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 …