Has your dog ever saved you from something bad happening?
My little white Yorkshire/Poodle mix, Maggie, was tiny, her heaviest weight was about 10 pounds. She liked most people well enough, but she took her responsibility as the tiniest guard dog in the world, very, very seriously. Of all my dogs, she was the one who was most successfully able to suss out the bad people.
I was living in a small historic town in the Florida woods. The area was pretty, but a bit isolated. There were 4 small duplexes down there. I was the only one who lived alone. I had been a widow for almost two years.
The back of my duplex faced a thick woods. It would be difficult to walk through. I thought it looked romantic.
Across from me lived a hippie. She had been a “Deadhead” for a while–following the Greatful Dead around. She said that she was a psychic too. I don’t think she had a steady job. She did odd jobs here and there. She always needed money.
Once in a while, she would help me out, mowing my lawn, or doing other things around my small house. I had her read the Tarot cards for me, I helped her with food. I was a teacher in an adult facility, and I didn’t make a lot of money, but I felt sorry for her and tried to think of ways to help her out whenever I could. Maggie seemed to like her. I thought we could be friends.
At that time, I was trying to get used to living alone. I missed my husband. I was a bit lonely. I was grateful for my neighbor’s company. We ate together, we had fun telling stories about our lives and laughing. I liked to think we helped each other.
The trouble actually started, when her new boyfriend moved in. He was attractive enough, long blonde hair, good build, a bit athletic looking. I was happy for her, I knew that she wanted a man in her life, and now there was somebody who could even help her with the bills! There was an early fly in the ointment, however. My little Maggie hated him on sight. I had never seen her act like this before.
He tried to make friends with her. He brought her treats. She wouldn’t take them. She turned her head. He tried to pick her up. She growled. I had never ever heard her growl before. I actually didn’t know that she could! She fooled you. She looked so sweet!
It seemed like she was always watching him out of the corner of her eye. If it hadn’t been so funny, it would have been weird. I noticed that although she was actually cautious with most people, she seemed to really hate him. I would soon find out why.
I didn’t know it at the time, but for whatever reason, she obviously did not trust him, she would never warm up to him. This kind of altered my relationship with my neighbor. My dog hated her boyfriend. What could I say?
One day, after I came home from work, The Boyfriend strolled over to my little duplex. He had brought me several old Reader’s Digests that he thought my students could read. I thanked him, but he didn’t give them to me so I could take them in. He was still holding on to them. Maggie had hurried to the door, as usual. (she didn’t like to miss anyone at the door. This way, if they were evil, she could tear the person apart, I guess) My little dog was giving The Boyfriend her usual evil eye that she, apparently, reserved just for him.
The boyfriend didn’t care. I mean, after all, she weighed 10 pounds. I’m pretty sure my purse weighs more. The Boyfriend wasn’t afraid. He balanced his foot on one of the three steps leading to my department, and tried to smile.
Here, I will say, I really hadn’t noticed before how his smile looked kind of forced and strange, like he didn’t do it much, and didn’t mean it when he did.
“I’ve always wanted to see your apartment. Could I come in?”
I was amazed. I didn’t feel in any way, shape or form that that was ever going to happen.
“No, no, it’s messy. No.”
One more step. Now both feet were standing on the step. He was…insistent.
“I don’t mind.” He smiled again.
“But I do! I mind!”
I made sure Maggie was in (before she killed the guy) ran in and locked the door. My friendship with my neighbor was done. Her boyfriend was weird. Why was he so very creepy?
We never spoke again–I made sure I was never in a position where I had to speak to him–until I discovered that he was the stalker that had been bothering me for several months.
The stalker (I actually called him MY Stalker when I talked about him, which my colleagues let me know was weird and creepy) would come into my yard and break my sensor lights that I had installed. He would move my lawn furniture around. He would try to talk to me from my bedroom window at 2:00 in the morning. He listened to me on the telephone. Then he would mock what I said. I didn’t know who it was. It was mostly annoying, because, he was breaking up my sleep. I was getting really tired at work. I was exhausted.
