10PM at the Lair. Pitch dark outside. I'm in my office, Belle is asleep at my feet. But from up in the guest room, Murphy lets off with a no-nonsense bark that's more roar than woof. Something's out there, and this time it's not a cat.
Murphy runs downstairs, still hot, as I grab a shoe. One thing I've learned over the years is to trust this guy when he acts strange. My porch light is out because I'm replacing it and my DIY skills aren't up to par, so I step outside to investigate, grabbing up a handy Surefire-equipped Glock on the way and tucking it into my waistband.
I don't see anything, but like I said: I trust Murphy even when I don't see anything.
Quietly walking down to the end of my driveway in the dark, I damn near walk into two guys standing on the road just past the end of my driveway. I think that I startled them as much as they did me, and fortunately it was just two of the rednecks from down the street out for a walk with their beer bottles in hand.
In the end, it was nothing. No harm, no foul, and "have a nice night, guys". But had they been bad guys, I'd have never known that they were there. But Murphy knew, even though he was up on the top level of the house. Pitch black outside and 100 yards away and he knew. And he let me know. And with that bark, he let them know that he was aware of them and prepared to contest them. This is why I have dogs, and Murphy just proved once again that he's the right dog for the job.