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My Personal Guard Dog
My pet has evolved into a guard dog. A personal protection dog. A potential attack dog. Whatever term you prefer. He’s a Great Dane named Hamlet.
Hamlet is the best dog I’ve ever owned or handled, and believe me, that’s saying something! He’s also the smartest dog I’ve ever known. He has a huge vocabulary – he understands many words and commands, even though the only one I have purposely taught him is “sit.” The others he picked up on his own.
Since Johnny and I got Hamlet and his adopted brother Grendel, a harlequin Dane, we no longer sleep together. We have a king-size bed, but there’s not enough room for me, Johnny, and two Great Danes. Hamlet always sleeps with me, while Grendel rotates between sleeping in my bed or in Johnny’s bedroom with him.
Hamlet sleeps as close to me as he can possibly get, with his big head resting on my pillow. In the last few months, he’s become extremely protective of me while we’re in the bed. The first time we noticed this was when Johnny came in my room to awaken me one morning. He shook my foot, and Hammie didn’t like it one bit! He barked and growled at Johnny, but he never tried to bite him. He let Johnny know in no uncertain terms that messing with his mama was off limits.
Now, if anyone enters my bedroom while I’m in bed, Hamlet warns them not to come close to me. The funny thing is, if I call Johnny into my room, Hamlet doesn’t react. But if Johnny comes in without my request, Hamlet lets him know immediately that he’s not welcome.
It’s strange – Hamlet has never been like this anywhere else or in any other situation. It’s only when I’m in bed. I wonder if he understands that I’m more vulnerable when I’m asleep and that it’s his job to protect me? Otherwise, he loves everyone - friends, family members, total strangers. He especially loves kids and even allows them to sit on him and ride him.
I took a nap this afternoon, and I called Johnny into the bedroom to ask him a question. Hamlet didn’t make a peep. Then when Johnny tried to touch me, Hamlet would get between me and Johnny and bark and growl, loudly voicing his displeasure. If I had said “no,” Hammie would have quietened immediately. But I’m not so sure this is bad behavior. If he reacts this way when Johnny or one of my friends or daughters attempt to bother me while I’m sleeping, imagine how he would react to a stranger – you know, like an intruder/rapist/burglar!
Having a 150-160 pound dog with 1 ½-inch long teeth protecting me gives me a real sense of security – especially since I like sleeping with my bedroom window open!