9: My Heroes

9: My Heroes

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels and Miracles

My Heroes

Dogs are miracles with paws.

~Attributed to Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy

Many years ago, I was a student at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where I lived on campus. I had an evening class that was a fifteen-minute walk from my dorm. No one in my dorm was taking the same class and neither were any of my friends, so I walked to and from class alone, returning in the dark.

One evening, I noticed two very large, black and tan Doberman Pinschers following about twenty feet behind me. I have always been an animal lover and I have never been afraid of dogs, so I stopped walking, turned around, and talked to them. They refused to come to me and when I tried to walk toward them, they backed up, keeping their distance. They were not threatening in any way — they did not growl or flatten their ears the way dogs do when they are about to attack — they just wouldn’t allow me to get close to them.

For weeks, every time I walked to this particular class, the two dogs appeared and followed me. I was very comfortable with the situation, even though the dogs would not interact with me.

One night, a car with three young men slowly pulled up beside me, paused, and then sped ahead and stopped. The boys were loud and rowdy, and I remember wondering if they were intoxicated. As the young men emerged from the car, I heard one of them say, “Let’s get her.” As they walked toward me, before I had time to react, the two Dobermans charged at them, snarling and barking. You never saw three people get into a car so fast and pull away!

I spent the rest of the semester looking over my shoulder, hoping to see those heroic dogs again. Strangely, after that one night when I needed their protection, my guardians never reappeared.

~Sandy Alexander Reid

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