And in the night, there was a scream

I woke up last night to an intruder.

Or at least, that’s what I thought I was waking up to. I’m visiting Chris in Athens, and I woke up to him screaming. I sat straight up and went instantly into fight mode. I think my arms were even in punch position. My heart was pounding.

Turns out, he was yelling at his cat to stop scratching.

To which I told him in not-so-nice words that it’s not very kind to attempt to give his guests heart attacks. And then I lay awake until I heard the alarm go off, hours later. Too freaked out to sleep.

This morning I promptly started doing Google searches in order to prove to him that yelling at his cat will not keep him from scratching. And oddly enough, I found lots of tips. Not one of which was “scream bloody murder at him.”

But I do empathize. I remember being straight out of college, working a job that brought me home at 1 a.m., and the only one awake to greet me was Breanna, my puppy.

And as much as I loved her, I hated the barking and the biting furniture and biting me and eating anything in sight just to throw it up on the living room carpet later.

There were even moments I pondered taking her right back to the rescue group where I got her. I would have just been a foster mom for a few months, I would reason in my head, and that’ s not a bad thing, right? And on some occasions she was annoying enough that the only thing that stopped me was the knowledge that more people adopted puppies. If I took her back after the cute puppy stage, I’d be cheating her chances of a home.

So I hung in there. And when she was 2 years old, I was even able to get her a fenced-in yard. All my problems would be solved! Except it was then I discovered she could scale any fence, any height. Let’s just say my neighbors got to know her really well. Some of them loved her – she’d climb into their yard and walk right into their kitchen, where they would entertain her for dinner. Some of them hated her – I had her shoved into my arms a few times by an annoyed neighbor with an angry look on her face (although, Breanna always came home from there with a rawhide – no wonder she kept going back!) I invested in an invisible fence (okay, invested is the wrong word. I happily accepted my parents’ hand-me-down invisible fence. Then again, along with their fence came their dog, Tiffany. No such thing as a free lunch! For the record, I’m not complaining. Tiffany was an angel. Especially compared to Breanna.)

Then when the complaints started coming in about Breanna’s high-pitched, annoying, howl-like barking (did I mention she’s a beagle mix?), I invested in a barker collar.

Wondered if I could remember the address of that rescue group on several occasions …

And then amazingly, slowly, almost without me noticing, she grew up. And now, 9 years later, I’m so glad she and I have made it this far. She still has a horribly annoying bark, but she uses it less. And she hasn’t tried to scale a fence in years (then again, she still has the invisible fence collar.) And I’m so glad I lost that address to the rescue group. Partially because I know no one else would ever love her like I do. But mostly because she’s an amazing cuddler and she has my heart.

She even likes to go hiking with me ...
She even likes to go hiking with me …

And last night, I was wishing she was there to help me fight off the intruder.

P.S. Yes, I have 2 dogs. Kishin was just never as frustrating as a puppy, so I have very few complaints about him regarding that …