As the father of a recently potty trained kid who calls out to be taken to the bathroom a couple times a night, and the husband of a pregnant wife who often gets up in the wee hours to be sick, I am more than a little used to having my REM sleep interrupted. Last night, however, I was woken in the dead of night for a totally unexpected reason, and it freaked me the freak out.

Things started normally enough as we turned in: I was on my side of the bed, Heather was on hers, and Rigby was snuggled up against her (“my little hot water bottle,” as Heather calls her).

Tired after haircut
Sleepy dog

Sometime after we all fell asleep, Heather and I woke to the sound of Rigby barking her head off all the way across the house. We sat up and whispered nervously about why Rigby had not only left the bed (something she never does), but was losing it like a dog had come on the TV.

“She sounds like she’s in the front room,” Heather said. “You don’t think someone’s trying to break in, do you?”

“I’ll take a look,” I said as I got out of bed.

“Wait! What if it is an intruder?”

“Then Rigby’s going to need back-up.”

I crept down the hall as Rigby’s barking grew more and more frantic, and when I passed Annie’s room she suddenly called out, “Dada? Rigby barking.”

“I know, Sweetie,” I whispered. “Go back to sleep.”

I continued on to the front room and spotted Rigby barking in the corner. I flicked on the lights – hoping that if there were an intruder they’d make him scurry away like a cockroach – and was relieved to see no one was in the room. Rigby kept barking, though, so I looked out the window into the front yard. Thankfully, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Relieved, I carried Rigby back to bed.

“What was it?”  Heather asked.

“Rigby’s just lost her mind,” I replied.

Heather accepted this and rolled over to go back to sleep. The second I got back under the covers, however, Rigby immediately jumped off the bed and bolted down the hall, barking.

I got out of bed and trailed after her, cursing, and once again found Rigby barking in the front room. That’s when I wondered if Rigby could see ghosts.

“I see dead pets”

I was confused until I realized that Rigby was barking at the back of the couch. I pulled the couch out from the wall and Rigby zipped back there. She soon returned with a dog bone in her mouth, and I flashed back to Christmas when we gave Rigby the bone as a present, and she ran around the house with it in her mouth, whimpering and desperate to find a good hiding place.

I have no idea why Rigby suddenly decided in the dead of night that OH MY GOD I NEED TO GET MY BONE RIGHT THIS VERY INSTANT!, but once she had it in her possession she finally mellowed out. I carried her back to bed, got under the covers, and closed my eyes. That’s when I heard: