I woke up in the middle of the night last night, with an urgent need to, um, use the facilities, so I grabbed my glasses off the night stand, got out of bed, and crept my way to the door, trying to avoid the major squeaky spots so as not to wake my sleeping husband. As I did, I glanced at the clock: 4:17 a.m. I quietly opened the door, took a step into the hallway, and promptly found myself face down in a veritable pile of puppies. (On a side note, if you're in the market for a family pet, don't pick a black one. They simply disappear at night, leading me to believe that Alice's encounter with the Cheshire Cat was simply an encounter with a black cat in the shadows of a tree's leaves. Silly Alice.)
Now, the nice thing about dogs is that when they sleep, they really sleep. One of them sort of sighed, but they both never moved as I extracted myself from the pile. Once freed, I went down the hall to the restroom, which is equipped with a handy night lite so as not to wake the whole household at 4:17 a.m. This is not one of those plug-in nite lights, but an actual wired-in light with a switch on the wall, with a wattage of about 4 or so. When I was finished, I thoughtfully turned off the light before opening the door. My night vision now truly gone, I stepped outside the bathroom to once again find myself face down in the aforementioned pile of puppies. They seemed to have thought it was funny enough the first time to quietly move down the hall way and lay in wait outside the bathroom door for a repeat performance.
This time, however, they were not quiet about it. "Woo-woo-woo!" said our Malamute, while the black lab did his hound dog imitation:"Roo-roo!" "Shhh!" I told them, then extracted myself from their wagging, licking embrace, and stepped over them. I've had dogs long enough to know what a 4:17 a.m. howl means. Grabbing the wall for support, because I've been here before, I cautiously asked them,"Outside?" and was promptly almost knocked off my feet by two swirling masses of fur competing to be the first to the back door, the lab stopping halfway down the stairs to run back up, circle me, lick my toes, and jump three steps in an attempt to catch up with the quietly confident Mal.
Once they were outside sniffing, I leaned on the back window for a good look at our sleeping neighborhood. The narnia house behind us (my name for it-you can only see a window between several tall trees, but there's a street light near it that casts a permanent glow in the back yard, and in the summer they leave a side window open, and a trick of the breeze causes the curtains to blow out into the yard, giving the illusion that you're inside the house looking out. ) , the totem pole in the yard next to us, and the eternally blinking light in the garage next door.
I let the dogs in, settled them with a treat, and went back upstairs to my warm bed. I lost this particular battle in the war of Who Lets the Dogs Out at 4:17 a.m., but that's alright. Falling face down in a pile of puppies isn't too bad, when they're your puppies.