It's a common observation that dogs have a moral sense.
Today I was reminded that they can tell lies as well.
I was out shoveling snow. Fisher, the Chesapeake, was quietly gnawing a bone. But Shelby, the ninja collie, kept trying to slink away down the driveway.
Just when I was about to give up on calling her back and put her behind the gate on the veranda, she spotting something off across the gully between our house and the neighbors.
She gave out an alarm bark and charged off across the gully. Fisher leaped to his feet and ran after, barking excitedly.
I suddenly suspected the worst. Calling them, I slogged through the deeper snow in the gully and up to the other side.
It had all been a ruse. There was no intruder on four feet or two. Fisher and I were both (momentarily) snookered. He turned and came back. She was gone, as fast as she could run.
A hour later she came trotting back up the drive, having made her rounds of the neighbors' places, just checking for free food or other excitement.
She has pulled that trick once or twice before. When will I learn?