home with a cold yesterday, i was sleeping away the afternoon when a siren went by and woke me up.
the boys promptly howled.
toby used to howl whenever he was lonely; he started howling when we were living at the thurber house, and he howled every time i left him in the apartment, even if i was just running down to the main floor to get my newspaper. he'd never howled before we moved to columbus, as far as i know, but he howled constantly there. i blame the ghost.
in later years, he taught boscoe to howl. i don't think border collies usually howl; they're too busy stalking sheep and giving them the evil eye. but toby and boscoe started howling every afternoon around 5:30, apparently in anticipation of our coming home. our next door neighbors told us they heard them like clockwork. fortunately, they found it amusing. (they snapped the picture of toby and boscoe howling in the back yard that you see above.)
so bosoe has passed the talent on to riley. they howl at sirens. it's a bonding things, i guess.
yesterday, as the siren's wail died away, riley started the howl from wherever he was downstairs. he has a yippy, frantic, staccato howl that suits his frantic personality. boscoe, who was lying on my feet on the bed, heard him, lifted his nose to the sky (actually, ceiling) and arooooooooooed his clear, mournful howl--a smooth countertenor to riley's yippy soprano.
they stopped. riley started again, and boscoe joined him. it was beautiful music, harmonic and wild. i'm not sure how long they'd have kept it up--the siren was long since gone by then--but i finally said, "that's enough, boys," and boscoe's head snapped around as though he was quite surprised i was there. maybe he thought he was deep in some primal forest, howling for his pack.
riley raced up the stairs, leaped onto the bed, we all had a good cuddle, and then i went back to sleep.
Chance: Look what I saw!
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