This all started last summer, when one evening, Bruno became mysteriously spooked by - something - in the back yard. With no obvious pattern, Bruno would begin sniffing around the door, look up abruptly, and bolt upstairs, hiding behind pillows, between stuffed toys, under blankets. He looked pitiful, and we felt sorry for the poor boy, but none of us could calm his dread. We started calling this invisible menace, "The Boogie Man."
Try as we might, to convince our dear pup that he was imagining things, we were unsuccessful in our efforts to reassure him. This would last for days, and then, as quickly as the behavior started, it would stop, and all was right again in Bruno's world. And without warning, it would begin anew. Bruno's terror could not be assuaged.
Then, as golden leaves fell in autumn, the Boogie Man went on holiday, apparently, because Bruno showed no signs of fear from the ghostly visitor, so we breathed a collective sigh of relief that his doggie version of "Freddie Krueger" had, indeed, vanished. The nightmare was over, at last.
Until this morning, thanks to the latest ice storm to hit the Northeast. With snow shovel in hand, I chunked up an ice-free path leading to the back yard so that the dogs could go out to do their business. Bruno was the brave one, tentatively following me outside, only to hear a deafening, "CRRRAAAACK!" The horrifying sight and sound of a giant tree branch falling sent our boy racing back indoors, where he now sits, recovering.
The Boogie Man has returned. Bruno's message to all: "Hide amongst the toys. He'll never find you!"