By Kent Coit

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Additional resources for A PRIVATE LETTER

Example text

The two of them tumble to the ground. They bounce up and dance around each other, snapping and bounding and rolling across the carpet. The men have gone silent. They’re unimpressed. Neither dog has shown any real aggression or skill. The red dog is carried halfway down the steps and then tossed to the ground. The other dog is not as lucky. She is tossed from the top of the stairs and rattles down the steps, landing with an awkward sound. She lets out a squeal and hops up but will walk on only three legs.

After Vick’s freshman season, that school, Homer L. Ferguson High, closed and both he and Reamon moved on to Warwick High. At Warwick, Vick showed off the strong arm and blinding speed that would make him a star and earn him a choice of college scholarships. He picked Virginia Tech, in large part because it was relatively close to home. After sitting out his first year to develop his game, Vick emerged as the Hokies’ leader during his red-shirt freshman season in 1999. The first time he stepped on the field, he scored three touchdowns in little more than a quarter of play and went on to lead the team to an 11-0 record and the national championship game.

As pack animals, they are keenly aware of the behavior of those around them. One dog can tell what another is thinking and intending simply by observing the way he acts. When two dogs meet, there is a detailed ritual of movements and gestures. The way they hold their ears, tail, head, their posture. Everything means something. Attitudes, feelings, intentions, dominance, and submission can be established immediately. So can a challenge. Dogs understand what’s expected of them. When people are around, dogs see what wins them rewards and praise and what leads to scorn.

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