White Dog woke both Steve and I. She was out in the yard, pre-dawn, barking like a lunatic. "Arrrrggggghhhh," I grumbled as Steve gave the recall whistle. Nothing happened. He tried again but she didn't even sound as though she had moved toward the house. "SIKU! Come!" he ordered as he clambered out of bed. Still she barked.
"The only time she acts like this is if Quinn is out there confused or there is something happening with one of the Army," I said starting to get worried. Steve did a quick check. "Quinn is sleeping in the office. So are Nuka and Oso. Yo is here beside me..."
"Where is Puff?" SAWD, our girl currently in heat, often goes outside in the night and of late she has become a scavenger cleaning up all kinds of things she shouldn't. It seems there is still a bit of feral-ness that surfaces late at night. "She is not here," Steve responded as he pulled on clothes, grabbed a flashlight and headed to the yard. WD was still barking and not responding.
White Dog burst through the dog door and jumped up on the bed the minute Steve stepped on the deck. Steve was still outside. I watched his light move across the yard twice and push its way under the deck and behind the bushes. Increasingly nervous, I waited for Steve to come in carrying his saucy girl but when he finally did come in he was alone.
"She is not out there." he said trying not to give away his worry. He went and checked the entire house although we were both certain that she had come into the bedroom with us before we shut the door. No Puff.
Steve went back out to check the gates and for signs that someone had entered the yard but came in shaking his head. We were wide awake now and panicked with the possibilities. "Why was Siku barking outside?" I asked hoping maybe for a clue. "The dog next door is locked on the balcony again and was crying."
"Baby Girl," I asked White Dog, "where is Puff? Do you know?" She looked at me and snuggled against me. Then she looked at Steve as though trying to figure out why we were asking.
Looking at us like we were crazy, she hopped down and walked three steps to the corner of of bedroom. Between the bookcase and the chair there is a white dog bed, part of Nuka's original dowry. Nuka never sleeps in it anymore and Oso has sort of taken it over for himself...just like tonight.
WAIT A MINUTE! "Steve didn't you say Oso is in the office? Well then who is that curled up in a tight ball against the wall?"
She was sleeping absolutely soundly and snoring gently so she never even knew the happy dance of joy we did with WD.
"From now on we are only buying dark colored dog beds," Steve announced. "I didn't even notice her there and when Siku pointed to the bed I thought it was Oso."
WD accepted our thanks and praise with the promise of a breakfast treat. Steve was wide awake and the alarm was due to go off in a half hour anyway so he just got up and started his school work. I curled up with WD and breathed deeply calming my still racing heart and jittery nerves.
Puff dd not understand all the fuss we made over her when she woke. But when you have a 15 year old girl with health issues, you are always glad when crises aren't really anything but an overactive imagination.