We live on the main street heading into downtown Saratoga. There’s a lot of traffic passing through, including at least one siren-blaring vehicle each day. Every time the sirens go, the dog next door (some sort of shepherd mix) begins to howl, first holding one note and then sliding up or down to the next in a mournful siren song. At first, I’d just listen for the howl but lately I’ve taken to joining in. I’ll sit at my desk or go about my household chores, howling away with the neighbor-dog as the sirens blast by.

The bull dog and three-year-old hustle over to where I assess this strange howling noise coming from my mouth. Gigi looks into my eyes, her own eyes questioning, concerned. Simone cocks her head to the side and blinks. Is the human/mother okay? The sirens quickly pass. The howling abruptly stops. The humans and dog go back to their separate doings in different parts of the house. A strange new routine has risen up in the household…and the family members consider the oddity as they go about their business again. They wonder, should they join the chorus themselves…the next time the sirens come and the howl music begins to swell?

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