After many nights of temperatures hovering at or below 0, the last few nights have been in the high 20's. To celebrate, I have left one of the bedroom windows open a bit, and have been enjoying the fresh air.
Last night, about 20 minutes after I fell asleep I was awakened by an animal sound not far from the house. A loud, screaming sound. My two small dogs were in bed me, and neither of them responded at all to the scream, but Ziva, in her crate beside me, let out a low, rumbling growl. I decided to investigate, to make sure the livestock were all safe.Ziva rumbled down the stairs, game to find out what was up outside. I flung the door open for her while I grabbed my spot light and pulled on boots. She hit the deck all hackles up and bellowing into the starry night. She headed towards the pasture first, and stopped at the gate to look towards the livestock. They had heard the sound, too, all four faces were staring out, on alert, towards the direction the scream had come from. Their eyes reflected in my flash light. Then Ziva headed for the hen yard. The birds are locked up quite securely at night, but she checked in. All the while her loud voice was echoing off the snow and barren trees.
I shined my light all around, but was not met by the glitter of any wild eyes in return. Ziva became still and we stood there in the silence a while. I admired the moon and the arcing dome of stars as far as I could see. Then back into the warm haven of the house, where we both settled into our respective beds. It took a while for sleep to return for both of us. Ziva was restless, stirring up her blankets and acting unsettled.
Nights like that I am glad to have a big, loud dog to go outside with. Somehow a Toy Poodle does not make me feel quite as safe as 55 pounds of brazen cur when something screams in the dark. (Note: the sound was probably that of a Red Fox.)