White Dog was sleeping as she does every night, back pressed tightly against my legs. YoYoMa snored softly at the foot of the bed. Quinn, Nuka and Puff were in the office. In fact every one was settled on the sleep express to dreamland. Maybe because I am the momma I do not sleep soundly; I am awakened by the slightest sound of collar tags tingling or a different breathing pattern or sometimes just the spidey-sense that some one of the pups needs me after a bad dream.
Clearly around 3am I heard one of the White Dogs in the other room shake (jingling tags) then a throat cleared then a low growl. I was certain there was some kind of trouble when I heard a crash and shuffling. I was instantly awake, adrenaline pumping, issuing the command "LEAVE IT!" before my feet hit the floor. That is the one command that ALL of the White Dog Army knows is serious, especially when barked in my "don't mess with me" voice.
White Dog rolled over to match my speed barking an alarm and hurried outside to check for intruders. Steve stumbled to his feet, coming to consciousness as he rose. "What?" "I don't know," I said heading for the door, "sounds like the pups are fighting which is really strange. I have to make sure everything is good." He jumped over the bed and beat me to the door, "I'll check. Deal with Yo who is shaking here."
YoYoMa was indeed shaking, the tenseness and my tone of voice told him something bad was happening yet he sensed nothing. I held and stroked him as much to keep him out of whatever was happening in the other room as I did to calm him. White Dog came in and hopped back on the bed at the same time Steve came back from the office.
"Everybody is sound asleep," he reported. "I KNOW what I heard. I am going to go take a look myself," the protective momma dismissed. "Let me go and look around again, you are trembling." He was right, I was totally amped up at the thought of danger to one of the White Ones, my heart was pounding and I was wide awake.
He returned after a bit. "I sat and watched and Nuka and Puff are fast asleep. So is Quinn, no seizure happening but it is probably his collar you heard; you know how he constantly shifts to get comfortable...even in his sleep. I think the "growl" you heard was Puff snoring. You know she gets congested sometimes in the night and makes weird noises. And the crash was the doggie gate falling over from where I leaned it after we took it down once everyone got settled for the night." (We gate Quinn in the office at bedtime until he settles down or his manic pacing keeps him going outside and coming in. Once he lies down, we remove the gate).
Steve's explanation made perfect sense and everyone got back into sleep positions. But the adrenaline kept me on hyper alert enough that sleep was an impossibility. I felt the rigidness leave WD as she slumbered again, and I smiled in the dark imagining myself as my family's superhero champion keeping them safe through the night. I draped an arm across White Dog, snuggled against Steve's back and wrapped us all in my special powers cape.