Dogs never let you down

Dogs are the most reliable of creatures when it comes to being loyal. You can tell a dog anything without having to worry about seeing your secret broadcast on the six o’clock news.

Dogs are also very protective of your interests. Look at Red Dog, our old boxer. He is top dog 6-25 Page 4A.inddnow and takes those responsibilities very seriously.

He has a squad of loyal soldiers who follow his lead into any situation.

We have a large propane tank in our side yard. Red Dog feels strongly that it is his duty to keep a close watch on this tank and protect it from intruders.

When the propane truck pulls into the yard, Red Dog is convinced the driver has designs on the tank. He would never bite the driver. At least we hope not, and he’s never shown signs of taking such drastic measures to protect the tank. But he does lead the troops, consisting of three elderly rat terriers and one extremely immature Chihuahua. They put themselves between the driver and the tank and bark ferociously, circling his ankles and threatening him.

Clearly the Chihuahua doesn’t know what they’re doing. He’s just happy to be included with the pack. And although he offers no real threat to the driver, he could yap a person to death.

They sound like an ill-assorted barbershop quintet. Toby, the Chihuahua, is an extremely high tenor. Red Dog is a deep and full bass. Kewpie Dog is an alto. Diablo, although small, is clearly a baritone. Sebastian is a tenor but tends to lean toward the yapping end of the scale.

When they really get stirred up by any activity out of the ordinary, you would think we were being invaded by enemy troops, and they’re ready to die to the last man if necessary.

Now, security systems have their place. And once your home has been broken into, the system brings official help on the way.

In the country, however, a dog will alert you if an intruder is anywhere on your property. And any intruder who can make it as far as the front porch while five dogs are telling everybody in the world that a stranger is inside the perimeter may lack the mental skills necessary to pull off a successful break-in.

Granted, dedicated dogs can be a trifle overzealous in carrying out their self-appointed duties. We once owned a German shepherd who treed the telephone repairman every time there was a problem on the line. They all grew to know King well enough to call him by name. Each time this happened, my phone would ring and the voice on the other end would say, “Mrs. Fowler, King won’t let me come down off the pole. Would you come outside and get him?”

This could be a little inconvenient, but we were always secure. A stranger pulling into the yard would not be allowed to exit his vehicle until someone came outside and OKed him.

We depend on our dogs for loyalty, protection, affection and companionship, and we’ve owned many over the years. None of them have ever let us down. May we never be without one.