He was a dog among dogs

Olivia Fowler

Olivia Fowler

Own The Way

By Olivia Fowler

We’ve owned many dogs over the years. There have been bird dogs, barn dogs, yard dogs and house dogs. They all had distinct personalities and varying degrees of intelligence.

Perhaps the smartest dog we ever owned was King, a beautiful German shepherd who could be counted on to babysit children in the backyard, guard our possessions and patrol at night.

He was like a policeman in that he’d clearly taken an oath to serve and protect.

He thought the world of his humans but was not impressed with our skill set, clearly disapproving of what he considered our lack of good judgment.

When Katherine got her first bike, he thought it was a terrible idea. Every time she tried to get on it, he’d gently take her foot in his mouth and pull it off the pedal. He had seen her fall several times and just didn’t think bike riding was a safe activity for his little girl.

He was very protective and wouldn’t allow any stranger on the property when Fowler was out of town on business.

King was well known for his territorial claims. I once received a call from the telephone repairman who’d responded to a request for repairs. He said, “Mrs. Fowler, this is the telephone repairman. I’m out here at the top of a pole in the edge of your driveway and your German shepherd won’t let me come down. Would you come out here and get him?”

I had to go out and hold him by the collar while the poor man made his escape.

Once when a small child had wandered out of her yard, she was found halfway to Pickens walking down the road. King was walking with her. He knew good and well the toddler shouldn’t be out there alone, so he took it upon himself to keep her safe during her journey.

He wouldn’t allow any of our other dogs to chase cars. We had another shepherd named Major, one of King’s offspring, who looked just like his daddy but wasn’t as smart.

When Major was about six months old he decided it was his assignment to chase any car driving by our yard. His career as a car chaser was short lived, as every time he tried to catch a car, King would barrel into him and knock him to the ground, then keep him down until the car passed safely by.

I’ve never seen another dog do this.

If I ever had to go outside during the night, King would appear out of nowhere and hold my hand gently in his mouth as he walked with me.

The only thing he feared was thunder. And if I happened to open the door during a storm he would quickly come inside. I let him. Actually I had no choice, as he was as big as I was and much stronger.

Once, during a storm, I had to go pick the children up in town. The minute I opened that car door, he was in. He apparently thought he should drive, and it was all I could do to get him to move over into the passenger’s seat.

He lived to the age of 10 and was missed terribly when he died. And, although we’ve had a number of wonderful dogs since his demise, I have to say King was a dog among dogs.