Love is: a Dog

Ranger is my Ranger Buddy. He helps me through everything, and I know some day he will save my life. He has alerted us to threats before (the serious, non-Chinook kind), so I take it seriously when he wakes me up in the middle of the night. Around 3:45 this morning, he starts growling, louder and more persistently until I wake up. I don’t hear anything, but I see bright light coming from the back yard. Did someone trip the motion sensor light? This being Kentucky, I reach for the gun and chamber a round as I sort out a plan of action. I realize it is red light, not the bluish floodlight from our motion sensor. What the hell? Our yard is bathed in orange-red light. So I keep sliding along the windows until I see it. Our neighbor’s house is entirely engulfed in flames. Not like flames coming out the windows. I mean, roof gone, 25 foot flames lapping at the sky, you can see through the rafters and blue electric sparks are shooting out where the grid meets the house. Call 911 from my cell and get an operator from across the state line (good to know for next time…) by the time I get transferred and explain it all again the operator says they are aware, and a few seconds later I hear sirens.

Now, it has been a hot, dry week here and all our fences and decks are wood….one continuous line of dry wood from their yard to ours… oh and a field of golden wheat that our properties all abutt. Panic sticks in my throat, and Ranger won’t stop growling, even when I pick him up and hold him in my arms and tell him I hear him and we’re going to be okay. I grab the fire extinguisher and step out on the deck, ready to get the hose and wet down our fence and our neighbor’s in between. Ranger is at my heels wanting to come out with me but I’m afraid of losing track of him in the dark so I close him inside. The smoke is thick and I can hear other houses smoke detectors going off so I close the door and give it 5 minutes to see how fast they can contain it before I decide if it’s worth it to wet down anyway. Due credit to our firefighters, they got it done like champs. There had to be a handful of trucks there, and they had it relatively contained in 15 minute. Not before the siding on the next door houses melted, but before the fire spread.


I sat in our dining room and watched them finish fighting the fire, with Ranger, now shaking, curled up in my arms. My little hero. His love for me and DH is so profound it moves me to tears. I have no doubt in my mind that he would lay down his life for us. In fact, I’m terrified that one day he will take on a threat he can’t handle, to protect us. He loves us with the purest kind of love, and I trust him with my life. While I sleep, he is alert for the dangers of the night. He gives me companionship through the day and guards me through the night. He is a guardian angel. Love is: a dog.


5 am: I got your back Ma, you can go back to sleep

[Saber is a-okay, but he doesn’t take an active role in this story because he was under the bed. He is so timid from what he has been through, but no less loved. It is part of their odd couple charm that in the face of danger Ranger runs into it and Saber hits the deck.]


4 thoughts on “Love is: a Dog

  1. Scary stuff! I would have freaked out if I woke up to that. I’m glad you are ok. How are your neighbors? No one was hurt?

    I strongly believe that there is no love like the love of a dog. We’ve had our pooch, Geronimo, since he was a baby 7 years ago. I can’t imagine my life without him!

    • Our neighbors are thankfully fine, they all got out unharmed and are safe and sound at a hotel nearby. It is an Army family so I feel pretty confident they will have access to a lot of support getting back on their feet from the chaplains’ office, plus the informal command center in their neighbor’s driveway organizing donations for them from our block (toiletries, clothes, diapers).
      And totally, dogs are family!

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