Yes, we sit around talking about one another’s dogs. Because dogs are important.
I was over at D&L’s yesterday helping pour the first concrete pads for their new column piers when L came home. She and my other neighbor H have been riding H’s horses daily, and she wanted to tell me the story of what had happened Thursday.
“I said to [H], ‘Hey, we can use Joel’s Wash*.’ And H was all, ‘Are you sure? Remember what happened last time,’ and I said, ‘Sure! He’s with [D] in [the big town about 50 miles away] so his dogs will be inside.’ So we did, and as soon as we got in sight of the cabin, and it was still like 200 yards away, we heard Ghost start up right through the window. And he sounded so offended that we were using his wash without paying the toll. Little Bear barked a few times and gave up, but Ghost was mad at us and there was nothing he could do about it. We laughed all the way around the loop.”
Ghost has always found territory very important and worth defending. He used to be more aggressive about it; he’s smart enough now not to dance under a horse’s hooves or otherwise write checks he can’t cash. Unfortunately he’s still a tire-biter after all these years. D told the story of how he once actually head-butted his truck, whether accidentally or on purpose is uncertain. He does love to chase trucks and it still occasionally worries me.
*And thus are geographical features named. All I have to do is live another 15 or 20 years and that might be its name a century from now. And everybody will say, “Who the hell was ‘Joel?'” And nobody will know unless they find the marker.