A couple of weeks ago, Paul went out of town for work. I took Reid to lacrosse, and we got home around 7:40. The boys and I rushed in the house, to begin the business of getting ready for bed. A strange sound rumbled from the back porch. What was that? Was that Bo? Growling? Couldn't be. I had never really heard him growl before. I wanted to investigate, but with bedtime looming and the business of brushing teeth and getting into pjs, I became distracted.
A bit later the boys were all tucked in and I went up to my room to do some reading. I had just settled into the pillows with the cats and a book, when Bo started barking like crazy. Sometimes he barks at deer, so I didn't think too much about it. But then I heard yelling in the woods on the property behind our house. I turned off all the interior lights, checking all door locks along the way. Then I turned on all the exterior spotlights. Bo was barking on the back side of the house, so I went back upstairs, cracked a window, and watched Bo from my viewpoint, listening carefully in between his barks.
Imagine my alarm when in the grainy darkness I could just make out Bo chasing a pair of running legs down the driveway. I immediately contemplated my options. I knew it would take the sheriff a good 15 – 20 minutes to arrive, and then he wouldn’t necessarily be willing to go traipsing along our land in the dark. Instead I texted a neighbor, a federal park ranger, to see if he was home. He called me right away, and said that he’d come over to check things out.
Over the next hour Bo continued to pace and bark, but the yelling and voices stopped. I got a text around ten that said my neighbor was back home, that it was a long story, but that he had taken care of the situation. It wasn’t until the next evening when Paul returned home that we got the full story. I think he didn’t want me to be scared all night.
It didn’t matter, though. I couldn’t sleep that night, and was up every hour to check on things. Know who else didn’t sleep? Bo. Every hour I got up, Bo was sitting at the top of the driveway, quietly keeping watch over the horse pasture. He didn’t go to his snug bed on the porch once. Even at 6:30 the next morning, he was still carefully keeping watch.
Our neighbor told us the next day that he had snuck up on our land from the backside. Even though he has encountered numerous crazy situations for his job on the Blue Ridge parkway, he said even he was taken aback when he saw the man in our horse pasture. Missing clothes, covered -- dripping in blood (like something out of a horror movie, according to the neighbor), drunk and delusional, this is the man our dear dog chased away. Our neighbor detained him until the police and an ambulance arrived to take him away.
It takes my breath away to think of how our sweet, affectionate Bo protected his family that night, and then sat up all night making sure the threat didn’t return. Some people may think that Bo was lucky to get a new family after he lost his, and flunked out of several other attempts at rehoming. But the truth is that we were the lucky ones to get him. I can’t imagine a more valuable fur friend than the one that puts his own life on the line to guard his family. Had it not been for him, and our neighbor, things might have turned out very differently. Not even a high tech alarm system could have handled the situation like Bo did. So guess who got a big batch of home cooked bacon and a good dose of hugs the next day?
Readers, have you ever had a dog do something amazing for you or a loved one?