Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Guardian Angels come in all forms...

In our case one came as a dog - a Bouvier des Flandres, by the name of Caila. Before she was even a yr. old she proved without a doubt that Bouvs make great protectors, whether trained to do so, or not!

One warm spring day way back when Noah, now 10 and a half, was just a newborn; we left all 7 of the children (ages 12 and down) in the van in the local strip mall parking lot of small town Perth.

My husband went to pick up a couple of items from the IGA, and I headed into the small privately owned pet store for… pet supplies! Typically on the occaisions that we did this, we always told the kids to lock the doors, but this particular time we forgot to remind them of this. So, of course, they didn’t.

Greatest on my mind right then was the possibility that Caila might have an accident while in the van as she had bowel problems that, as yet, we had been unable to resolve. This problem had resulted in our typically leaving her home on family outings despite her love for car rides. That morning she had jumped in the van as soon as she noted the crew all boarding together. Although not yet fully grown, she was big, heavy and determined. She is a Bouvier after all, and they are known for their pig headed manners. Anyway – my husband asked if I wanted him to pull her out, but feeling a little sorry for her, as well as in a hurry to get the day’s errands over I responded; “No – just leave her, and let’s all pray she doesn’t have an accident – poor thing!”

So while I was searching for cat food, litter and puppy food and my husband was searching the isles of the grocery store for whatever was on his list, the children sat chatting away waiting for our quick return. A few cars back, they noticed three teenagers, 1 girl and 2 males. These three were weaving in and out between cars laughing and joking together, as they made their way in the general direction of our van. The kids thought nothing of it as it was small rural town and generally peaceful.

Suddenly, however, the three teens came to a stop beside the side door of the van beside which my 9 yr old son, and newborn sat. As they continued to laugh and joke with each other, the tallest of the three yanked the door open. The children were shocked into silence while unbeknownst to the invaders, one “passenger” seated in her favorite seat, the driver’s, was alerted to the danger by the sudden tension that filled the air.

Up till then, the only training Caila had received was to sit, lie down, and GIVE (whatever is in your mouth to ME NOW). However – despite her sad lack of training in family protection Caila, swiftly and silently, moved from the driver’s seat to between the intruder and his prospective victims – my children. Now silence befell the three teens as Caila stared them down and then silently barred her teeth. She made not a sound, the children said and, in text book fashion, she warned these three potential criminals out of HER van.

The teens slammed the door shut, and the three of them made a hasty retreat and in high voices asked each other – “Did you SEE that DOG, Did you see those TEETH?? And then the comments that still today, leave chills down my spine;
I’m not doing it, are you?”
“No – I’m not – are you?”
We will never know what “it“ was, Thank GOD and Thank Caila!! Ten years later, the oldest four still remember that day very, very clearly.

Dog books describe the protective and intelligent attitude of the Bouvier as follows. 'When confronted with an intruder the Bouvier will size up the situation, and apply force only as needed. At first the animal will silently bar its teeth. Then, if the intruder does not respond appropriately, the Bouv will growl and if that still does not cause the intruder to retreat, at that point the dog will attack.'
What amazing dogs, eh!?!
Amazing Caila! Read more!