Lead Figment Barker-Ater

Our Two-Dog Canine Protection Team sprang into action early Saturday morning and defended the family against all the police officers in our driveway.

They barked savagely at them from behind the window of our living room, which is why not one officer broke into our home and stole anything. It is due to the efforts of intrepid dogs like this that you never hear of police officers breaking and entering.

The police were in our driveway because some jerk broke into our cars that morning. The Protection Team slept through the actual robbery, but you can hardly blame them when you consider the perpetrator violated their ‘No evil doing during nap time’ policy.

Note to Evil-Doers: It is also expressly forbidden to commit crimes during breakfast, lunch or dinner – especially if boiled chicken is involved. Oh, and did we mention evil doers with treats will be provided more consideration than evil-doers without treats? Evil doers with boiled ham may be escorted to the valuables.

Our Protection Team consists of two members. The senior member is a mostly toothless, mostly deaf, mostly senile old poodle my eldest daughter, Sarah, rescued several years ago. Her name is Prissy. We are not sure how old Prissy is, but “ancient” seems like a pretty good description. Not only is she senile, but she is not the brightest bulb in the pack. To call her a moron is to slight morons everywhere.

Take stairs, for instance. Stairs absolutely mystify her. She tries to jump off them to get down and jump over them to get up. I had to install a ramp on our deck just so she could get back and forth to the back yard. Guess what? She had no idea how to use the ramp. It took my wife, Marianne, hours and hours of patiently walking her up and down the ramp until she finally got the picture.

“Teach her to use the steps the same way,” I suggested.

“It will never happen,” Marianne said. “She’s just too dumb.”

The junior member of the team is Napoleon. He was rescued by my youngest daughter, Kate. Napoleon is fat. He is completely white and small just like Prissy. Unlike Prissy, he’s a smart dog.

In addition to being lead growler on the Protection Team, Napoleon heads up our family’s Figment Detection Squad (FDS). There is no figment of his imagination that slips onto our property unchallenged. The moment Napoleon detects a werewolf, chupacabra, Bigfoot – you name it, he barks at it furiously for several minutes, then waddles off to take a nap. Chasing off figments is exhausting work.

Go ahead and scoff, but since Napoleon has been on duty there hasn’t been one reported incident of a Bigfoot, werewolf or chupacabra attack in our neighborhood. It is not a coincidence either that there hasn’t been a single alien abduction. Napoleon’s reputation spans the galaxy.

Sometimes the Protection Team protects us from dead things the cat drags in to the house. They bark at it savagely ensuring it does not rise up and attack. They have a one hundred percent success rate of defending us against being accosted by dead squirrels, headless lizards or birds in various stages of decay. It is yet another accomplishment in a long line of accomplishments for the Protection Team.

Recently, we hired a land clearing crew to remove some fallen trees from our property. In an act of selfless dedication, Napoleon braved the slightly nippy conditions to follow them around all day and monitor them for any evil-doing. Fortunately, he found a few sunny spots to nap in when his monitoring duties became too exhaustive for him to keep his eyes open.

Despite his need for rest, I am proud to say not only did the land clearing crew not engage in any acts of evil, but none of them was assaulted by any of the hairy, clawed, red-eyed figments that live throughout our property.

For this, Napoleon wanted no thanks and no reward, unless boiled chicken was involved; then he would give it some serious consideration as soon as he woke up.