I'm not sure when it started, but my wife woke me around one to tell me she'd been up with the big dog for an hour, and he was crazy.
Tralfaz is a lot of weird things, but not generally crazy.
I mean, yes, sometimes I call him Dinky Dau Doggie, but that's in an affectionate, playful, culturally appropriational way.
Last night he was just freaking nuts.
When I joined the story, already in progress, Mrs. Key had had him upstairs, downstairs, outside, inside, all around the town, and yet he was making his nerve-racking near-human vocalizations, the kind he makes when we got to the vet (or, to be fair, the PetSmart), the kind that say, "This is terrifying! Help!"
But there was nothing there.
His panic was centered on the central part of the house, around the staircase, mainly upstairs. That's where the little dog, Nipper, sleeps in his crate, when he's not alerting us that 3:30 a.m. would be a very good time to pee. Tralfaz has displayed protective instincts toward the little squirt, so that may be why his focus was there. Still, I led him from room to room, all over the house, even rooms he's not normally allowed in, so he could point out what the HELL was freaking him out. Bugs? Mouse? Bird? Bat?
This is the part in the movie where we tell Fido, "Yo, dog, shut up, man, there's nothing there." Then we shove him in the closet and laugh, while the dog goes berserk, yelping in dog lingo, "You fools! The monster is IN THE HOUSE! Why won't you LISTEN?"
And then heads start to roll.
Of course, all this ran through my mind, thanks to my stupid imagination, which should have made me rich by now for all the terror and trouble it has caused me since I was a child. And of course, having checked every normal room in the house, that left....
I could almost hear the phantom audience yelling at me, "Don't go up there!"
So I did not go up there.
I'd whipped up a spicy recipe for Sunday dinner. Maybe the dog knew we were being haunted... by ghost peppers!
It all seems pretty stupid in the light of morning, but it was getting freaky in the dark of night. My wife finally got the dog to cut the crap and settle down, and we all went to sleep, but it took a very long time. Now we're facing Monday morning, exhausted. Hooray. Why did we get dogs, again?
Anyway, I have not yet had the time to check the attic, to see if there are any bats, birds, bees, severed heads, ax murderers, demons, or ghosts around. There are screens on the attic vents, which usually keeps out the bats, but I can't vouch for the other things. If you don't hear from me Tuesday, you know that I was foolish in disobeying the advice of the phantom audience.