Is what Dear Son said when I told him this story this morning. Um. Right.
It's been awhile since I've talked about Monte, hasn't it? He's 10 months old now, about 50 or so pounds, perfect on his electronic collar but not so perfect when it comes to chewing furniture...
At 12:30 this morning, Monte began to bark. Sophie trotted out to check the front window for goings on, and I followed her. Monte scrambled through the kitchen to the back door (as only dogs can do, claws trying to grab linoleum) barked some more and whined. Sophie and I followed. I couldn't see any problems and Sophie seemed supremely unconcerned, so we began to make our way back to bed.
When we all got to the doorway to the living room, it's pitch dark remember, Monte froze. He backed away, whined, and then stretched himself to sniff the air as far as he could without actually stepping foot into the living room itself. Hmm.
Sophie had passed us and was standing in the hall, looking over her shoulder at me as if to say, "I'm going back to bed, are you coming?"
So all must be well, right? I mean, there couldn't be a bad guy in the living room, hiding behind the couch if Sophie was willing to go back to sleep. But Monte's body language said different.
Realize now that this dog is really just a chicken in a dog suit. He's very tentative and easily spooked. In fact he rarely does something, be it chase a squirrel, meet a new dog, chew a new toy even, unless Sophie does it first.
So, I flipped on the lights. Sophie sighed (no really, she sounded completely exasperated), circled the room as if I'd asked her to do just that, and climbed up into her day-sleeping chair. She circled in the chair once, let out another long-suffering groan and plopped down, her head on her paws, watching Monte and me. I'm now absolutely reassured that there is no bad guy in here hiding and waiting to pounce. Monte, however, is not.
He's willing to set foot in the room now, but he's still stretching his nose toward the big chair in the corner -- clearly something there has him upset. Other than my knitting of course. Which is piled on the arm of said chair, where I left it earlier in the evening. Did I mention that it was o'dark thirty?! I try to reassure him, and to coax him over to the chair, but he won't come. He sniffing madly at the Kauni Cardigan and her yarn from like 3 feet away. What the heck, dog?
I move the knitting, and under one ball of yarn, on the arm of the chair is a 3 inch long centipede. Yeeeuuuucccckkk! I hate those things. The legs keep right on kicking even after you've squished them. And my bug guy was just here this afternoon! (Fall is spider season in MO.) Probably why this guy was off the floor, looking for a hiding place. I squished him.
Monte sniffed and sniffed at the spot, at the paper towel, at the yarn, reassuring himself I guess that the monster was really gone. And I wondered... how the heck did that dog know that a house centipede was under my knitting on the arm of my chair in a pitch black room?! Can dogs hear centipedes? Can dogs smell them? Do centipede legs make little skittering noises when they walk across the room... on carpet?
Did the centipede somehow awaken Little Dog, and then hide causing the barking to begin with? And how, pray tell, does a centipede, no matter how big, wake up a sleeping dog?
Maybe Monte wasn't sleeping. Maybe he was guarding my knitting. Ok. The chair leg incident is forgiven... 'Cause if I had picked up that cardigan this morning and this had crawled out onto my hand, I'd be dead of a heart-attack right now. Seriously.