My Standard Poodle Trevor is almost three years old. When he was a puppy and I was making arrangements with his breeder Carole to bring him home, she casually mentioned that he sometimes liked to do this little “wooowooo” barking thing . . . at night. Well, I figured that was no big deal. After all, he was young and would probably grow out of a little nighttime “wooowoooing.” I certainly wasn't going to let a tiny bit of vocalization bother me.
Well, Trevor has now grown into a big boy. And, so has his voice. His “wooowooo” has become deeper and louder. Mostly, Trevor tends to do his little routine when he is really, really pooped, and it is normally in the early evening. If he has had a long day of playing, we can usually count on a brief chorus; however, as soon as I hear him start to whimper in his sleep, I have learned that is my signal to gently call his name and let him know everything is okay. This will typically pull him out of his deep slumber and all is well with the world.
However . . . sometimes I'm also in a deep sleep and don't hear the first sign of impending doom until it's too late. Last night was one of those times.
I had stayed up late to watch a TV program I had been waiting to see. It had been a long and difficult week at work and I was really, really tired. I drifted off to sleep with the bedroom TV on and the remote in my hand. It was a very deep and restful sleep: I was probably snoring too. The air-conditioner was running, providing me with enough noise to cover the rumblings and stirrings of five snoozing Poodles.
And, so . . . I was blissfully unaware that Trevor was dreaming, apparently of something serious such as Cruella deVille or killer squirrels. The next thing I knew, there was a deafening combination of sounds . . . a bark/howl/yodel/yowl/scream festival . . . about four feet from my head.
The volume was so earsplitting that the sounds emitting from poor Trevor scared even himself . . .
which caused him to hop up from his bed in the pitch black night to race away from the scary sound . . .
which caused me to sit bolt upright in bed yelling his name (trying to be heard over his barking) to calm him down . . .
which caused me to drop the plastic TV remote onto the hardwood floor . . .
which caused an awful racket as it hit the wood and the batteries shot out all around the room . . .
which caused me to jump out of bed in the hopes of calming everyone down . . .
which caused me to slide on one of the now-scattered remote batteries on the floor . . .
which caused me to make the very ominous statement into the dark and now silent room, “The next one to utter a sound is going home with the dog catcher!!!”
Which caused . . . complete silence in the room for the rest of the night.
Those damn Poodles slept like babies while I lay wide awake, heart pounding, muttering to myself about vacations, and asylums, and my lack of sanity.