There is a Monster at our house.
On cold, dark winter nights, he pounces and the deck BOOMs and the foundation shakes. He must have enormous jaws because sometimes I feel them snap so hard that I’m pretty sure the walls are going to crack.
I do not know where he lurks in the warmer months. I assume he hibernates in the woods. Maybe he moves to Canada.
But as the temperatures fall and the ice threatens, the Boom Monster emerges. I can sense him. I can smell him in the dark.
I am a good dog, as you know.
I am loyal, and obedient. When I sense the approach of the Boom Monster, I do my best to protect my Master and Mistress. I try to warn them of the danger.
Usually they are sound asleep when the Evil One approaches. So I know that it is my duty to alert them.
I do this by panting as loudly as possible from the safety of my nice warm doggy bed. Alas, the Master and Mistress are aging. (I can tell this from the graying of the fur around their heads). They do not hear as well as they once did.
They usually just keep snoring.
I raise the volume of my panting. I rise from my cozy bed to stand over them. Sometimes the Master wakes up when I pant 500 breaths a minute into his face. The Mistress usually just rolls over.
If the panting has not woken them, I move to step two.
I am a good dog. I desperately want to protect my humans.
I add some drooling to my panting. I make sure that it drips directly onto the Master’s nose.
At this point, the Master usually reaches out one arm to pat me. I shudder and shake violently, determined to arouse him. He mumbles, “Good girl, good dog.”
I know I am a good dog. I get it. Now get up!!
I begin to panic. The Monster pounces, the house shakes, I continue to pant, drool, shake.
Nothing. They sleep.
My heart is racing. The roof may fall in any minute!
“Alert! Alert! The Monster is coming!”
I decide to dig frantically at the door to the closet. The cheap metal door. It clangs, it bangs, it slowly creaks open with the sound of a haunted house. This will surely send my message!!!!!
I turn to look back at the bed where the Master and Mistress continue to snore. Seriously? What does a good dog have to do to save these people?
I shove myself into the closet, continuing to pant, drool and shake. I start digging, throwing shoes and boots and slippers out of the closet toward the bed.
Back to the bed. I go around to the side where the Mistress sleeps. Shake, shake, pant, pant, drool on her face.
She pulls the covers up.
At last, the Monster attacks with enough force to wake the humans up. The Master sits up, groggy. He reaches for his phone. At last! Is he calling the police? The National Guard? Homeland Security?
He turns on the flashlight app, and shines it on my face. I let my eyes bulge. I pant with even more force and let the drool flow.
He flops back down, pulls the pillow over his head.
“Lie down,” he says faintly, “You’re a good dog.”
I give up. I shove myself into the back of the closet, where I have dug myself a safe little cave of shoes and old sweaters. I turn in a circle, panting and drooling and shaking.
I am a good dog. I am a very good dog.
But the Boom Monster is out there.
You guys are on your own.