Imagine it is inky pre-dawn. Imagine you went to bed past 1AM. Imagine you are as dead to the world as a 500-lb. stone at the bottom of the ocean.

Now imagine a sound, the smallest little squeak. It could be the sound of the lightest breeze barely moving a door, causing a minuscule creak. It could be the sound of the tiniest toddler foot resting on a slightly-warped floorboard. It could be the sound of my own nose as I exhale. It is feathery and thin and floats along with the regular nighttime noises of the house and the birds and early cars outside.

I stir. The sound, incredibly subtle and ever-so-slightly drawn out, is repeated. I breathe in and out purposefully, to check if it is indeed my nose. It is not. Dazed in slubby unfocused half-sleep, my ears still wait for the sound to replicate again. It does, and my curiosity is stronger than my need for sleep.

I rise, and open my bedroom door to the hallway. The source of the bitty whine is revealed immediately in the large black mass that is Ellie the Newfoundland. As I open the door, her almost inaudible signal to me is replaced by a wild dash down the stairs to the back door. I follow and let her outside, where she proceeds to gratefully poop out Mount Rainier in our backyard.

Sometimes, it's good to be a light sleeper.