I’m tired of moping around after the presidential election. So, I decided to turn my attention to a more pleasant subject.
Like dogs. Don’t you love them?
One of the reasons I love dogs is that burglars don’t.
When I was a child, my Grandmother and Granddaddy lived on a 50 acre farm on Highway 54 right at the city limits of Fayetteville. Azalea Estates is there now.
They had fields of corn. Tomatoes. Cucumbers.
They had apple trees. Grape vines. Fig bushes. Strawberries. Lots of corn. Pole beans.
For awhile, they even had hogs.
Granddaddy had mules. He plowed with them.
He had a blacksmith shop where he fixed his plows. There was a smokehouse for storage. And there were two or three barns where he parked his truck and kept hay and other stuff.
One day, Granddaddy had gone to town. Grandmother, who was in her 70’s, was at home alone. Or, so she thought.
As it turned out, some criminals had been hiding for a few days in one of the barns. Now, they were hungry. So, when Granddaddy left in his truck, they decided to try to force their way into the house. They weren’t afraid of my Grandmother.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a big dog ran up. He was snarling. He had decided that nobody was going to lay a hand on my Grandmother. He positioned himself between her and the crooks. If they took a step forward, he barked and lunged toward them.
That was the break my Grandmother needed. She called the police. When they arrived, the dog had the burglars pinned against a tree, scared to move one way or the other. They got their food, but it was at the Fayette County Jail.
The dog got some food, too. Lots of it. If you ever ate my Grandmother’s cooking, you know the feast he had. She named him Exile and pampered him for the rest of his life.
A fellow named Jack MacLean wrote “Secrets of a Superthief.” He surveyed 300 prison inmates who were convicted of burglary. Sixty-five percent admitted that dogs of good size and unfriendly persuasion would scare them away from a home. Thirty-five percent said no dog would scare them away. I think the thirty-five percent were lying.
In another survey of 589 convicted property offenders this question was asked: “How effective is each of the following likely to be in preventing burglary, breaking and entering, and grand theft?” The options for response were: “0—not effective; 1—somewhat effective; 2—very effective.” The findings? Having a dog in the house was the fifth highest deterrent.
Here are the results: (1) Monitored burglar alarms [1.51]; (2) electronic sensors in windows [1.35]; (3) closed circuit TV cameras in stores [1.31]; (4) private security patrols [1.31]; (5) dog in house [1.11]; (6) weapons in home [1.10]; (7) guardhouses protecting homes [1.07]; (8) random police foot patrols [1.05]; (9) better exterior lighting [1.02]; (10) neighborhood watch programs [0.98]; (11) safes/strong boxes [0.83]; (12) local burglar alarms [0.83]; (13) deadbolt lock [0.79]; (14) timed interior lights [0.78].
A curious omission from the list was an aggressive prosecutor. I guess the respondents were still licking their wounds from that one.
So, get a dog, keep your District Attorney and hunker down.
And if I find a breed that will guard our property from folks in Washington, I’ll let you know.