This dog has had a rough week, bless her whole heart. By nature she’s what you might call skittish. Phoebe’s my darling angel who rage barks to protect us from neighbors walking down the street, UPS delivery folks, dust motes…you know, those über dangerous threats to life and liberty.


If you’ve ever had an animal try to crawl entirely up your butt while quivering then you can imagine our sweet Phoebe when smoke detectors give off those low battery beeps. Guess who had two thumbs plus a smoke detector crash this week? This lucky girl.

The beeping is bad enough, but what really drove Phoebe around the bend and over a cliff was the 48 HOURS of beeping.

I’ll start from the beginning.

As is apparently required by karma and laws of the universe, the alarm outside our bedroom door didn’t start beeping until 10:15pm. (Side note: “beeping” is far too pleasant-sounding a word for the noise that thing emits.) Not great but whatever, I could replace it. Until I checked the battery drawer and found the twenty-seven 9-volt batteries I saw there last month had mysteriously disappeared. Gone. Poof! What to do? Run to the store, that’s what to do.

Cue 10:30pm Food Lion run. Other folks are making Coronavirus grabs for water and toilet paper but I’ll just take this pack of batteries, thanks.

There was still a chance I could get to bed. I lugged the tall step stool in from our garage, replaced the battery, hit the reset button, and flinched at the horrific noise echoing in the hall. Then? Silence. Blessed silence.

Or so I thought.

I was up until 1:00am doing work for school (don’t ask) so at that point I pretty much passed out. It was okay, though, since I could sleep until nine the next day. Eight hours, man, it’s important. Which is why it’s a miracle I didn’t come up swinging when one of my delightful munchkins woke me at 7:30am to ask if I knew the beeping had started again. Of course I don’t know it’s beeping, I’M SLEEPING.

Motherhood. We’re living the dream.

Turns out BrightSide tried resetting it before he left for work. I tried the 15 second reset – may have lost a bit of hearing during that one – to no avail. That’s when I crowdsourced my Facebook friends for anything (ANYTHING!) easier than what Google was suggesting.

Nope. Turns out the detectors are older than ten years, it was probably an expiration thing, so we’d have to replace them all. Since some of you no doubt have lives to attend to I’ll try to skim through a bit:

BrightSide picked up some on the way home, those didn’t fit. Yada, yada, returned them next morning, picked up second set from Home Depot that said they were compatible but actually had a different wire connector so instead of plugging them in up there all eight would have to be rewired into the house. Yada, yada, batteries on the flashlight corroded, needed to replace headlamp, another Lowe’s run, turning off power…it was an all day project. At this point Phoebe preferred a rainy yard over coming back into this hellish house.

By the end of the day we had all new smoke detectors and a dog who was still jumping out of her skin. I had to give the poor girl Benadryl just to get her to go to bed.

I thought BrightSide was joking when he swore he heard a beep from the driveway that night. I mean, come on – no power, no battery, no way. Except it is. Here we are two days later and that evil smoke detector is STILL beeping out there. It’s troubling. What if it’s pissed we ripped it out of the ceiling? Plotting its revenge? Rallying the other seven to rush the house while we sleep??

I’ll be keeping an ear out for Phoebe’s alert.