During this time I had some really nice neighbors (a young engaged couple) who shared the other duplex attached to mine. They were so sweet! For several days they worked hard repairing my broken fence, because they were afraid that they would find my dead body one day. Personally, I thought they were making a mountain out of… well, you know. I continued to act like it wasn’t happening. I think I was just tired. I was still in the land of denial…
Until the day a young Sheriff’s deputy came by (I had finally started calling the cops). I was not getting enough sleep! I was cranky. I still really didn’t think anything bad could happen to me. I was mostly annoyed. I had Maggie, my little security guard and she woke me up every single time. Sometimes I wished she’d let me sleep. I was so deep in acting as if any of this was not happening, as you can tell.
It was the next day after the night I had found neatly folded up army camo clothes. ( He was naked out there now??? It was late. I had taken Maggie out to do her business. She didn’t want to go. I had to force her. That’s when I saw the camo clothes, neatly folded. I picked her up and ran inside). I later saw what looked like…white weird slimy stuff on the brick wall under my window, I started to think…this guy, whoever he is, is getting a little crazy, and this is getting a little scary. I called my boss.
My boss at work (she had become a friend) was so excited. She loved stuff like this. I think she was a would be detective. She hurried down to my woods (I was too poor to own anything, but I still thought of this as “my woods” I still loved living there) and took pictures. She was crazy about taking pictures. This was all very exciting to her.
To my surprise, this would turn out to be a busy day for me. A young deputy came to see the abandoned, neatly folded clothing (the guy left naked?) and inspect the slime on the wall which had mostly vanished by now, in the hot Florida sun. I told him I had pictures. He looked somber.
“Walk to my car with me.”
He really let me have it.
“We hate this place! We all hate coming here!” He was yelling now. He sounded a bit unhinged, I was surprised. I just stared at him. Maggie would have been really upset, but I had made her stay in the house.
“You are not taking this seriously! We are afraid this guy will rape and kill you! We will find your dead body one day! Every deputy that comes here hates this place in the middle of nowhere! We told you to move! This is no place for you. You won’t move! You won’t listen!”
He saved the best for last.
“Miss, we are afraid we are going to be putting yellow tape around your house. Do you understand me, Miss, do you know what I mean???”
Yes, after he left, I finally began to be afraid.
I’ll skip to the good part. Soon, Maggie woke me again at 2:00 in the morning. I immediately called the Sheriff’s department. They caught him. It was The Boyfriend. It was kind of weird, the way he was dressed. His blond hair was fixed in a fancy style, he wore gold chains and a dressy white shirt and jeans. He had dressed up for me. Ugh.
I often think now: was he planning something special– just for me? Even today it gives me chills.
His clothes were not white very long, however, because the officers made him lie down in the dirt while they read him his rights. I was not at all sorry for him, when I thought of all that sleep I missed, the people yelling at me, the fear.
The part I will never forget, was the sight of him struggling in my lawn chair that he was handcuffed to. The tall (I think he was almost 7 feet tall!) young Black deputy that ran out into the woods to catch him, had said, “I think that old boy’s still out there!”
He was, and he got him. He and the red headed rookie he seemed to be training, found The Boyfriend frantically digging a hole in the woods right near my apartment. A hole: to hide in? A grave for me?
Unfortunately for The Boyfriend, the area was still considered part of the property.
While the stalker frantically squirmed and tugged at his handcuffed hand, the Black cop noticed Maggie going crazy (we were both out there, me in a robe, she, losing her mind on a leash. That night, Maggie had a chance to act pissed off and crazy, so she did ). The deputy looked down at her and wryly said,
“I’d like to let this little dog go and see what happens!”
Sadly, he didn’t do it. Ooh Maggie was mad!
On a lighter note, I can prove that Maggie didn’t just randomly hate all men. Before the deputies put The Boyfriend in their vehicle, she jumped right into the young deputy’s arms. He called her, “…a little hero dog.”
It was amazing, really. Her monster was caught. Her mistress could finally sleep sweet dreams. Maggie died at 19, still trying to protect me. R.I.P., My Tiny Guard Dog.
Think about this, maybe that will keep you in check. If your way is not pure, behave yourself when you get in the presence of a smart dog like Maggie!
Have you had a similar experience and want to share? Let us hear you in the comment box!