Things That Go ‘Squish’ In the Night


Note to self: Put on glasses — and shoes — when the dog needs a trip to the back yard in the wee small hours of the morning.

Our Alaskan malamutes are generally pretty good about letting us sleep through the night. So when one of them — particularly Fargo, he of the perennially wonky stomach — starts doing laps around the bedroom and then emits that single, frantic, high-pitched “YIP!” right in your ear, you pay attention. And you get up, stumble sleepily down the stairs, and put the needy pooch out on the zipline. Which I did, at 1:30 a.m., a few weeks ago.

I usually don’t even get out of bed without putting on my glasses, but this time I sleepwalked all the way through the kitchen and to the back door without them. Barefoot, too. Which was fine — until I stepped on something squishy right outside the door as I hooked Fargo up to the zipline. And then I stepped on another something squishy.

I hopped on one foot back into the kitchen and wiped slime off my bare sole, muttering rude things about dogs who are prone to dietary indiscretions.

Two hours later, we were headed back downstairs for another urgent trip to the yard. This time I had both glasses and shoes on. And this time I got a good look at what I’d stepped on earlier, because the sidewalk was crawling with grayish-white caterpillar-like things. I ran to get my iPhone and took a photo of one of the creatures that was wedged in the sidewalk seam.


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