June 24, 2010
Dexter's "wuff" woke me. It was midnight and he wanted to go outside. Joey, our daschund, can wait until morning, but Dexter, a bassett hound, usually decides that the middle of the night is prime time to visit the backyard. And Joey, being the 'boss' of the two, simply cannot let Dexter go on patrol alone.
My wife started this late-night bathroom trip routine of theirs, being worried about them making a mess inside. And, to be honest, there have been a couple of incidents over the years. But nothing to warrant their habit of wanting to go outside each night while I'm trying to sleep.
My wife does the lion's share of letting the dogs out, which is fitting since she started this whole ordeal. But sometimes she needs a break, so I rolled out of bed and trudged downstairs after the dogs. I slid open the back door and the dogs disappeared into the dark yard. I stood there with the door open, feeling the night air. It was a bit cooler now, after a quick summer thunderstorm, but still fairly warm.
I was just going to slide the door shut when I saw a firefly light up. Just a brief flash, then gone. I watched. Another flash. Then two more. Darkness. Another. Dark. Two in rapid succession. An elegant mid-air ballet was taking place. I stood enchanted in the doorway, then back yard quietly twinkling. Random flashes here... there... and there again. It was quite lovely, even to my sleep-groggy eyes.
The spell was broken by Joey yapping at some unseen menace. I called for him and he came running. (Being low to the ground, Joey doesn't enjoy wet grass much) Dexter lingered out in the darkness awhile longer, but soon came lumbering in too. I took one last look at the lights dancing in my backyard. The dance was still going on and would continue to go on, just as it has for thousands of years.
I guess letting the dogs out in the middle of the night isn't always that bad.