A startling noise sounded out nearby and the dogs started to jump. By instinct I said to the dogs “stay” to tell them it was ok. When I did, I noticed Spike froze, same as the other dogs. I was shocked and looked at him thinking, “Did you understand what I said?” So I said “sit”. All three dogs sat down! “That can’t be”, I thought. I’ve known Spike for a couple months now but how in the world? I decided he must have had a family at some time in his puppyhood and learned this or he heard me say it to the other dogs and learned it outside the fence. Was he studying and learning the language hoping to move in some day? Regardless, I was smitten and Spike became a permanent part of the family that weekend. Of course I had to beg the town Sheriff, who wanted to run him off and shoot him, to give me a chance to train him. Since he was already training himself, this was an easy job!

While Spike continued to jump the fence and mark most of our tiny town several times a day, Scooby took to patrolling the fence line. He loved people coming by but became rather irritated at other dogs coming near the fence. If a dog put his feet up on the four foot fence Scooby would launch at the dog and bite his feet. This dog aggression often got him in trouble but I never thought it would be serious trouble.

I never heard him bark. I didn’t hear anything, not a cry not a sound. I was awakened by the doorbell early in the morning on Easter Sunday. My neighbor and genetics professor who lived on the hill Scooby and I walked to school every day, was at my door telling me Scooby had been hit by a car. I stared at her in absolute dismay. It could not be true. She must be mistaken. But he was not there. He would have been there. Barked at the door, told me she was there. And it was silent!

I went with her and found his beautiful furry body underneath a big pine tree near her house. I couldn’t breathe. I leaned down over him and pet his fur. There was blood soaked on his neck and a big spot of blood on the ground. Otherwise he looked perfect. He couldn’t have been hit by a car! He wouldn’t cross the street. Something else must have happened. I looked closer at the blood stains and discovered a bite wound on his neck. He’d been bit in the throat and his carotid artery was punctured. He bled to death. But what happened to him, how, why?