A Really BAD IDEA...
Frank and Dan. "Hey Dad, remember the night you...?"
Our Great Pyrenees is a true “pack dog”. There have been a few times when Frank, a 3 year old female, has tried to vie for my position as Alpha Female.
But her behavior towards my husband however, clearly demonstrates that she completely accepts him as the Alpha Male. She always approaches him tail down and wagging, head lowered, and showers him with affection. She is attentive and devoted to him.
There is a huge difference in Frank’s behaviour when my husband is home compared to when he is away. When my husband is around Frank is very submissive to him. She seems more relaxed, and almost lazy in his presence. She still keeps up with her basic guard dog duties; answering the doorbell, patrolling the yard, and of course, refrigerator sentry... but is otherwise rather quiet and laid back.
The moment my husband, a police officer, leaves the house Frank comes alive. Her protective nature takes over and she transforms into the ultimate guard dog. The intensity with which she protects our home is unbelievable. We have had family friends who have been accepted into our house many times, yet physically denied access by Frank just because my husband has been absent.
Despite the numerous times our kids, myself and many visitors have told my husband how fierce Frank is when he is not home; he just would not believe she shows such a high level of protection. In his opinion Frank was pretty much a “wimp dog” because of the way she interacts with him. He has never had the opportunity to see her in action. He simply views Frank as the sweet, gentle giant who lays her head on his lap, and sleeps cuddled up with our cat. In his opinion: she may be big but she is quite harmless.
After hearing many stories, one of which was “Fearless Frank and the Midnight Intruders”, my husband got the bright idea of testing Frank himself. He decided one day when he was coming home around 4 AM that he’d see if all the “Fearless Frank stories” were true. If only he had told me his intentions ahead of time. I would have let him know that his plan was a really BAD IDEA.
My husband; lets call him Doubting Dan, did not pull into the driveway that night. Instead, he stopped his car a block up the street. He put on his gloves and pulled his hood over his head and crept silently up to our house.
Inside, I was asleep on the living room sofa and Frank was lying in the front hallway at the base of the staircase facing the front door. There is a long vertical pane of glass running up the left of our front entrance that gives those of us on the inside a view of anyone at the door.
I believe that since Frank sleeps pretty much all day, she has one eye open all night. She either heard Doubting Dan’s stealthy approach or picked up movement through the glass. Either way, a deep, threatening growl, followed by toenails scrambling on the ceramic floor jolted me awake.
Frank was at the door in a flash, snarling and roaring threateningly. I heard a cracking sound that I later discovered was the pane of glass next to the door that fractured under the force of her charge. Suddenly the front door swung open and a hooded figure loomed in the doorway.
Frank crouched low and her lips retracted menacingly, showing a big set of teeth that she was ready to use. I had jumped off the sofa and grabbed my son’s baseball bat from the hall, which I was also ready to use. As Frank lurched at the hooded figure, a familiar voice yelled out “WHOOOAAH! Frankie! Frankie Girl! It’s me!
But it was too late, Frank was in motion. 125 pounds of coiled Pyr collided with 200 pounds of idiot husband and they crashed backwards through the open door and out onto the porch. Poor Frank! She was so confused. She quickly realized that it was Dan and although she seemed happy to see him, she also seemed uneasy. And I was so upset! In another few seconds I could have been hitting a triple down the third base line with Dan’s head.
I put the baseball bat down and glared angrily at Dan as he lay on the porch panting. Frank was licking his jaw and wagging her tail furiously, but she kept lifting her head up and looking around as if to say “It’s really nice to see you Dad, but where the hell did that intruder go?” When Dan finally got his wind back, all he could say was “Holy S**t! Did you see her teeth?!”
Doubting Dan was now a converted believer. He has a new found respect for his guard dog and likes to tell anyone who will listen how he discovered first hand just how protective and fearless a Great Pyr can be.
But for me, the stunt was unnecessary and upsetting. I already knew that Frank was a loyal and fearless guardian. Luckily, neither Dan nor Frank was seriously hurt, although Dan did have some well deserved bruises and a hefty bill to replace the window pane. Initially, I worried about Frank and if the event caused her any distress, but she has not shown any signs.
I still feel that covering up and charging in on a Pyr on guard duty is a really BAD IDEA.