Monday, October 09, 2006

The 'Hood At 2 AM

There's nothing like waking up at 2 am by some strange noise only to realize that you're very old dog is peeing in the middle of your living room.
And I can't exactly get mad at him because he just can't hold it in anymore.
So I let him outside while I cleaned the carpet (which? So fun at 2 am with sleepy eyes and no glasses!).
Since we moved to this house 5 years ago, Auggie has run way twice. The last time was 2002. So, I never worry about letting him out because he just doesn't run off. We could leave him sitting on the front porch, go to the store and return an hour later to find him still there. On the front porch with a rather confused look on his face which can only be translated to I didn't know you guys left! Well, how's...zzzzz......... Because that is exactly how much interest he has in anything outside of our yard.
Which is why when I opened the door to call him back in and he wasn't there, I freaked. Well, first I stood frozen in place in my bare feet (which were frozen because our deck was wet and it was exactly feckin' freezing degrees out) staring out into the dark wondering if maybe I was imaging the whole thing because I do have a tendency to wild dreams which turn out to be completely false (I just spent 30 minutes trying to find that post I know I wrote about that crazy dream I had where someone stole an ice cream truck and kept driving it by our house with the music playing and the cops chasing them and I could hear my husband complaining to his boss because it was 4 am and then I finally decided to get up and see what was going on and it turned out to be a dream and then my husband thought that maybe I was a little crazy. But I can't find it so run-on sentence summary it is!). But once my toes started to turn blue, I realized it was true. 2:15 am and I was going to have to go hunt for my dog.
Any other time I would have crawled back into bed, mumbling about that crazy mutt and waited for him to come loping back, stub of a tail wagging and head down.
But Auggie is nearly 13 and has bad hips. One fall and he would be stuck outside in the cold until someone rescued him.
So out I went in my pj's and slippers. And in I went to change into pants and a sweater and sneakers because my neighbors have seen enough of my pj's and they were still up. And it was cold.
I grabbed a flashlight and started walking.
One of the nice things about my street is that it's fairly calm. Especially at 2:15 am.
It's also very very dark at 2:15 am.
And foggy.
And kind of creepy.

There is a wooded path that leads to a pond down the street from us. The entrance is only a few houses away and Auggie loves to go down there so I headed in that direction.
You know in scary movies when the victim, um... person starts walking all scared and shivery down some dark alley and you sit there and laugh because you could totally walk down there and not be scared?
I am not one of those people. I stood at the front of the path, staring into the trees and wondering just what could be lurking past where my flashlight could reach. I contemplated how I would react should some homicidal maniac jump out at me, away from where people might actually hear me clearly.
I decided that probably Auggie didn't go down that way. Maybe.
Whatever. I wasn't going down that way. Hell, I wouldn't even walk down the other side of the development because there weren't any street lights down there.
So I got in the van and started driving. Up one side and back down to the other end.
I learned that half my neighborhood stays awake all night. It was 2:30 am.
At the very end of the road, away from most of the houses, there sat a little townhouse. All dark except for the little black car with the two kids making out in the front seat.
In case you were wondering, if you ever interrupt 2 teenagers gettin' it on at 2:30 am to ask if they have seen a large black dog wondering by, you will get the finger. However, if you counter with a 'Does your mom know what you are doing right now?' you will receive a 'No ma'am. I'm sorry I didn't see your dog.'
Just for future reference. You know, should you ever find yourself looking for your dog at 2:30 am.
I got back to the house and my husband was standing on the porch waiting. He rolled his eyes when I told him I was too scared to go down to the pond. He took the flashlight and off he went, leaving me to imagine some homicidal maniac jumping out of a tree and tackling him.
Needless to say, he came back. Dog-less, but in one piece.
After another lap around the increasingly foggy neighborhood, we gave up and returned to bed. It was 3 am.

Auggie returned by 4 am. A little damp, tongue hanging out, and completely fine.

I wonder where he went. I wonder what he humped. I am even more grateful that he was fixed long ago.
I wonder if he saw those kids in that car.