71: The Sentinel

71: The Sentinel

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What?

The Sentinel

Even the tiniest poodle is lionhearted, ready to do anything to defend home, master, and mistress.

~Louis Sabin

“Here kitty, kitty,” our green parakeet, Maggie, said, leaning down from her perch. “Meow.” Her endless taunting frustrated our menagerie of cats. I frequently caught them eyeing her, their whiskers twitching and their tongues running hungrily across their lips.

Then it happened. I arrived home from work, surprised that my overzealous American Eskimo dog did not greet me.

“Jake,” I called, but the tapping of claws across the hardwood floor didn’t happen. Neither did the exuberant barked greeting I was accustomed to. Something was wrong.

I walked into the kitchen, then back out to the living room, calling for my dog again. Stepping through the door of the family room, I stopped. Maggie’s cage was on the floor, seeds scattered and water spilled. Since her wings were clipped, she wasn’t able to fly to safety, so she was on the floor as well. Hopping back and forth and chirping apprehensively, Maggie was being watched by five attentive cats, their tails swishing across the carpet.

There was only one thing standing between a parakeet feast and their growling tummies—Jake, the ever vigilant guard of all members of the Caye household, whether human, furry, or feathered. Jake sat facing the cats, baring a bit of teeth if one of them so much as lifted a paw, while Maggie paced behind him.

After the cats were shooed out of the room, I set the cage upright onto its stand. Maggie eagerly hopped from my finger back into her sanctuary, chattering gratefully for a moment before resuming her usual, “Here kitty, kitty. Meow. Meow.”

Jake looked up at me and I patted him on the head. Then we went into the kitchen for the treat jar. If ever he earned a reward, it was the day he saved the parakeet. Good dog.

~Hana Haatainen-Caye

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