (normally a clincher for me).

I tried just laying in bed for a while.

I tried writing everything in my head down on paper.

I didn't end up asleep until around 1:30am.

Unsurprisingly, last night I was tired.  Okay, truthfully I was exhausted!  I've been a little busy lately, and the addition of a less-than-full night of sleep really wasn't helpful.

So when I went to bed last night I had that wonderful experience of collapsing into the mattress, feeling completely surrounded by blissful comfort.  Of course, I was asleep almost immediately.

Fast forward a little.  To just before midnight.  I was torn from my blissful slumber by my dogs going completely off their rockers!!!

Now, I need you to understand the sound that wrenched me from that peaceful oblivion.

Imagine a small dog barking.  No problem!  Everyone knows that sound.  It's annoying if the dog isn't yours, and annoying and embarrassing if it is.

Now, imagine, if you can, that sounds going up a couple of octaves.

This takes annoying small dog barking to high-pitched, small dog barking.

Now, you need to make it loud, of course, and add some significant yelping.  I'd imagine it might be a similar sound to what you'd get if a crocodile had attached itself to the dog's leg, and the dog was barking because there was something in its territory, and yelping because it was in pain.

I think you now have a bit of an idea of what awoke me, just before midnight, when I was in a deep, much-needed, blissful sleep.

I did what any dog owner would do (yes, that's my tongue in my cheek) - I yelled at the dog through the window.

No response whatsoever.  The bark-yelping continued completely unabated.

I put on my "now I'm really angry with you" voice and yelled again.

Nope.  Not even a flicker of acknowledgement.

A BIG sigh preceeds me throwing on something more appropriate (in case any of my shift-working neighbours, or those awoken by this awful ruckus were to investigate) and stomping outside.

Meanwhile the "crocodile has my leg and is in my territory" bark/yelping continues.

We have two little dogs.  A male, Frankie, and a female, Choccie.

Choccie is the one that normally wears the bark collar (although she's having a break for good behaviour at the moment.  That, and I haven't gotten around to putting it back on after their last bath.).

Frankie is a much more settled dog and rarely barks for longer than about 20 seconds.

You can imagine my surprise when Choccie comes up and submissively rolls over but the bark/yelping continues!

I try yelling at Frankie, using his name this time.

No response.  He's still losing the plot.

What on earth is going on here???

I go downstairs and finally get his attention... for a moment.

I don't know if it was a full moon last night (I didn't look - I just wanted to get back to sleep), but it was very bright, and I couldn't see anything around the place that would cause my dog to completely lose the plot like this.

Eventually (after getting and losing Frankie's attention about a dozen times) I walk over to the garden area where he keeps going.

I see nothing.

So Frankie helpfully decides to come right over and bark/yelp some more.

I finally see some movement.

It's not even in our yard!  It's on the other side of the fence, in our neighbour's yard, in the shadows.

And it's attempting to bury itself to get away from the awful noise my dog is making!

Folks, last night we had an echidna problem!  And it wasn't going to go away easily!

There's no way I was going to try to pick it up to move it along, and the dog was freaking the poor thing out, so it wasn't going anywhere.

What am I going to do???  I'm exhausted, my brain is definitely not kicking into gear and I am just about ready to strangle my dog.

Fine!  I'll lock the noisy thing under the house!

So I cajoled the dogs under the house and went in there with them for a minute.  I patted them and tried to calm them down (rather unsuccessfully really, but at least the barking had stopped!).  I hoped that somehow the echidna would get the hint and move on, preferrably quickly!

After a minute or two (I really didn't have much patience at that point), I let the dogs out (on the other side to where the echidna had been) and they ran around to the garden, thankfully not finding anything to bark at anymore.

I dragged myself back up to bed then lay there for about 10 minutes, unable to get back to sleep.

Stinkin' wildlife!

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