Monday, November 1, 2010

Ray, Protector

Ever since the construction started, Ray hasn't been sleeping in the kitchen. We were really wondering what we were going to do with him at night, but the issue kind of resolved itself.
When it's not in the kitchen, Ray's bed takes up an amazing amount of floorspace in front of the fireplace. P.C. (pre-construction), Gregg would let Ray out for a mid-night pee, drag the bed into the kitchen, put up a dog gate to close one door opening and slide the pocket door shut for the other, just before he, himself, headed upstairs to bed. When the construction started, we closed off the kitchen to all dogs and cats. So now Gregg just leads Ray back to his bed in front of the fireplace and Ray goes to sleep. He could come upstairs if he wanted, but he doesn't. He just sinks into his bed with his usual groan, curls himself into a little ball, and falls immediately and deeply asleep.
But a new wrinkle has emerged since Ray started sleeping in his new spot. In the middle of the night he wakes up and howl/barks. This is Ray's noise when someone is approaching the front door, or when he hears something that we don't (like a dog coming down the street), or if something startles him. It is accompanied by raised hair on his back and his deep menacing growl. At one, two, three, or four in the morning, it is a noise that really gets our attention.
At first, Gregg or I headed downstairs to see if everything was OK and to make sure that there were no marauding pirates or zombies trying to gain access to the house. But now we just head downstairs to reassure our blind guardian who is sitting up in bed, staring into the darkness, hackles raised, that everything is fine. We give him a pat or two and tell him that he can go back to sleep. We've got his back.
Gregg is convinced that Ray has nightmares but I think that maybe Ray hears noises that waft down the chimney and into his subconscious. I'm hoping that when he moves back into the kitchen (and onto the heated floor) that things will go back to normal. Until then, we'll just have to get used to the midnight howl of our loyal protector.

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