We are very tired. We are both snoozing around this morning from our late-night excitement.

As an aside, when I decided to get a puppy, I researched breeds to find the best fit for me, my lifestyle and the personality traits that were important to me. Getting a dog for my personal security or protection was not on my priority list. I wanted someone to love who would love me back, and that’s exactly what I got with wee Fergus. Turns out, he’s a helluva watch dog.

Fergus rarely barks, so when he does, I’ve learned to pay attention. Mostly. If he’s barking at the F-16s/F-18s that fly over my house several times a week, I generally ignore that. Same with the giant fox squirrels that taunt him by hanging out at the bird feeders all day. Lazy bums. But his barking is not random, so I pay attention.

Recently, I was showering and when I emerged swathed in my towel, Fergus was standing in the doorway of my bath barking at me, then he trotted away. When I didn’t follow at his first command — because, swathed only in a towel — he came back, looked at me hard, barked and trotted away. I grabbed a bathrobe and followed him. He led me to the front door, barking, and, lo and behold, there was a guy there from my tree service examining my ailing Boston ivy near the front door.

He’s saved me more than once when I’ve gotten locked out when visiting family¹ and no one is handy to hear me calling and knocking. He’s gone to find help, barking until someone follows him to the door where I’m begging to be let in. Lassie fetching someone to save Timmy who’s down the well.

Fergus when he’s watching out for the evil horses running around on TV.

Back to last night. Fergus and I go to bed late, usually, because he likes one last walkie before turning in, and I like to better his chances of sleeping through the night. So, I’m generally a bit sleep deprived on a good day. When Fergus leaps up from a sound sleep at three in the morning, racing to the window to bark and howl, I know there is something out there on the patio. Could be a bear, as you know. It’s that time of year when they start to roam looking to put back on the weight they lost over the winter. Lord knows the whip-poor-will is back looking to hook up all night long.

I tried to calm Fergus’ frenzy from my cozy nest with, “Good boy, Fergus, good job. Let’s go to sleep.” Repeated many times to no effect. He raced from the bedroom to the living room barking, and back again. Finally, I surrendered, rolled out of bed and followed him. Sigh. There were deer on the patio and grazing on the lawn next to the house.

Highly romanticized image held and provided by SA Young to illustrate today’s anecdote.

It appeared Fergus’ carrying on had spooked a few, but there are the tame ones who think I maintain my landscape for their dining pleasure. So, I pounded on the window and ran off the stragglers. Back to bed you think? Not so fast. Fergus wasn’t convinced the threat to our pack was over and kept barking and woofing. I picked him up and carried him with me, and he calmed a bit, but he continued to emit little barks and woofs for another 15 minutes or so. Neither of us got back to sleep for awhile.

We are very tired.

¹Getting locked out of places, even familiar ones, happens to me semi-regularly…