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Sam is a creature of few words and many habits. Being a dog, this is generally regarded as sociably acceptable. It would no doubt be considered vary alarming if it were to be the other way around. His silence in combination with his habit of ignoring his owner entirely was on this particular morning cause no end of trouble. Two in the morning rarely heralds anything good in the realm of harsh wake up calls though so perhaps Sam is not completely to blame.

Theo is currently under his futon. It’s the only real option he had for hiding when an intruder with a knife woke him up by tripping over one of Sam’s tennis balls. Theo is not a particularly brave young man. The intruder is not a particularly skilled thief. Sam is not a particularly good guard dog. These things together mean that Sam is staring at Theo who is glaring at Sam in return because Sam is on his back with one hind leg kicking away at the air in bliss while the intruder rubs his belly.

All Theo needed was for Sam to bark so Mrs. Tret next door would call the police. Mrs. Tret was an insomniac and paranoid. She called the police at every opportunity. Literally once at the drop of a hat, which she swore to the emergency operator was the sound of Mr. Bruns across  the hall beating his wife. Mr. Bruns was a construction worker. His hard hat did admittedly make somewhat of an echo when it hit the heating register every day a 8 pm. Mr. Bruns had not learned in 16 years of apartment living that the peg next to the door was not big enough to hold his hat.

Sam saw no reason to bark at this person who pet him. He followed them around the room while they stuffed cd’s, game controllers, and Theo’s brand new imitation leather jacket into a back pack. Theo attempted to gather his courage and leave the safety of his futon to confront the thief, but he only got as far as shifting his weight to the right. The floor board creaked and he froze when the intruder whirled, knife at the ready, at the sound. Sam sat on his hind legs and begged. The thief finished gleaming anything of value. Sam followed them to the fire escape window they had let themselves in through to say goodbye with a savage wag of his shaggy tail. Theo decided he was a cat person.


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