The Sentry (for dog lovers)

By Eilene Lyon

She has always stood at the ready to protect us: from lizards, squirrels, bears, hummingbirds, flies, and free-range garbage trucks. Kyra is now into her second decade of guard duty.

We didn’t name her. In retrospect, she should have been christened with a warrior’s name – “Xena” or “She Who Eats Skunk Butts for Breakfast.” You know, something fierce.

We call her “Punkin’ Pie” at times, because the top of her head looks like a slice of pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream on top. But she’s no sweet treat. At least not to anyone but us.

A good hike always makes Kyra smile.

It’s been a challenge to domesticate a dog with a checkered past, through no fault of her own. When we adopted her at 1½ years old, she’d been abandoned and adopted out at least five times already. The clouds of dander she sloughed caused more than one surrendering due to allergies. She’s been the only pet I’ve ever had that gave me an allergic reaction, but it seems to have subsided.

In one case, a burglary traumatized Kyra, but no one knows what really happened. Certain people will set her off a-nipping (she’s part heeler, after all), but it’s a mystery to us who might be a trigger. Usually, but not always, it’s a man.

Even her attitude toward other dogs is baffling. Frequently she’s hostile, but she loves yellow labs, in particular. She is in essence a dog-dog, not a people-dog.

Oregon 240
Kyra visits Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

When we come home, she’ll bend in half wagging her welcome, howling to emphasize that she’s so happy we’re back. Then she’ll ignore us completely. But she’s always standing guard (or lying in the driveway). Unless she hears thunder or a neighbor duck hunting. Then we must protect her.

If a real threat were to appear, we can’t possibly predict her response. But I feel pretty safe from rabid ATVs and the like!

OSC 017
Queen of the driveway – protecting my car from vicious (and destructive) wood rats.

22 thoughts on “The Sentry (for dog lovers)

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  1. Sounds like quite the loyal personality. It’s hard taking on rescue dogs. Ophelia was one and there are triggers, scents we can’t smell and the smell of lamb, that seem to send her into fright and flight response. Fortunately we have learned to recognize her body language before she panics and runs.

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  2. Kyra is so beautiful!
    She’s her own dog, and I love that. And I love that she found her home with you after a lot of adversity. A lot of people just assume they have no feelings because they are “just dogs”, to which I frequently find myself explaining to them how wrong they are.
    Blessings to you guys.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We have two rescue dogs. Our old dog, Scout, was about 3 when we got him. He has always had an adversity to the smoke detector going off and would run to the door to go out. Our younger dog trooper picked up on Scout’s behavior so when we test the smoke detectors, if they are in the house, they both go to the door and want to get out.

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