Dogs are good for lots of things: entertainment, love, companionship, an excuse to exercise - many many things. One aspect of living with dogs I don't often consider is the value of protection.
Many years ago I was dog sitting my aunt and uncle's dog Jenny and was walking her quite late at night through a local park. Now I was young and quite often out and about late at night so this was really nothing special. However, that night, Jenny who was just a sweet lovable lab type mix was very alert to the chap walking behind me in the park. She hung behind me, made hard eye contact with him a number of times and grumbled at him. He followed us for a little but then quite suddenly gave up walking on the lot path and struck out across the park on the rough grass (not a way to get to anywhere). I'm still not sure if we alarmed so much he's still lost or if he had nefarious thoughts- either way I'm grateful to Jenny for protecting me- at least in her mind.
Two nights ago I let the dogs out a little later than usual. Sally silently took off FLAT out for the chicken coop. Weird I thought in the 1 second of peace I had. Then Brody and Hank started to run for the same location except they were growling and barking. By the time we got out there all seemed calm except a pair of nail marks on the side of the coop and the latch for the door being knocked down. Scary. I'm even more sure that the dogs averted a disaster (to us and the chickens) Friday night than I am Jenny saved me.
What good dogs!