Late one night my insomnia got the better of me and after hours of tossing and turning I gave up and came downstairs to make coffee. My dog decided she would take this rare opportunity to go for a late night walk and I thought since it was a cool evening maybe it would do us both good. I decided to take our usual route since it was very dark and we both knew the neighborhood well. Things were not right almost from the start. As soon as we hit the next block Bella (my dog) seemed very unsettled. I wrote it up to the dark and time of our walk although we have walked many times at this hour over the years for some reason or other. She kept looking behind us and rushing along. Not at all her usual M.o... Usually she just strolls slowly and carefully because of her advanced age. I was not concerned at first because for years I have carried a.45 sidearm and the entire neighborhood knows it. We got to our first right at the stop sign and I thought while she did her thing on the hydrant I would light a smoke. The street light went dim then out. Ok that was weird; we kept walking. Every street light we walked under dimmed and would go out, or almost. I started feeling the hair on the back of my neck stand up and hearing noises on the opposite side of the street. Cats or skunks. That was what I told myself. Halfway home I looked at my phone and it was 3 am. Great. I put my phone back in my pocket and rubbed my Saint Benedict medal for comfort. I was really working myself up. That is when it happened. Bella spun ran in front of me and hackles and ears fully up, started growling like I never heard her do. Teeth bared and acting very aggressive at...nothing, at least that I could see. She than just let loose of her bladder and spun and took off as fast as a 15 year old dog can. Now I am really freaked out, I had dropped the leash and had started after her. That is when every dog in the neighborhood started howling. Bella was not barking or even in sight but dogs were baying and howling and while I was chasing after her maybe it was my imagination. I became very aware of the blessed medal I had around my neck. I was walking in the direction she went thinking at her age she could not have ran far. Feeling like I was being watched, I found her a block and a half away, in a yard no dog goes in because the owners treat their lawn with an anti canine treatment, sitting in front of a statue of the Blessed Mother. I said this walk is now over, called my wife to come get us and when dialing the phone did not miss the fact that although 10 minutes had elapsed my phone still read 3 am. My wife showed up very pissed off until I got in the car with Bella who was shaking so much you would have thought it to be 40 degrees instead of 65. I was white as a sheet. She told me on the ride she saw a black shape dart behind a tree, only it was not there when she drove by. It is a good thing you brought your gun she told me, I on the other hand knew it was protection of a different nature that had saved us.
My wife has asked me why I have gotten a Saint Michael medal for Bella's collar. I just said it can't hurt. I have since researched what happened that night and it falls into something dark picked on us that night, and I would rather the whys and what for remain a mystery. One I would not want to go through again.