"Old Dog, New Trick"

I sometimes take care of the morning chores at Alkasiber Kennel when George and Ann go away. Since the Siberian Husky National was being held in California we could not afford to go, I was therefore available to take on the morning chores for the week.
Usually each dog is waiting at their kennel door to greet me. Deno, who is 15 years old, was not there to greet me Friday morning. I went into his kennel and looked down at him in the dog house. I stood there for a moment to make sure he was breathing and then I put my hand on his head. He woke up and looked at me. He seemed cold, so I decided to put a coat on him. As I put the coat on him I told him to promise me that he would not die on my watch.
Saturday morning Deno was in his dog house again. I stood there for a moment to watch him, and I did not see him breathing. I put my hand on his head and he felt cold. I moved my hand to his shoulder and I said "You promised me you would not die on my watch!" I ran to the truck to get my phone and I called George. What a terrible phone call to make. I then called the vet to tell them what had happened and to let them know I was bringing him in to be cremated. I figured I should call both kennel girls, I did not reach them so I left them a message.
I returned to the kennel and looked down at him again. I felt like I should say something nice. So I said "Deno you were a great dog. I'm sorry that you could not wait for your parents to come home." I reached into the dog house and grabbed him at his armpit and I started to pull him out of the dog house. His eyes popped open and he started struggling. I'm pretty sure I screamed while I jumped back. I stood there with my mouth open for a minute or so while I tried to get my heart to beat normal again. He looked at me all pissed off as if to say "Lady what the hell are you doing? You scared me half to death!" I thought to myself "This has to be a dream!" after a moment I started to realize it was not a dream. I laughed out loud, I could not believe it.
I played the whole thing out in my head. I looked down at him and did not see him breathing. I must not have been able to see him breathing with his coat on. I touched him on the head just like I did Friday and he felt cold. Duh, it is 30 something degrees out. When I put my hand on his shoulder he felt stiff. He is 15 years old, of course he felt stiff.
I decided to reach out and touch him again just to make sure I was indeed awake. I noticed that he still felt cold, so I rubbed him down to get his blood flowing. Then I thought "Oh shit I have to call George!" and I ran back to the kennel house. For some weird reason I turned back around and ran back to his kennel just to be sure that he was indeed standing there. I looked at him and he looked back at me as if to say "Where is my breakfast?" and I ran back to the kennel house.
What a weird phone call to make. "False alarm your dog is not dead!" At the time I was happy and relieved so I could not be embarrassed. On the drive home the embarrassment did creep in. Then I called the vet office back, and the two kennel girls. I'm sure they were shaking their heads and thinking that I must be a natural blonde.
When I left he seemed great; happy and perky. He must have felt great after being in such a sound sleep.

Ann e-mailed me this photo a week after arriving home.