Jamie, the Protector

As some of you may know, I bought an old (1914) house in a small town and moved in about a year ago. I purchased it from a bank following foreclosure.
The previous owners were overwhelmed, and the house and yard were very needy. This is a long project, but…

For several months now I have noticed that occasionally when Jamie and I have been out, he’s very wary when we come home. I can’t name a day when it
started, but it has been since his encounter with Mr XXX’s dogs, so I attributed it to that. A few times I was also uneasy, but nothing obvious
had been taken. Sometimes I thought there was less soda or cheese in the fridge, but I’m a senior citizen, maybe my memory slipped, so I convinced
myself I was reacting to Jamie’s skittishness.

Early Saturday morning, (3:30 AM) Jamie erupted from a sound sleep. Off the bed, barking with his Kerry alarm on high volume. The barking lasted several
seconds, then went silent, but Jamie didn’t return to bed. I got up, walked out of the bedroom into the cold night air. Uh – Oh ! Yep! The front
door was wide open & Jamie was gone. I stepped to the door and called him, but without much hope, because the front fence is not completed.
To my surprise, he came back inside within about 20 seconds. Once inside he began sniffing the floor, so I turned on the light. Bits of mud on
the floor all the way into the middle of the room. Holding onto the belief that my small town is safe, knowing we had all new locks, including
deadbolts; I decided I must have left the deadbolt off, the door had blown open, and some cat or dog had entered. Definitely time to replace the
doors.

A friend arrived mid-morning Saturday to do some work for me. Alexander, 40, is my eldest son’s best friend. Strong fellow, he works out, does physical
labor, hikes, goes camping and hunting. He lives about 2 1/2 hours away, so when he comes down to work on the fence, he stays the night.

Saturday night/Sunday AM I had my bedroom door securely closed and was sound asleep when Jamie started that low growl that we all know so well. At
first my skin crawled, and I could hear someone walking around. Remembering that Alexander was there, I thought perhaps he was restless and had
gotten up. I tried to keep Jamie quiet, then I heard tapping at my bedroom door. It was Alexander telling me there was someone in the living room.

I slipped into a robe and started out, but Jamie got out first. He ran to within about 8 ft of the intruder, then stopped. It was a young man, about
6 ft 2 in, drunk and high. He had helped himself to three different bottles of soda, 4 kinds of cheese, and was sitting at my computer with his
trousers open when Alexander came out of his room. The intruder was disdainful, swearing at us, telling me to go ahead and call the cops.

Jamie behaved the way I would like a guard dog to behave. Even when I was trying to keep him quiet, he continued the low growl. When I opened the bedroom
door, he ran out, took up a good position facing the intruder, and stood alert, erect, very still, and kept up a low rumble. When I walked out
of the room to call the police, Jamie remained in place, on guard. He kept watch until the policeman escorted the young man away.

There is no doubt in my mind that had the young man gotten violent, Jamie would have been physically involved. However, because he didn’t try to get
away or get physical, Jamie didn’t either.

Good Dog, Jamie. Good Dog!

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