How To Be A Guard Dog

Beware:  Home of Guard-Lab

We happily survived Bailey’s teen years. Our expenses to replace sod, clean carpets, and restore plants in the garden beds, became manageable. After all, she was worth every penny of expense.
She settled into lab adulthood around the age of three. With two brisk walks daily, fresh water provided with every meal, and all meals served promptly (labs love to eat), she approved of our care. In return, we were the focus of her love and companionship.
With her strong desire to please, comfort, and be part of our pack, she spent her waking hours monitoring our activities. Her primary job each day was to know where we were in the house, and join us there. You could almost feel her frustration, when Bill and I settled into different parts of the house.
How would she be able to be with both of us?
Her process to be close required some level of intelligence. She determined the equal-distance between us, and settled on the floor at the center point.  She slept with one eye open in case either of us relocated.
When we left for work, church, or errands, it was imperative for her to have us explain our reason for leaving. If we told her we were going to work, she sighed deeply, and lay on her doggies bed to nap. After all, she knew work meant we’d be gone a long time.
If we communicated the word church, she wagged her tail, and strode into the dining room. There she’d lay her head on the window sill to watch for our car, and to listen for the garage door to open. Church meant she could expect a more timely return.
Bill and I often laughed about her ability to love every stranger she met.
“You know,” said Bill, “If burglars arrived wearing masks, and waiving guns, she’d greet them with her wagging tail and happily take them to the family valuables.”
“Yes,” I responded. “And if they delayed their exit, she would bring them a toy and insist on a game of tug.”
One day we found that assessment invalid. Bill received an unexpected call at work.
“Mr. Wetterman, your dog has our workman cornered, and he’s in fear for his life.”
The local cable company had entered our backyard to replace and bury their cable.
With surprise and the conviction that they’d called the wrong customer, Bill drove home to find a nervous stranger, dressed in the cable company’s uniform, trapped in our yard. Bailey, with her loudest and most threatening bark, jumped up in down in front of the intruder. 
Bill stepped into action. “Bailey, come.” He smiled as she pranced to him with her tail flagged high.
As he retold the story at dinner that night, Bill remarked, “She seemed to be saying, See, I did my job. Your home’s safe.”
About a year later, we moved into a new home. Our builder stopped by the house while we were at work. He brought the electrician with him for some minor punch list corrections. Bailey, of course, was in the house. Although she knew the builder, she refused to let him in with the electrician at his side.
“I’ve never seen her like this. She knows me but when she bared her teeth, I became a believer,” the builder said. “She’s scary- big and black. In the future, I’ll come by appointment only.”
Although we know she has a heart if gold, now we also know she would protect us to the death. She is eighty-five pounds of dynamite.
Next time, come by and hear about Bailey’s adventures in her new wooded backyard. 
If you are considering a new family pet, please adopt a rescue. They are wonderful dogs and seem to know you did something special for them.

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