Saturday, November 6, 2021

How Far Would You Go to Save Your Dog's Life?

My husband, Clayton, and I have always called each other Babe. It never occurred to either one of us to name a dog Babe. Two Babes under one roof was enough.

We had been out of touch with Clayton’s father for close to eight years. We missed him but distance and circumstances prevented much contact. In the spring of 1995, we decided it had been too long and Clayton made plans to visit him.Only two weeks passed when we got the call from my sis-in-law.  "Dad slipped on the ice and hit his head. He didn't make it. He's gone."  

How could this possibly have happened? But it did. The long trip was made but it was to dad's funeral, not for a visit. 


Not All Surprises Are A Good Thing

When Clayton called me after the funeral, his voice sounded sheepish and I sensed what he was going to say before he ever said it."Uh.....Babe.  You aren't going to believe this but...."I interrupted his sentence, "Dad had a dog, right?"

"How did you know?"

"And you want to bring him home, right?"

I was rapidly preparing my argument in my head against it. We HAVE a dog! 

But then he said, "Her name is Babe. She is a Doberman/Shepherd cross and she's beautiful. She has ears as big as her head and you will love her. Tell Rochelle I got a special dog, just for her."

I hung up the phone and told my daughter that Daddy had a special surprise for her and she was excited.

A Brilliant Idea!

When they got home that evening, Rochelle took a flashlight outside to see her special surprise. Babe took one look at her holding the flashlight in her hand and lunged at her, growling, barking, and showing her teeth. I was screaming and terrified but within seconds, Babe realized the flashlight was not a threat and she settled down."Thanks, Dad. Nice surprise!"

In the years that followed, Babe proved to be a first-rate guard dog and our daughter grew to love her dearly. Babe was trained but only understood commands in German. We did not know the commands but that didn’t matter to her. 

She knew exactly how to protect her family and was always on guard. She was gentle and fun, smart and goofy. She attached herself to my husband's hip and rarely left his side. No matter where he went, whatever room he went into, she had to follow him.

Then This Happened...

We lived at the end of a country road where teenagers liked to party late at night. This disturbed Babe greatly and when she saw them coming she would run up behind them and smash the full weight of her body behind their knees. They would freak out and didn't know what knocked them off balance but they stopped coming around. Babe would nonchalantly walk away as if she was not guilty.

Teeth?  What teeth?

My father-in-law, her former owner, kept his false teeth in a glass on his bedside table. Before going to sleep one night, he had eaten a piece of lemon meringue pie and left the crust on his plate. When he woke up in the morning, Babe had licked the pie plate clean and she must have realized that there were some pie scraps on the teeth in the glass of water. She ate the teeth as well. Yup – she ATE the teeth!



Even though Babe never hurt anyone, she sent a message that her sole purpose was to protect her owners. Some of the neighbors felt threatened by her and a woman complained to the by-law officer that Babe had bitten her while my husband was walking Babe on a leash. 

All she did was smell the woman, didn't even bark. We knew this was a lie and told the officer that when he arrived at our home with bad news.

Babe's demise was to be put to sleep.

"I am afraid you will have to put her to sleep. She is a threat to the neighbors and we have no tolerance of dogs that bite people.""I want you to have the complainant show me the bite. She is lying." my husband demanded.

A few days later, the officer came back and said that we were right. Babe had not touched the woman but she was afraid to go for walks and therefore, he would have to uphold his original decision to have Babe put down. 

We had 30 days to relocate or destroy the dog.

We were heartbroken. She was NO threat and had never bitten anyone. My daughter wrote a heartfelt letter to the by-law officer. She told him that she was raised to be honest and did not understand how he could kill a dog that had harmed no one and was the victim of a vindictive lie. 

The letter went unanswered.


A Brilliant Idea Changed Babe's Life

A few days later, while shopping one afternoon, I got a brilliant idea and I began to laugh out loud in the drug store. I made my purchase and drove home so excited I couldn't wait to tell my family.

I bought three boxes of black hair dye and we dyed Babe's hair black.  

No one in the neighborhood questioned us about the ‘new’ black dog.

To her dying day, she never hurt anyone but there was no question as to who was in control and Chief of Security.


  1. Oh my gosh! That is too funny! Undercover dog? Your own Witness Relocation Program? Thanks for the story!

    1. I love that -- Witness Relocation Program. I will never forget that -- thank you!

  2. Thanks for the laugh. What a perfect solution. A whole new dog. Good for you.

    1. You are most welcome. I still laugh about it years later.

  3. hahaha the solutions are good nobody questions a new dog.

  4. Hard laugh to this story. Its so much funny and I can't breath properly because I can't stop laughing. Thanks for sharing this funny story


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