Inspired by the recent story of the faithful black, Labrador retriever who stayed by the side of a three-year-old child who wandered from home, a reader sent the following story of another toddler and a touching example of a dog’s protective nature.
The following story is shared (with permission) by Carl Belken.
A few years ago I was watching the morning news when all at once there was an angry knock at the front door. We opened the door to find an angry woman outside who was demanding to know if we were the owners of a toddler. Before we got the chance to answer yes or no she said; “He is wandering the streets naked and he is surrounded by dogs! ” ” God only knows what those dogs would have done to him if I had not stopped!”
She got even angrier when we told her we did not own a toddler.
I figured I had better go and investigate the situation. I know most of the kids and almost all of the dogs in our tiny rural town of 183. I live on the side of a hill just out of the Missouri River bottoms. I’m retired and disabled. I have a John Deere riding mower with a wagon attached that I use like a handicapped cart. I grabbed my Dachshund named Dolly and I drove down there.
When I arrived on the scene my first thought was “Bullcrap” Yes there was a half naked toddler there and yes he was surrounded by dogs. I knew all the dogs there. The woman was acting like they were going to gobble him up. Nothing of the sort was going to happen. A dog named peanuts was the smartest dog there and the pack leader. Peanuts was a beagle mix, Dooley his best buddy was a beagle mix too.
When Peanuts saw me he was like ” Oh good, Mr. C. and Dolly are here, everything is OK, c’mon boys lets go find the town rabbit.” and they all left. My dachshund Dolly walked over to the young boy and immediately fell in love with him. I could tell by the little grin she had on her face.
The little boy would not talk. The woman called the sheriffs dept. A deputy soon showed up. It turned out that the boy had waited for his dad to go to sleep then he went out the back door. His dad worked night shift and his mom worked days. They could not afford a sitter. I was angry at the parents until I heard that.
The child had went through my garden when he was wandering. I could tell by the tracks in the soil. There were also dozens of fresh dog tracks around his.
Those dogs had seen the child. They knew something was wrong but they did not quite know what to do about it. So they stayed with the doy. They did not know the angry woman and refused to leave when she showed up. I’d bet her anger had something to do with that too. They seemed relived to see me. They were protecting that young boy.
The last bit of drama happened when the deputy picked the child up to put in his car. I knew what might happen so I grabbed my Dachshund and held her in my arms. Sure enough the boy started bawling. My little Dolly goes ballistic when she thinks a child is being hurt. I did not want the officer bitten and I did not want him thinking he’d have to pull his gun on Dolly. I drove back up to my house with her struggling to get away from me. She wanted to go bark at the officer and maybe bite him too.
The officer got the child home and all was well.
Peanuts and Dooley never did catch the town rabbit. She always outsmarted them. Had she been male I’d have named her Bugs Bunny. The situation was funny to me at first but she had a litter of babies near my garden and they about destroyed the whole garden. Her offspring was as smart as she was.
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