Jeff Pearlman

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The Ghost Dog

Pepper: The ghost dog.

Pepper: The ghost dog.

So we live in a neighborhood with a ton of dogs. There’s Wilma, the big something doodle who cries and shakes when people approach. There’s Bella, the black something and something who, post-surgery, can no longer bark. There’s Kima, the enormous Alaskan Malamute across the street. There’s Jenga, a peppy something and something who likes birds. There are Vegas and Delaney, the two Corgis. There’s Norma, our little cockapoo.

And then there’s Pepper.

So Pepper lives three houses down. Her family is wonderful, and every now and then—when needed—we’ll watch her if they’re away. Pepper is a quirky sorta gal, in that she’ll follow you around, sans expression. You walk to the bathroom, there’s Pepper. You go to a closet, there’s Pepper. She makes nary a sound, rarely barks, never sneezes or grunts or huffs or puffs. Truly, she’s the quietest entity walking the planet. Sometimes, you’ll turn around, thinking you’re all alone, and—BAM!—there’s Pepper. Waiting. Looking. Looming. Haunting.

That’s why, over time, I’ve come to call her The Ghost Dog. I tell the wife that I half expect to see her standing above our bed, knife in paw, plotting her attack.

I digress.

A few minutes ago I left my den to grab a soda in the garage. Neither of the two garage doors were open. It was a closed room. Yet when I opened the door to enter, there was Pepper. I have no idea how she got there. I have no idea what she was doing there. I said, “Pepper?”

Nothing.

“Do you want to come in?”

She entered.

If, by some chance, another blog post fails to materialize in the coming days, please call 911.

The Ghost Dog has struck.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life