posted on Nov, 19 2015 @ 10:18 PM
When my brother and I were very young, my mother was a hobby breeder of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. The few litters her dogs produced were beautiful,
true to breed standard, and the line is still going strong. Mom was an unlikely dog trainer, for many reasons, but somehow, our two dogs were whip
smart. The male knew every command in the book, as well as hand signals. The female was one of the smartest domestic pet dogs I've ever personally
met. She would open and close the door for herself if she needed outside; she was the type of dog who had a sense of timing. She knew when the
school bus would drop my brother and I off at the end of the road and pick us up.
We lived on a large farm, and people would come and go all day. One afternoon, my brother and I were playing outside, dogs in tow. Our mother and a
friend were sitting on the step doing whatever young mothers were doing in the late eighties. A truck came down the drive way, stopped, and a man got
out. He walked quickly toward my mother and her friend, and before he could get there, our female dog was in between them. She was growling, low in
her chest. I can't remember the exact conversation, but the man asked my mother to call off the dog, to which my mother replied, how close do you
need to get? In the end, the man was looking for my grandfather, Mom told him where to find him and he turned to go to his truck. In a moment of,
what I can only deduce to be sheer idiocy, the man decided to growl at my brother and I like a bear. As you can imagine, the dog didn't take kindly
to her humans being threatened in such a ridiculous way. She ran up behind him and bit the back of his shoe. Mom shouted, "Get back!" and the dog
let go, sauntered over to us and sat down.
Later at dinner, my grandfather was upset that the dog had scared a potential new client. He asked her why she let the dog be wary towards strangers.
Mom asked him if he valued his grandchildren, because she certainly couldn't scare anyone off. He then laughed until he couldn't breathe while
telling everyone about how the man had almost pissed himself.
That beloved dog is long gone, but mom still always manages to have a dog that knows it's territory and defends it. I never picked up the knack of
dog training (My dog is a #-zu who is more likely to pee on you than bite you. I guess that's terrifying enough.), but my significant other is much
like my mother, our other dog is a mastiff; she's sweet and lazy and goofy. Basically, she's a big loveable wrinkle. Somehow over the years
he's trained her to know when familiar people are at the door. I have no idea how he accomplished this, but she knows. We have a large yard that she
loves to roam. She never bothers passers-by on the sidewalk, or even pays attention to them; but if they step in the yard...first she'll let out a
warning bark, and you only get one warning. This is her families yard, and if you are to take two steps into the yard...well, she looks extremely
terrifying, I'm sure, while running at you full tilt, with teeth bared. Just ask the friendly neighbourhood garbage collector who dared to come into
the yard to pick up a stray pop bottle he saw. Did she bite him? No, and she never would have. She stopped two feet in front of him and acted out
the stages of rabies until he was back on the side walk. Then she shook off her jowls, grabbed the pop bottle, and chewed it up, prancing around in
the grass. After this incident, the dog catcher paid us a visit and scolded us about our aggressive dog. She's not aggressive, we told her, she's
territorial. We don't expect her to know the difference between a man picking up garbage in the yard, and a thief looking to steal tools, or garden
equipment. If you're worried about that, she said, get a garage. My boyfriend told her, why would I bother, just so someone could break in the
I have no idea how SO trained her to be like this, but tonight, I am forever grateful. We live in a very small town. We never lock our doors. For
the last few days, SO has been working out of town. I don't really mind staying home alone, it gives me time to catch up on the TV that only I like
and sit in the bath until I'm pruney. Tonight after retiring to bed at the geriatric hour of 9:30pm, the dogs and cats and I all snuggled up, I heard
something outside. I thought maybe my boyfriend was home early. Excited, I got out of bed and started walking down the hall towards the front door.
Before I got too far, the dog pushed past me snarling and barking. I got just far enough down the hall to see someone open the front door and step
inside. It wasn't my boyfriend. My heart stopped. Frozen, I watched the man step into the mud room, and our dog slam into the glass door that
separates the hall. Time was immeasurable, but as the dog tried to break through the glass of the French door, the man turned around and left, not
even bothering to close the outside door.
I came to my senses and ran, jello-legged, into the front room and saw a car pulling out of our unused, and kind of hidden, second driveway. I called
the police, who were able to stop a car matching my description pulling onto the highway. An officer came to the house to speak with me and informed
me that based on what they found in the car, the men were likely just looking for an easy robbery. He said he couldn't tell me the details, but I
was probably safer having not been alone with the man.
I'm alone now, waiting for the SO to get home, he's an hour away. Do I feel completely safe? No, I think my body is going through some adrenaline
issues. Am I afraid though? No. Did I lock the door? No. The dog is here on the bed with me; she's the best alarm system we could have ever
purchased. Our aggressive dog, well trained and alert, gives me the freedom to be home alone; to leave the door unlocked.
Get a handle on our aggressive dog? No thanks, she was raised that way.