A few years back, my son’s girlfriend and her three year old son were at our house visiting. It was the first time they had been to our house so my dog didn’t know the child at all.
My dog, Mandy, was a 70 pound husky/shepherd mix and was very gentle and loving. She had never growled at any of us since her boisterous puppy days.
While I was at work, my son and his girlfriend were looking through a suitcase for something. The little three year old boy was sitting in the living room watching cartoons. They had just checked on the child a minute before and all was well.
Mandy came into the room and started growling at my son, which she would never do. My son, thinking she had decided this was a way to get attention, said “Mandy, stop”. She walked out of the room, but came back in few seconds later, very agitated. She was growling at him, showing her teeth. He said again “Mandy, stop, what’s wrong with you?”. Then she grabbed his shorts in her teeth and tugged, growling and extremely agitated. My son later said it was the only time in Mandy’s life that he was afraid of her because of the way she was acting. She let go of his shorts and ran out of the room, growling, crying and very, very agitated. He followed her, wondering what was wrong with her.
She ran to the front door and continued to growl and cry. My son went over to the door and looked out to see the three year old boy walking away from the house. He had figured out how to open the door and went out without anyone knowing and Mandy, though she didn’t know this child, instinctively knew that this little boy could not be outside by himself.
Mandy has since passed away and though I miss her more than I could ever express, the memories of her love and loyalty will live with me for the rest of my life, as will the memory of the day Mandy saved little Ryan.