Harley is 15, and has been wonderfully useful for years, making sure the sock fairies have fewer socks to steal by hoarding them in her crate. She’s also a great foot-warmer, and a wonderful vacuum. Her impression of the kids was raised considerably when they started solids! Harley will bark (sometimes) when someone comes to the door, and will (usually) bark when one of the kids is upset – she would go to the other end of the house to tell us if one of the babies had woken up and was crying.
Harley’s alert-to-door stats were higher when we lived in a house that was laid out differently. She is also right there to protect me by barking at strangers. It almost looks like she’s going to follow through, but then hides behind me. Anyone (friend or contractor) who has been here more than once knows not to worry about her!
Jack is 10, and new to our family. We’ve already ascertained that he’s great for ball, frisbee, and snowball fetch. He’s also very useful as a foot-warmer or warm-up-cold-sheets critter. He will unfailingly alert me if someone is going up or down the stairs, as well as if someone comes to the door. OK, often on that last one, but given the layout of the house, I can understand why he doesn’t always know (we’re upstairs in the kitchen, bedroom, & living room, door is downstairs by the other living room).
Jack’s job since he moved into our home is to follow me. Everywhere. He takes this job very seriously and will sulk in my room if I leave for a while. He gets up when I get up, and goes wherever I go. It’s like having an 18 month old, except that he barks instead of cries, and I don’t have to do diapers.
After falling down the stairs and then slipping and falling in the hallway, and then last night’s excitement of having the world spin while I fell last night, I feel even better about having Jack follow me. We weren’t thinking of him helping me when we got him, but we were grateful he followed me just in case – the combo of meds and clumsiness isn’t always pretty.
ACDs aren’t all that big, but they’re very sturdy. Think the rugby players of the dog world! Jack has been there to help me get up after falling on ice and he can go alert others if I fall. I’ve felt so much safer knowing he was there if I needed him. If he was Great Dane sized, it would be even more help, but I don’t think my house could fit a dog that size!
We had always planned to teach the dogs to find the phone or the remote, but now we have kids! The next step will be teaching the dogs to find things that were dropped – like keys!
Gosh, they’re cute!
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