Prince was nine months old when I adopted him.  I was trying to fill the gaping hole left when my son moved out-of-state for college and our twelve-year-old Cairn terrier died in the same week.  My daughter began volunteering at the local animal shelter in an attempt to heal her own broken heart and that is where she met Prince.

This supposed lab-border collie shelter dog quickly grew into a much larger breed—most likely, a lab-Great Pyrenees mix, all muscle.  His initial quiet, friendly temperament changed within a few months and he became the most fierce defender of territory in the neighborhood.  The occasional meter reader and UPS driver who ventured into our yard didn’t help, nor did the neighborhood kids who daily tested Prince’s invisible fence by teasing him.  We finally had a six foot wooden fence installed around our back yard and from within its boundaries, as well as from inside the house, Prince loudly proclaimed his realm.

One morning, as I got out of the shower, I heard frenzied barking downstairs. I peeked through the blinds and saw a man walking away from our front door.  Turns out, he was with the water company and had come to the door to let us know he needed to do some repairs to a shutoff valve in our side yard.  But Prince didn’t know that—not that it would have mattered.  I heard a crash and saw glass fly out in the yard, landing around the man’s feet.  “Oh, my god!” he exclaimed.  I echoed his sentiment but hesitated to run downstairs to examine an apparently broken window in my naked condition.

“Prince!”  I screamed.  “Prince!  Come!  Come!”  Amazingly, he did.  As soon as he came into my bedroom, I shut the door, corralling him until I could get dressed.  Then, straight to doggie daycare we went.  Better for him to be off-premises while we worked on a repair.

The damage was extensive.  A double pane sheet of glass completely shattered.  The surprising thing is that the dog didn’t go through the broken window, which may have proven to be a deadly move.  The jagged pieces of glass around the edges were still firmly anchored in place and would likely have cut him.

We nailed a piece of plywood over the hole until we could get the window replaced, trying to keep the cats in and the weather and thieves out.  We showed our friends pictures and laughed about our ferocious guard dog.  My son, Chris, though, best captured the situation by posting a picture of the broken window on Facebook with the simple comment, “Prince wanted out.”

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