Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Beagle Howls at Sunrise

Just before dawn this morning Katie the Beagle erupted into the most mournful howl I have ever heard*, the sort of blood-curdling howl that could only come from a hound suffering a broken heart.

Katie's awful howl woke both Monique and I from deep sleeps instantly. Monique reached down to pet her and to find out what was wrong ... and Katie woke up. She had been sleep-howling.

I hate to think of the beagle dream that created that howl. I prefer to think that Katie mostly dreams about happily chasing rabbits through grassy meadows. And indeed, most of her other sleep activities are limited to the occasional scurry of feet or somnabulent yip that would accompany such a dream. I like that our little rescue beagle is a much happier, much more secure pooch than when she arrived in our world fifteen months ago. So I hate to think that anything from her past might still haunt her.

I'm sure anybody who heard that pre-dawn howl would have considered it an ominous portent. When we all got up for good a couple of hours later, Katie seemed as happy and carefree as ever. But I have to admit that I've been a bit spooked all day by the memory of that sound.

*How awful was Katie's howl? If werewolves on the moors of Scotland had heard that howl they would have said, "Let's go back inside. It's way too spooky out here." If Alan Ginsburg had heard that sound he would've changed the name of his masterwork from "Howl" to "Mild Complaint." Tornado sirens across the county have been handing in their resignations all day saying, "We've got nothing."

No kidddin'. It was terrible. I've heard Katie howl before and it doesn't compare. I had no idea such a little dog could make such a sad, horrifying noise, and I would prefer to never hear it again.


  1. When Atlee was about Greeley's age, she suffered from sleep terrors. It was horrible. In the middle of the night, she would start howling and crying and she looked like she was awake, but she wouldn't respond to any sort of comfort or soothing. She would thrash and throw herself from me as if I was a beast trying to eat her. Demonic possession crossed my mind a few times at 2:00 in the morning. It sounds like Katie suffered a similar experience. Glad the pain is relegated to only the occasional bad dream though.

  2. Oh, I can just imagine Atlee crying and thrashing about. How horrible!

    Thanks for the reassurance on couch sleeping, Susan. I must say, I find it rather pleasant, espeically withour new sofa...

  3. Susan, Michelle as a very young child used to have those kinds of episodes. They were scary. She seemed awake and yet somewhere else. I'm sure that all creatures have souls. Katie came from a very bad environment--and nightmares reach us all.