When I took Gilly out for his last pee of the evening tonight, he stopped suddenly on the deck, put his hackles up, stuck his head through the railing and let out a series of growls I have only heard him offer serious dangers.
I couldn’t see anything spewed forth from the gates of hell where he was looking, but know he doesn’t say those things unless there is a monster (a bear accidentally pinning us against a cliff once, most memorably).
As he started escalating into hardcore protection and defense bark, I realized that my neighbors, who are expecting a baby very soon, have a happy helium balloon tied to their steps, and that Gilly, in the darkness, was mistaking it for a live creature of some nefarious and bizarre floaty, legless sort.
I started to laugh, and explained: he did not seem to believe me at all, but obediently stopped the alarm and accompanied me down to the balloon, which I showed him.
He was all: that is a balloon. I know what a balloon is. There was a MONSTER. It is now gone, mysteriously. It moves silently, because it has no legs.
Eventually, after scenting the entire street, it dawned on him that the balloon was, in fact, probably what he had seen.
He accompanied me happily back to the house, sure that if it HAD been a legless beast from the bottomless abyss, he would have scared it right off.
I thanked him very much for his diligence.