I was out one after noon walking two big brown dogs. One of them, Samson is ours. The other, Kennedy, is my daughters. They’re almost twins.
A hundred yards into our walk around the block, a miniature version of my dogs caught wind of our approach and came over to check us out. He must have been visiting, because I hadn’t seen him before. I braced myself, unsure of how hard my two would pull on their leashes. The little guy trotted over with his hackles up, but the initial sniffing was cordial.
Until the smaller dog snapped, warning us to stay away from his yard. The two bigger dogs woofed but took a step back, unsure of their next move. Really? O come on. He’s not more than a snack for you two beasts. Whatever. We’ll just ease on down the road.
So my question is, why does a little dog like that feel like they can take on a much bigger pair of opponents? And why are the big dogs afraid of such a small antagonist?
I guess dogs don’t pay that much attention to size. It more about territory. If you’re on my home field, I don’t care how big you are, I’m coming after you. You can pee on my mailbox post, but I’m just going to cover it as soon as you leave. I’m defending my home turf no matter what!
The big dogs are thinking, “<pant> <pant> You’re not much fun. Later.”
I settled into my Sunday morning routine quite a few years ago. The first of our two weekly worship services is at 8:15 am. The musicians for that first service arrive to warm up between 7 and 7:20. So if I want the place to myself to run through my sermon, I need to start practice preaching about 6:30. I like to have about an hour to eat some breakfast, shower, get dressed and drive to over to the church. So I’ll get going with all that about 5:30. Plus, after I feed and walk the dog, I like to have some time for my own personal devotions, prayer and journaling, so I set my alarm for 4:30 am. That’s why I always look so awake when y’all arrive for worship. I’ve been up for about four hours.
But that’s not what this post is all about.
My routine was a little different today. You see, my daughter’s dog is spending the weekend with us. So I had two large brown dogs to tend to first thing this morning. No problem. They play, sleep and bark at everyone together. After feeding and walking them, I made my coffee and sat down with my Bible and journal. I figured they would lie down and relax.
Didn’t happen. My wife was still asleep having worked till 11 the night before. We tried to be quiet, but lapping up a quart of water is surprisingly noisy. Toenails ticking on the floor is surprisingly noisy, too, as they sniffed here and there and just couldn’t get settled. They noised our bedroom door over and over again, and I finally figured out what they wanted. They wanted to go back to bed!
I turned off the lights and quietly opened the door. They hurried in, circled around in their beds a few times, and noisily collapsed for a few more hours of shuteye.
It was finally quiet. They probably thought I was nuts to be up so early. I’m sure they’re not the only ones.
The two brown dogs guarding our home raise the alert status to Defcon 5 about every fifteen minutes or so. Growls, woofs and urgent barks echo through the house for any of the following reasons.
- The mailman is delivering the mail.
- The garbage man has arrived.
- The UPS man has arrived.
- The Fedex guy has arrived.
- The neighbor across the street has opened his garage door.
- The neighbor has closed his garage door.
- Our garage door has opened.
- The neighbor from down the street is walking by.
- The neighbor from down the street is walking by with a dog.
- The neighbor from down the street is riding by on a bicycle.
- A car door opens.
- A car door shuts.
- A squirrel runs across the fence.
- Something sounds like a knock at the door.
This is the short list. I am sure there are many more in the Florida Brown Dog home security manual.