Colt, My Young Personal Protection Dog in Training Saves Me from Harm
By Tony Gravley
It was Saturday Night and just settled down from the standard Saturday activities. I spent the majority of the evening working on place command with Colt a young Belgian Malinois that I am raising for a personal protection dog. He has the calmness of a German Shepherd Dog, but the intensity of the Malinois.
With Colt all settled in after his evening feeding, I settled into the mind numbing effects of some television. Sad to say but since I have spent the Majority of my Adult life working in the forsaken land I think I have an obsession with getting caught up on many years missed of American television.
I ended up getting my fix of “Iron Chef”. Two episodes later I realize that it is not such a great Idea to watch a cooking style show late at night because without a doubt I get hungry! Sure enough I get the craving for all things hotdogs with chili. Well that should be easy enough because any standard house worth its weight in hot peppers would have hotdogs and canned chili in the cupboards!
Since my household pretty much lives off Asian Food, a simple can of chili was nowhere to be found in my pantry. Of course, I have plenty of hotdogs as they are pretty much a standard dog training treat! Another 20 minutes passes and I can no longer contain my urge for hotdogs and canned chili.
Off to the store I head! Colt, the young dog needed a quick walk since his evening meal had settled in so I walked him and then loaded him up in the back seat of my truck. Since he normally does not ride in the cab he spent the first few miles going back and forth on the back seat as if he could look out both windows at one time. Within a few minutes he thought, “This is pretty cool and comfy” so he quickly settled into a nice ball all snuggled up on the back seat.
Living in a semi-rural area, “real stores” are around 20 minutes away. This is no big deal. I have to cure this hotdog and chili fix. On my way I noticed one of the convenience stores actually was named something to the effect of “Mini Food Mart.” They ought to have canned chili. So, I whip a U-turn hoping to save another 10 minutes of driving.
I pulled into the parking lot which was empty except for one car which probably was the clerk’s. The first thing that pops into mind was this is not a good spot as the only light in the parking lot is coming from inside the store. I parked next to the other car as this is a rather small parking lot with only about three – to four parking spaces.
The “MiniMart” had the typical layout of the register up front and to the left of the store as you walk in the front door. I made a quick look around the parking lot before getting out of the truck. I thought to myself I should have parked on the other side of the only car in the parking lot as that would have put me in eyesight of the cash register coming and going from the store.
Since most of my life I’ve worked overseas in dangerous countries I have not learned to turn off the “what’s out of place” sensors in my head. I relaxed my mind and said to myself, “Heck. The lot is empty and I will be just five minutes.” I left the truck and looked back at Colt and jokingly said, “Guard the truck and don’t eat the seats!” He quickly jumped up into a nice sitting position. He thought he was going to get to go with! I actually thought I heard him tell me “hey get some extra hot dogs! “
Into the store I went searching up and down the aisles trying to spot the famous red can of Hormel chili. Not having any luck, I had to ask the clerk, “Do you have any canned chilly?”
“No man all we have is the little microwave versions.”
OK. That will work to cure my craving! To the register I go with my three cans of Hormel Microwave Chili. I grabbed a bag of Fritos on the way. All in all my total time in the store was 5 to 10 minutes.
My mind was dreaming of my hot dogs and chili as I was walking back to the truck. My hands were full and I was digging in my pocket for the truck key. I spotted Colt through the windshield sitting up nice and pretty behind the driver’s seat. I’m thinking, “Gosh, I hope he is not actually eating my headrest.”
I can’t really see him that well because I am coming from the side of the truck and the windows are tinted. The next thing that happens is not only a shocker, but drives home the fact that you can’t price the value of a personal protection dog and their effectiveness.
As I open the door Colt went into full defense mode. He was barking harder than he ever has. The first thing that ran through my mind is, “He doesn’t know it’s me.” But I quickly noticed he was barking and showing true aggression as he looked past me. So I spun around to see what was up. Sure enough there was a skinny 6’ male figure running away from my truck!
What I think happened was that around the corner of the store in the dark shadows this 6’ skinny male was laying in wait for me to come back out to my truck and ambush me as I was getting in. No one would see me and no one would even know. Colt spotted him as I was opening the door of my truck. In the nano seconds in which all this took place he was only about 6-10 feet away from me when I spun around.
Colt the young personal protection dog kicked into to drive and did more than his part!
Trust me he got one of the cans of chili to himself when we got home with extra hotdogs on top!
The more I think about the incident, the more it drives home to me the fact that without Colt who knows what would have happened? I could have been stabbed, shot, hit on the head with a pipe, had my truck stolen and even worse lost my chili J. Colt’s simple barking and showing aggression prevented a bad incident.