I cannot deny it. My dogs are spoiled rotten. But there is a reason, a really good one. It’s not just that Mulder is so gorgeous that he takes my breath away. And not because my stress level drops when I get home and see his toothy grin in the window, head bobbing back and forth because his tail is wagging his entire body. And it’s not just Bailey’s undeniable spirit or that she’s always ready to give comfort and warmth. No, it’s much deeper than that.
Let me tell you the story…
We had just moved into our house a few months earlier. It was one of those wonderful California fall nights, warm enough to have the doors and windows open. I think it was the first time since we’d moved in that I was actually home alone. Well, somewhat alone. I was playing my favorite MMORPG game, Final Fantasy XI, with dozens of my closest friends in the world (/cheer Soymilk and Pocket Aces Linkshells in Carbuncle!). I was in the front bedroom that we made into an office; the window looked out onto the porch. Of course, it was dark out, so I couldn’t see anything outside… but I would have been nicely framed in the window for anyone walking by… or coming up to the front door.
When the dogs started barking, I ignored them. I really didn’t need to know each time a leaf fell on the lawn or a squirrel ran by. But then Mulder appeared at my side. He’s a big Chow Chow and German Shepherd mix. His bark – when he really means it – commands attention. I turned and looked at him and knew that it was serious. I quickly told my friends in the game that I was going afk (NOT advisable for the healer of the group to suddenly take off in the middle of a battle), and followed Mulder out of the room and towards the front door.
Suddenly Mulder was in the air, leaping at the screen door. My eyes were riveted to the handle of the screen. The lock had been broken, and the door was opening. Mulder hit the door with a crash that was loud enough to wake the neighborhood. I caught my first glimpse of the person: close to 6 feet, maybe 180 pounds, wearing a dark hoodie, gloves, and jeans. I couldn’t see his face, just a vague impression of scruffy stubble that was, perhaps, intended to be a moustache.
The intruder, showing a glimmer of intelligence, turned and tried to run. He was slowed down a great deal by the dog that was attached to his ass. With a heave, he managed to get over the porch railing and high tail it away. I was quite disappointed by his escape: he somehow avoided all of the cacti. When I looked at Mulder, I was amused to see a large scrap of jean in his mouth. Good boy!
So there you have it. Mulder earned his kibbles (and walks, and toys, and treats, and absolutely anything else his heart desires). Bailey, bless her heart, prudently stood on the couch and barked a warning to all other potential intruders.
I didn’t call the police about the incident. “Why?” you ask. Because I’d heard too many stories about dogs being taken into “custody” after saving their owners. Oh, hell no. This dog was not going to leave my side. Wait, maybe it’s more like I’m not leaving his side. Another reason was that I wanted the guy to tell all his friends to stay away from this house.
I never replaced the screen door, although I did put a strong lock on it. The screen is bowed from where Mulder hit it. It amuses me.
Mulder, my beloved, and Bailey, my heart: You can have anything. I will give you the world.