White Dog heard it, too. From the other room, I heard her stir and move to listen. One of the White Dogs was outside. It was nearly 3:30am...and she was squealing in distress. I elbowed Steve to awakeness.
"One of the pups is in trouble out in the yard," I told him as he struggled to process as he climbed from the depths of sleep. He thrust his feet into slippers and grabbed his pants. "Who is out there?" he asked.
I had not yet done an inventory of sleeping White Dogs but I listened again. "Sounds like Opal or Pearl" but he (along with White Dog and Sachi) were already headed out toward the back door.
Moments later, Opal came crashing through the dog door and scrambled onto the corner mattress she was sharing with Pearl. Steve returned to bed, lifting Sachi to join us. White Dog returned to the Leader's Suite in the office.
"So?" I asked trying not to sound like I had been TOO worried.
Seems like our Little Escape Artist somehow managed to get her dragline caught on the deck as she was trying to chew it off. The dragline was an old short leash that we had used when training White Dog long ago; the leash "handle" had gotten caught on a deck board. Her cries were those of being unable to free herself and come back inside.
"So we seem to have a problem," I said. "The dragline is our resource should we need to grab her quickly and have control, like if something happened and we needed to get the pups out in a hurry. She would not be cooperative yet. But I am uncomfortable leaving the line on her if we are asleep because of what just happened."
Middle of the night is not Steve's best hours for pondering but he came up with an ingenious solution. Zsofia, the only of the White Dog Army we close crate at night (those with Sibes will understand why). On HER kennel are clipped all of the nine leashes she has chewed through to date.
Steve climbed to the end of the bed, reached over and took the shortest of her trophies. It is an embroidered canvas strip, hand loop chewed off, about 40" long. The clasp for attaching is still good but there is nothing to get caught or snagged. He went over to the corner mattress where Opal huddled looking unsure.
In the place of the troublesome leash that had us all awake at an undogly hour, he attached the Zsofia customized dragline.
"Voila!" he said as he climbed back over everyone and snuggled under the covers. Opal shook her head and sniffed the entire length. Satisfied it was safe and to her liking she, too, snuggled into a comfortable position.