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Pre-dawn mornings are a treasure. Tranquility reigns. Nothing moves. I can slowly wake up, read, and organize my thoughts. That time allows me to prepare for the day and avoid the stressful feeling of a chaotic morning.
A pair of sliding glass doors separates our bedroom from an outside deck creating a wall of glass facing east. My first view of the morning hints of the sunrise to come. The room resounds with soft snoring, a sure sign that neither the dogs nor the other human are awake. I have time to savor the silence.
My iPad rests on the bedside table, placed there the night before after reading a few chapters of the current novel. In the morning, however, the iPad is my tool to check Facebook, my email, and as much of my morning newspaper as I can read before the others stir.
The only dog that sleeps in the bed, Frankie, is a skilled extortionist. As long as I scratch his ears, he doesn’t claw my arm. And if the claw fails to get its desired result, he sits up and wakes the rest of the crew. At that point, my quiet morning is over. To stretch out my peace, I scratch his ears and read my iPad.
That describes most mornings. Not yesterday morning. Only a slight lull preceded my chaotic morning:
6 a.m. – Slowly wake up. The eastern sky is glowing. Serenity.
6:05 a.m. – I reach for the iPad. My slight movement awakens Frankie who slaps my arm with his paw. I scratch while trying to balance the iPad and scan my Facebook feed with one hand. Plenty of time (and more reliability) for politics from my morning newspapers, so I hide those posts. Once I have my feed cleaned, I smile at dog and cat pictures. Laugh at friends’ funny posts. Enjoy photography. Comfort continues.
6:10 a.m. – Close Facebook. Open email. Mostly delete overnight email one by one.
6:11 a.m. – One email stands out. My web monitoring service sent me an email at 3 a.m. that my website server is down. All websites are non-functioning and have been down for three hours. Calm shattered.
6:12 a.m. – Jump out of bed. Run to my study. Turn on computer.
6:13 a.m. – Frankie is miffed. The ear scratching ceased. I left the room. He wakes everyone else. Six Siberian Huskies (yes, I am insane) are now awake in the bedroom and ready to go outside. Well, five Siberian Huskies. Cheoah wakes up slow so is sleepily blinking at the noise. And one human is still asleep. My morning job is to release the dogs into the yard with minimum noise so that the human can sleep. But howls of discontent commence.
6:14 a.m. – Run back to bedroom to release dogs. Leave lights off to avoid waking the other human. Slam shin into an open dog crate door. Grab my leg, crumple to the floor and curse madly. I am failing the “stay quiet in the morning so as not to wake others” thing.
6:15 a.m. – For some suicidal reason, rabbits like to enter our fenced backyard overnight and sleep. The dogs find this great entertainment first thing in the morning. To avoid the excitement and noise – not to mention save rabbit lives – I search the yard every morning before the dogs go outside. My bruised leg aching, I limp out on the deck and shine a flashlight into the corners of the yard. No rabbits spotted. I do, however, realize that I have not put a shirt on yet and am freezing in the cold mountain breezes.
6:16 a.m. – Release the two oldest dogs into that part of the back yard. For the sanity of those older dogs, our backyard is divided into two zones – a “Senior” side and a “Junior” side. The Seniors enjoy their peace and quiet while the Juniors wreak havoc on their side. The Seniors’ yard is adjacent to the bedroom through those sliding glass doors. The Juniors’ access is through the kitchen, so I have to cross the house. I re-enter the house and promptly bang my other shin into the same crate door. More cursing. Mumbling from the other human.
6:18 a.m. – En route, I detour to my study and confirm that the websites are down. Need to get the dogs outside so I can focus on the problem.
6:19 a.m. – Run to kitchen and out onto that deck. I still have not put on a shirt. Amazingly, just as cold on this deck as the other. Scan Junior yard for rabbits. No rabbits sighted in the Junior yard. Unfortunately, I see Qannik and Kiska “chasing” a rabbit on the Senior side. I had missed the little hopper. He had time – that was the slowest chase ever – but the rabbit could not figure out how to exit the yard. Need to rescue bunny.
6:20 a.m. – Race back into bedroom. Trip over Frankie who has moved from the bed to the floor. Trying to keep from falling, I stumble directly into the crate door yet again. Curse madly. Other human sighs from the bed.
6:21 a.m. – Shine flashlight into Senior yard. The two older dogs are happy and tired from their chase, but they never caught the rabbit. I see the rabbit sitting just on the other side of the gate. The gate from the Senior yard to the Junior yard. Yes, the rabbit is now on the side of the fast dogs. Operation Bunny Rescue moves to the next phase.
6:22 a.m. – Re-enter the bedroom. Wisely shine flashlight and locate the crate door that has so mangled me. Step around it. Notice Frankie’s look of reproach. Step around him. Sense the glare from the human. Keep walking.
6:23 a.m. – Still shirtless, I step out of the kitchen door and shine the flashlight looking for the rabbit. In the same spot, just this side of the gate. Move toward him. He freaks out and races through the gate. Back into the Senior side.
6:24 a.m. – Race back through the house. Avoid Frankie. Avoid crate door. Avoid human glare. Step out to the deck. Shiver against the frigid air. Shine flashlight. Qannik and Kiska look at me as if I have lost my mind. Rabbit is sitting, unnoticed, on this side of gate. Wisely, he steps back through the gate – to the Junior side – just as the two Seniors spy him again.
6:25 a.m. – Back through bedroom. Avoid crate door. Avoid Frankie. Avoid human. The Junior dogs are amused. The other human is not.
6:26 a.m. – Back to the Junior deck. Shine flashlight. Rabbit is sitting just inside the gate. He sees me. Turns to run back through the gate. Qannik and Kiska are standing just the other side with silly grins. Rabbit decides that is not the way to safety. Wisely runs across the yard and squeezes through the closed gate to the field. Rabbit clearance!
6:27 a.m. Back to the bedroom. Satisfied with the rabbit rescue, I forgot the open dog crate door. Collision. Cursing. Who needs an unbruised shin? Call the dogs to go outside to the Junior yard.
6:28 a.m. – Released the Juniors into the yard and watch them race madly, noses sniffing. Where is the rabbit? We can smell it. Where is it?
6:29 a.m. – Sit in front of the computer to figure out the website problem.
6:30 a.m. – The dogs howl for breakfast. If they have to be up early, then breakfast should be early, right? Forget the websites and feed the dogs.
6:45 a.m. – With full bellies, dogs sprawled on the decks soaking the rising sunshine. A sleepy human sips coffee in the kitchen and grumbles about noise interrupting sleep. I am back at my desk.
No dogs or rabbits were harmed in the creation of this post.
Shins, however, will heal.