My Four Legged, Four Tiered, Four-Midable Security System

Lucky Garvin
Lucky Garvin

Sometimes I work odd hours; it’s the curse of being an ER doc. Many wives sleep fitfully, if at all, while their husbands are gone.

But my Sabrina sleeps in undisturbed confidence.

The reason for this lies in our “back-up” security system. It is perhaps best explained by our electronic systems guru who came to the house recently to explain our up-grade.

“No question, uh, you folks have a state of the art, uh system. But your back-up system might be better. Bad guys, heh, heh,” he laughed nervously, “Might get in – might … But, uh, getting out alive?” He looked anxiously beside Sabrina, “Yeah, getting out alive, I just wouldn’t bet on.”

He took his leave with evident relief. Sabrina smiled and said to herself, “I wonder if you guys are what he was talking about.” Our four Dobermans seated protectively at her feet looked up at her in silence.  All but one are SPCA “rescues.”

These rescue dogs return the favor.

So, yes, my baby sleeps well at night: 240 pounds of Dobies lie next to her on the bed, and a second tier of 170 pounds on the floor nearby. That’s a lot of dog.

I’ve learned there is a big difference between a watch dog and a guard dog. A ‘”watch dog” – usually with the best ears in the pack – picks up any suspicious sounds, and by a signal – often a bark, sometimes a snort – alerts them. Our fifth dog, Brandy – a bird dog – is a very accomplished watch dog. Her bark alerts Roc and Jax, at 90 pounds and 115 pounds respectively; these are the guard dogs. Their devotion to Sabrina and me is complete, immediate, and un-failing.

Several years ago, I was at work one night. Sabrina awoke to a noise in the house;  it was not a normal noise of the house. She turned on the light. Roc and Jax were standing up in their beds, noses pointed toward the sound, hair up on their back.

Sabrina started to leave the bedroom to check out the disturbance. She felt a soft, insistent brush against her knee; Roc and Jax insisted on taking the lead–time to return that favor. Every square inch, including the space beneath every chair, table and sofa got sniffed out until the trio reached the far end of the house. Then Jax and Roc turned, looked at her, wagged their stubby Doberman tails and escorted their mommy back to the bedroom.

One night the security system went off. [It proved to be a glitch.] The police, automatically summoned by our system, arrived at our front door. They looked down at the Dobies, smiled, and said, “So, what do you need us for?”

Doberman Pinschers, it is said, were the result of careful breeding by a 19th century tax-collector named Doberman. Forced by his job to collect taxes and carry cash in dangerous neighborhoods, he felt it best to have guard-dogs. The result of his cautious genetic selection was the Doberman. There are no recorded incidents of threats to his health or safety once he was accompanied by his creations. Small wonder.

So, all the dogs got treats, and from that night to this, my Sabrina sleeps quite well, thank you.

By Lucky Garvin
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