The scaredy-one in this case seems to be Oscar! As you may know, Oscar rarely backs down from anything, at least not in anyone's presence but ours.
The other night I took him out for his last potty break around nine-ish, and we went through the front door. (He's always on his leash now - I never know when another dog will trot down the road.) The whole front yard is better lit from the porch light - no corners. About the time we walked out I heard the loudest whippoorwill I think I've ever heard, it was so near the house. Oskie went on with his business, reluctantly - I think I may have had to go down the steps with him. For the last several days now he has had to be dragged off the carport. I know. I hate to do it. So then I pick him up and carry him to the grass. Still nothing. A couple of times I've gotten him down to the paved road, thinking his feet have gotten tender and the rocks hurt (oh, yes, he is so spoiled...) or his knee is hurting. (I haven't been giving his Metacam since the flea spray, and he seemed to be doing fine; I've since started back, though, because he grunts when I pick him up. If you don't have a dog or a cat you may not understand. This is our baby....) Anyway...
This evening Paul said, "Let's take him to the park and see what he does." So we load O into the truck, drive five miles to Mineral Springs Park and let him out, on the leash. He loves it!!! Walked almost all the way around, avoiding curious children, which is a shame because he pressed his little paws and nose to the truck window as we were leaving and wagging his tail, looked longingly at them as if he wanted to play, too. So if he's hurting physically (knee), he didn't show it. I'm thinking definitely a fear factor here. He was afraid of the whippoorwill and associates the noise (which isn't even in the day time), or he can smell something that he doesn't like, or who knows? Maybe he is my appointed guardian angel right now trying to keep me from danger. Like snakes. In our yard.
Hopefully, after a reasonable time, he will get over this phobia and we can get on with potty breaks. I can't see us taking him to the town park for his constitutional every day. But then, one of my mottos is, "Never say never."