The single bark that has wakened me at 3 am five mornings in the last week sounded again this morning. I never hesitate when I hear it and roll from bed, feel around in the dark for my sweater and pull it over my head just before heading down the stairs, feeling my way against the wall as I go. I say nothing as I open the door of Wanda’s crate and hear her snuffling behind me as I head out to the chilly patio so she can take care of her business. The night is quiet. Stars glimmer in their places in a clear sky. Even in winter, I can hear crickets in the distance. I will admit I enjoy this aspect of a routine I want to keep from going any farther. Getting up this early is not something I want to look forward to on a regular basis.