Isn’t that odd. You remember the other day, how I told you LB found me in the Wash and Ghost was about fifty yards behind? Which didn’t really make any sense, because Ghost’s the runner. Over any distance at all he can leave LB in the dust. So how come LB was so far in the lead?
It was just one of those little mysteries, probably a perfectly rational explanation. But several times in the yard I’ve noticed them both alert to something chaseable, and LB always seems to light up just a beat before Ghost does. It was just something I observed, and I never assigned it any significance until just now.
It was about six in the evening, and all the critters were bedded down. Now, Ghost has always regarded this period as sacred. He loves his routine, but is especially attached to Bedtime. He has had his treat right there, he’s had his head scratched right there, and now he’s got his cushion right here. All’s well, and he’s off-duty.
For such day-to-day chaseables as rabbits and ground squirrels, he’s off-duty. But the Main Dog is always on-call when certain molecules are detected. These must be barked at! Territory must be defended!
Ghost really lit up. Oh, they must be challenged! Oh, Uncle Joel, I gotta go outside! LB, who never alerts to anything when he’s inside, was getting in on the act by now.
I guess, if they only have one real function, I can at least give them the courtesy of letting them do it. Besides, we’re not all inside at night now. The chicken yard is a target, and if the boys want to defend it I’m not going to complain. Up till now the boys have ignored the chickens.
Anyway, I cabled up LB and released the hounds. And they seemed to find something that needed barking at on every point of the compass. We were either completely surrounded by hostiles, or the boys didn’t really know what they were barking at. Or at least, not where it was at the moment. But it was scary dangerous, fer shur.
And then I saw Ghost do the damndest thing. He and LB met at the corner of the cabin nearest the driveway. This was right under the window where I was watching them. Ghost sat on his haunches, silent, not relaxing. He didn’t consider this over, but he didn’t seem to have a clue what “this” was. And he looked over at Little Bear as if to say, “Whatcha got?” And I looked at LB, and he was like a statue. This lasted maybe five more seconds, and then he aimed himself in a particular direction and started dancing around and barking his head off. He didn’t run, he has learned that doesn’t work. He’s stoutly cabled to the very timbers of the Lair’s foundation. But he pointed and barked. And Ghost, completely silent, shot off in that very direction like a cannon ball.
It’s funny: For four years, Ghost has never really had any use for Little Bear. They’re family, you know, they get along. But I get the impression sometimes, if LB were to vanish in a puff of smoke Ghost wouldn’t really grieve. But now I’m getting the notion that LB’s Dog Senses are a good deal more sensitive than Ghost’s, and that Ghost is actually using that. Like, in this one matter at least, they’re finally becoming a team.
Now if I could get them to be that attentive to the approach of friendlies…