It was about 11:45 pm on a Thursday night when Teddy walked over to my side of the bed, stuck her snout next to mine, and gave me one loud “Woof.”
I opened my eyes and said, “What?” (as if she would answer). With an unmistakable intensity, she looked me right in the eye and repeated herself: “Woof!”
Usually when there’s another dog outside, she’ll bark a bit and then settle down. If there’s someone walking down the city sidewalk, she’ll bark a little and then stop. But this was different.
I looked into her eyes for a minute and I swear I heard her say, “Listen, you need to get out of that bed and look outside. This isn’t just a random ‘woof’. This one’s important.”
She did not leave her station at the side of my bed but continued to stare intensely at me. I arose from my soft pink bed and toddled outside to the second-floor balcony just outside my bedroom. I looked outside and saw two highly questionable people studying my car, which was parked on the street. One was especially interested in the license plate. The other was leaning over and looking in the driver’s window.
The dog followed me out to the balcony and stood out there and barked. I was trying to figure out if I should yell or call 911, but Teddy’s barking was enough. They immediately stood upright and walked away.
Back in the bedroom, I thanked Teddy and gave her some praise. As I settled back under the covers, I said a little prayer of gratitude for her perspicacity. And I wondered, “How did she know? And how did she know how to get my attention with that little staring maneuver? How could she hear those silent people out there, preparing to mess with my red Camry?”
One of my favorite books is Kinship with All Life and its premise is that dogs are a lot smarter and a lot more intuitive and a lot more attuned to feelings and emotions that we humans can ever understand or appreciate.
The morning after the incident with the miscreants, I praised Teddy to the moon and stars. And that afternoon, she went outside and dug a hole in the middle of my freshly planted St. Augustine grass. Guess she didn’t want me to think she was the World’s Most Perfect Puppy.
This happened about two years ago, and we’ve since moved to another area, but Teddy still keeps a watchful eye over our property. These days, those “intruders” are mostly ducks and geese and racoons and muskrats - and the occasional snake.
She’ll be three years old this month, and she’s been a lot of fun in those three years. Best of all, I’ve never heard her voice one complaint about anything. She really is a good dog, a good companion and a trust-worthy friend.
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