Our open window was only hinting the promise of dawn that morning last week as we lay on our backs beneath it, giggling like school children.
We have lived in this house over three decades and we thought we knew our neighborhood, and would have argued that there was nothing new under (or before) the sun. But, apparently we didn’t and there was.
I was roused from the perfect sleep by a siren approaching from the east. Listening for sirens is a very old habit left over from years of being a firefighter’s wife. Back then I would have a moment of fear and worry, and then I would shake it off and whisper a prayer of protection for him and his co-workers.
So, there I lay. Still availing a quiet prayer for life and property. Also hoping the emergency vehicle would pass quickly and let me go back to sweet snoring ignorant bliss.
Then I heard it. A dog began to howl its deep base accompaniment of the whining siren. That low toned vocalization was soon joined by another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Soprano howls, and alto howls, and tenor howls. The doggie voices continued to unite in chorus. My head rose a bit off my pillow and matched the silhouette of my husband’s, who pushed up at the same moment
“There must be scores of them!” He whispered in shocked surprise.
“Unbelievable.” I responded and then questioned, “Have you ever heard that number of dogs in our neighborhood before?”
“No! Never! ”
Both of us lay back on pillows listening. The siren peeked as it passed and echoed into the distance towards downtown, the canine “whoooowooos” matching the crescendo in a way that vaguely reminded me of the “wave” in a sports coliseum.
The voices faded slowly. Finally, there was only one left - the high-pitched yodeler that lives a block west. It yodeled for another 30 seconds, then stopped. Yodeled another 10 seconds then stopped. Made one very high pitched squawk and stopped.
Silence. Broken immediately by the two of us as we started howling… in laughter. After 33 years in that box seat, we were audience to a clandestine but phenomenal canine symphony performance. The halloooooowed howl.
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