My dog is an a-hole.
Seriously, she is. Just before midnight last night, my wife and I are awoken to the sound of her barking from the lower level of our house. It wasn’t the kind of bark that indicated an intruder or stranger on the property, just a sharp, shrill teeth-on-edge bark that she gets when she is bothered by something.
Of course, it took me a few minutes to come to that realization. Having been woken from a deep sleep, it took me at least a minute or two to realize that I was not dreaming, that my wife had heard it too, that it was NOT the sound of an intruder in the house and finally that I should not pull the gun from the biometric safe. It’s even more possible that it took 2-3 minutes and not 1-2 minutes.
See where I’m going with this?
Yeah. After all the articles I have written about home defense (with or without firearms) and the proper weapons for home defense and various scenarios about waking to the sounds of something not right in the house in the middle of the night… I proved the concept to myself, and all of you readers, that had someone been at my bedroom door before I got my head together—I would probably be dead meat. Or hog-tied. Or being led around at gunpoint as a hostage. Etc…
Now, is this an article about being prepared at any time, day or night, for an intruder or is it a recommendation to get a noisy dog? Maybe a little of both.
Practice Your Defensive Strategies
Clearly I need to practice for my own defense more. True, I was prepared with the dog who provided warning and I was fully ready to make use of the handgun had her bark been something different than it was, but still…my reaction time and “fuzzy head time” was severely lacking. One of the bigger problems that many of us have is the fact that we question what we experience as it is happening and that does no one any good at all.
I trust myself 100% to be able to retrieve the handgun from my easily accessible (to me, only), stashed location—get it loaded and ready to use in maybe 3 seconds (literally). I know this because I have practiced it again and again, hundreds of times. Pitch black, bright sunshine, eyes closed, headache, sick as a dog, healthy as a horse…I have done it all. As I discovered last night though, there’s definitely more to it than that.
Your Biggest Mistake?
No, you don’t have the right to say “duh!” to me until you have done it yourself. The fuzzy head period affects us all in different ways and for different amounts of time. You cannot assume that you will be awake, alert and attentive enough to make split second decisions and have appropriate reactions to situations until you have done it in real time. Even setting an alarm for 3:00 am to test yourself will not be an accurate test because you still know its going to happen and that prepares your mind in advance. Unfortunately, it may also be the only way to practice.
I’m going to get my wife to agree to randomly set an alarm for the middle of the night so I can be completely unaware, and have her tell me that she heard someone downstairs. I’ll assume it’s real and prepare myself, and then she will speak a safe word to me in order to let me know that it was just a drill. Too much? Potentially dangerous because there is live ammo involved? Possibly. I’ll have to give this some more thought. One thing is for certain, though. If you are going to follow a prepper lifestyle—even if it’s more like “prepper light” or “prepper style”, “kinda prepared” and even a “sprinkling of salt and prepper”—then drills like these have to be as realistic as possible, while at the same time keeping a thick margin of safety and sanity.
How To Keep Your Family Safe, Secure, And Well-Fed In Times Of Chaos, Natural Disaster and Even Total Collapse…
Ever hear the story of the guy who forgot he had house-guests and acting on instinct and practice, shot his brother-in-law at 4am in the kitchen, thinking him an intruder raiding his fridge?
Me neither, because I totally just made it up—but tell me it can’t happen and then I’ll tell you how a nine-year-old shot her firearms instructor in the head with a fully automatic Uzi because he didn’t take the proper precautions in training (totally true). Find the time to train, but train only as far as safety permits on a realistic level.
Still, despite all this, my dog is still an a-hole. Why? Because the purpose of her barking was due to the fact that it had been raining all day and she refuses to leave the house if there is so much as a drizzle coming down. Seriously. She is crated at night, so she hadn’t peed all day and decided she couldn’t hold it any longer at midnight and let go of a full bladder inside her crate. She was soaked completely and after I investigated the situation and found the house to be secure, not noticing the urine, I open the crate…
As you might have expected, she shook it out and doused me in dog urine. Then proceeded to run around the lower level, leaving dog-urine footprints all over the house. We had to bathe her, mop the entire floor and then shower, all after midnight at this point.
A-hole? Yes. Lucky I didn’t bring the gun down with me? Yes, because if ever there was a time I wanted to shoot my dog…