Stephanie Pearce: Dogs will risk their lives for you

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Stephanie Pearce

We have three amazing dogs. Well, four, but three really proved their worth a few weeks ago. It’s amazing to me that these animals can be so sweet, yet when needed, would be willing to lay their life down for their humans in an instant.

These three dogs are Pyrenees; the big white dogs that protect livestock. We live way out of town and these guys make sure the coyotes and other animals keep their distance from our livestock. They always accompany my daughter on her rides around our ranch.

Diesel is the one we got first as a puppy from our neighbor. He was a present for our daughter. He has the sweetest disposition. You look in his eyes and he just has this calming demeanor like an old soul. He has been a great companion for our second dog, Pumpkin. Pumpkin’s name actually was going to be Dewey. I found him on the side of a dirt road when his eyes still were closed and he still had his umbilical cord intact. I bottle fed him and called him Pumpkin more than Dewey, so Pumpkin stuck. He now is about 150 pounds and still thinks he needs to sit on my lap sometimes. The third dog roamed the road by our house for a couple of weeks and none of our neighbors knew where he came from, so I brought him home and you can find him sitting on our porch. We named him Hank and he was so happy to have a forever home with us.

At night, I hear them answering a coyote’s howl, so I don’t usually get alarmed when I hear them bark at night unless the howls sound really close. One night, though, their barks were very close by. Usually, they are in the fields or in the rocks behind the house barking. This night, my daughter banged on her bedroom window and yelled “Shut up!” This startled me completely awake. Next I heard her footsteps running down the hall to my room. She turned the light on and said “There is a mountain lion outside my window!”

The dogs had a mountain lion surrounded below her bedroom window. My husband was getting boots on, and I bolted to the front door. So many things were running through my mind. Then it hit me ... my dogs! I flung the front door open and the dogs and the lion were to my right. My husband was right behind me, but I startled the dogs and took their focus off the lion. The lion swatted at one of the dogs and it let out a yelp. I screamed and the dogs all looked at me and the lion bolted.

OK. I understand how dumb that was of me to open the door and to scream. It was just a motherly instinct I guess. In the end, the dogs came in the house, and I loved on them. Knowing they would have given their lives to protect our family made me love them even more. They are worth every 50-pound sack of dog food I’ve ever bought them and so much more.

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