"Aarrrrrroooooooo. Aarrrrrroooooooooo." Ray yelled at the top of his lungs. It sounded like the blast of a foghorn, only louder since there was no competing noise from birds, lawn mowers, or string trimmers. I slipped on my flip flops and ran outside. It was warm and steamy and there wasn't a peep of noise. "Aaaarrrrrrooooooooo." I clapped my hands and said sharply, "NO. Ray, COME." Ray stopped briefly and looked at me then paced a bit at the fence. "Aaaaarrrrroooooo." I clapped my hands again, "Ray, NO." I started toward him and Ray took off across the yard and stopped at a bush to pee then came trotting back, "looking" around him. I waited, on alert, as he headed towards me, ready to grab his collar and drag him in the house at the first hint of an aaarrrroooo.
Ray, apparently satisfied that whatever-it-was was gone, came and we entered the kitchen together.
I let him follow me upstairs, threw his scratchy blankie on the foot of the bed and went back to bed. [Usually when he wakes me up early, I just sack out on the couch with Ray on my feet so that he doesn't scratch the kitchen door down (once he knows I'm "awake," he's relentless)]. It wasn't even 4:30 and I wanted to go back to sleep. Ray came into the room, jumped up on the foot of the bed and settled into a ball on his blankie. He raised his head briefly and growled, I sat up and put my hand on him - usually his growls are followed by a single, deep, menacing bark. He laid down again and went to sleep.
I woke up at 7:00 to a strange noise; no dog was on the bed. I rolled out of bed and stumbled into the hallway, I was groggy from oversleep, and saw Ray shredding a brown paper bag. He was happy that I had gotten up to join him in his game. I went to grab my robe and saw Gregg laying sideways on the bed, his legs dangling off the side. He had woken up at the noise, sat on the side of the bed, then briefly laid back down for a nap. "What was that noise?" he asked, still half asleep. "Ray was shredding a bag," I replied.
I headed downstairs followed my my faithful hound. I fed him and made coffee. Gregg came down and settled in with the paper. I sat sipping my coffee, thinking of the morning's events. I wondered how many neighbors Ray had disturbed. Should I make some flyers apologizing for the rude awakening and put them on my neighbor's doors? How many blocks would I have to cover. At least our cul-de-sac and the street behind us and the one across from that and....my mind boggled. I had a nagging feeling that I shouldn't have let Ray sleep on the foot of our bed. I should have just slept on the couch with the dog as usual. To prove that I was right, Ray walked over to his bed where some of the velcro had come undone and started shredding the hi-density foam stuffing. I could just see what he was thinking... "Guess I won't be needing THIS anymore."