For Whom the Bell Tolls

The Englishman was clearly frustrated as he incessantly pulled the chain on the small bell hanging by the back door.  "Your dog won't come inside even though I have rung the bell," he decreed.  "My dogs obeyed."  He looked at me as though this was somehow my fault.  I mentioned that it would be helpful to actually train Chase on what the ringing of the bell meant before pinning the disobedient label on him.   I pulled on the chain and listened to the pleasant chime of a bell that tolled more like a lullaby than a tornado siren.  Chase would never hear the sound as it wasn't loud enough to break his concentration.  I glared at the Englishman, walked down to the pond and ordered Chase to the house with one pointing finger.

A few weeks later, the Englishman installed a larger, shinier brass bell with a thick rope attached to the clapper.  It looked as though it would be more at home on a military ship than the back door.  When I pulled the rope, a loud clang rang through the neighborhood and echoed across the pond.  I was certain that all the dogs within a mile radius would line up at the back door each time it sounded.

After using it for several days, my fears were alleviated as only the four-pack ran toward the house when the bell tolled.  Up the hill, ears flopping, tongues dangling, all heeded the call.  A little bit of effort proved that even an older dog could still learn a new trick and that when "the bell tolls, it tolls for thee".

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