I had a terrible time going to sleep last night. It seemed that, for the first time ever, the night time cold meds I took had a reverse effect and my heart was beating a little too quickly. I lay awake for what seemed like hours, right on the edge of sleep. At last, somewhere in the dead middle of the night, I drifted off, only to be waken in the predawn morning by my dog Salem barking. She was perched on the end of the bed, looking toward the window.
Salem barks at everything and oftentimes nothing, and, as is my custom, I grabbed her and shoved her back under the covers where I spent perhaps the next half hour holding her snout while she continued to bark. I don't remember the last time she behaved this way in the middle of the night, but I was dismayed that I might never be able to go back to sleep. When I heard other dogs barking -- Mom's dog Henry and what sounded like other dogs in the neighborhood -- I knew it was never going to end. Once one dog hears another barking, it causes a chain reaction.
Suddenly, I opened my eyes to see a red glow at the window. I jumped out of bed and lifted the blind to find two flashing police cars. Richie and Mom and I were soon in the patio room, where from the window we could see that several police cars and one fire truck lined the streets in front of and alongside Mom's house. There was a man cuffed and lying on the street, with a cop standing over him.
As the dogs needed to go outside anyway, it worked out that the cop and apprehended man were only feet away from where the dogs had to potty. We shuffled around in our PJs, catching some of the interrogation, while the dogs did their business. It seems the man wasn't telling the cops where a gun or something was, and the cop was explaining to him that the dogs would find it anyway. We also noticed that the man had been injured somehow and his leg wrapped.
Meanwhile, Mom returned inside, but the ever frustrating Salem still hadn't gone to the bathroom. So the conversation between the cop and suspect became punctuated by my prompting "Go potty! Go potty!"
Once back inside, we observed the man lying on the snowy street and began to feel sorry for him. Mom speculated that he might need a blanket, but I reminded her that the cop wasn't getting any answers out of him and they probably wouldn't appreciate us making him more comfortable.
We all watched for the next thirty minutes or so, and eventually the police helped the man into the car. The policeman who had been questioning the man saw us watching and came over to the house to explain what was going on. We learned that the man had been robbing a house nearby and ended up fleeing the scene. He ran into this neighborhood and was caught hiding in Mom's hedge. When he tried to run from the police, one of the police dogs bit him -- hence the injury we saw (and the blood that is still in the snow). There were three robbers total and all three were caught.
I reminded Mom that just yesterday I had alerted her to the fact that her front door had been unlocked when nobody was home, and that she had replied it was OK, that this was a really safe neighborhood. Oh the irony.
So, Salem was right for a change. And she finally pottied, which is no easy thing to get her to do. Perhaps, with my powers of persuasion, I should have helped the cop interrogate the man. But I probably would have ended up bringing him a pillow.