The Unleashed Chirp Monster

Have you ever wondered what goes on inside the head of a dog? That has crossed my mind, perhaps more occasionally than some people and less than others. There’s no survey on the topic that just pops up. There are books – how the conclusions are drawn escape this old mind. Anyway… And so it begins, the look back at one long night. Actually, the night was not extended due to falling back – that happened this past weekend (this event was about two weeks ago) – or for any other reason, but it just seemed very long.

One of the smoke detectors must have “chirped” around 2:00 AM one night. There was no initial excitement, perhaps because the older dog, Izzy the Elder, was asleep and was not quite sure she had heard a chirp. And there’s some guessing going on here because there was anxiety growing that was very noticeable around 2:30 when she woke me up because she was panting and noisily swallowing excess saliva. Of course, she’s on the bed – usually is. Maya the Younger seemed to be oblivious, sleeping nearer my head – Izzy at my feet. It seemed like seconds after awakening there is a “chirp” and there goes Izzy, off the bed and to the door, wanting to get out of the house. Lovely. The sound, though, is from down the hall, but logic fails her here because she doesn’t want to hear, “you’re walking right at the Chirp Monster if you leave the room.” So, there’s stumbling around trying to find the flashlight versus turn on all the lights and then locate the nine volt batteries. Izzy is persuaded, for the moment, to stay in the bedroom while Dad fixes the issue. Dad replaces the battery and wanders back to bed. Izzy is still upset, but at least wasn’t scratching at the door and had returned to the bed.

Fifteen minutes later, there’s another “chirp.” Izzy is less persuaded this time that Dad can fix it. I replace the battery, again, and try to calm a rather anxious dog. Now she won’t get back on the bed, but lies on the floor – this can be a quicker getaway, maybe. Then, Dad decides: Take the smoke detector off the wall. Great idea! It wasn’t hard-wired, so I did. But where does Dad put it? In the refrigerator? On the porch? Right! In the car! No one can hear it there and I can get new batteries tomorrow. Great! Slippers on and the trek to the car is made. Everyone back to sleep? Nope…

Some seconds later, another chirp… Dad had replaced the wrong smoke detector’s battery… Now Izzy is really upset. So, Dad decides to take the second one off the ceiling, but, no sir – it’s hard-wired… So, replace that battery… Yes. By now, though, Izzy the Elder is beside herself. She wants to leave the house. Dad lets her out and she immediately goes up the sidewalk towards the car. (Reviewing the timeline later, maybe letting her get to the car and hearing a chirp might help, but, not done – and the one in the car likely is fine and wouldn’t have chirped anyway…) She’s persuaded to return. And now Maya the Younger is into this “outside” party – but she goes out to pee. Izzy then follows her, but then tries to make a getaway around the side of the garage. At least she stopped when called…

There is no more chirping, but the “monster” Izzy assumes is loosed by the chirping has not been squashed to the satisfaction of the Elder dog. She pants, walks, scratches at the door, and is generally beside herself. So then starts more “dog therapy” attempts to no avail, although she eventually lies down in the kitchen floor – that’s near the doors for a possible easy and fast escape…

Since the store is not open until 8:00 AM, there’s lingering grief until Dad can go get new batteries (versus the 12/2017 expiration date ones utilized already). But, alas, Dad returns with a set of four new nine volt batteries, one for each smoke detector in the small cabin. Dad replaces the three easy ones and then borrows the contractor’s ladder to do number four, hauling the ladder from the garage, up the stairs in the cabin, to the back bedroom. As Dad the Hero is taking the ladder back downstairs to the garage construction area, he glances up to make sure the ladder doesn’t hit the ceiling and, there it is, smoke detector number five… <sigh>… Back to the store and wondering with the changing of another battery, will the “chirp monster” be loosed again as (by then) it’s about noon the day after the longest night… But the small chirp didn’t elicit much response. That night, though, there was still concern, although everyone settled in for some sleep… She hasn’t been the same sense, though… Dogs… Dads…

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