Beliefnet
Watchwoman on the Wall

Alexia on the couch holding her “favorite” pillow. She’s allowed on the couches, but not on beds.

July, 2011

Alexia is a German Shepherd.  She is a very good dog.  She’s a very smart dog.  Most of all, she’s a very protective dog!  When Alexia is on patrol, you just feel safer!

We don’t just like Alexia, we l♥ve her!

Alexia sleeps in our bedroom every night.  In fact, one of the highlights of her day is when the whole family (you know the pack) makes the announcement, “Let’s go to bed.  I’m tired.” She immediately proceeds to the back patio doors where she knows she’ll be let out to do her last “run” for the night.  Then she comes back in, stops by her food dish, grabs a quick bite, you know, morning is a long way off, then she proceeds to the next bowl, where cool, fresh water is there for her where she drinks a huge amount.  Then it’s to the steps!

We all trek up the steps at night, but Alexia has always been the first one up them.  Of course, now that Alexia is getting on in years, we make sure we all clear away to the side to ensure a cleared route while we encourage her to get a running start, which she has to do to overcome the pain in her spinebone and hips from the horrible disease of arthritis.

We l♥ve Alexia with all there is in human beings to l♥ve dogs!

Two years ago when the vet diagnosed Alexia we began the “Peanut Butter” routine.  She gets her pain medications, vitamins, calcium, and glucosamine chondroitin three times a day buried in peanut butter.  Recently another “Health Cookie” was added to the meds routine which she eagerly takes and runs over to her “den” — a soft doggie pillow in front of the TV set in the family room where she relishes in chomping away the tasty doggie medication.  (Shhhhh, she doesn’t know it’s medicine.)

A few nights ago our carbon monoxide detector started chirping in the middle of our heaviest sleeping period — you know that perfect spot when sleep is so wonderful you don’t even know you’re alive!  Neither my darling husband (DH) heard it or me.  But Alexia sleeps with one eye partially opened and both ears hooked onto “Alert Status!”  She heard it.  She knew that it was not a sound normally associated with the still of the night!

Alexia has another very soft pillow-bed upstairs on my side of the bed, but she went over to my DH’s side of the bed and began her antics to awaken him.  She snouted him.  She proded him.  She gave out low sounding throaty (but friendly) noises.  He still refused to move out from his sound sleep, so she did the unthinkable!  She, despite her pain-racked body, jumped up putting just her front paws up on the bed which absolutely was disturbing enough to not only awaken him a little, she bounced the bed hard enough that it woke me too.

He heard the chirping and got out of bed to investigate.  I stayed pillow bound hoping to return as quickly as possible to the arms of Morpheus.  (It’s so nice to have a man around the house, right ladies?)

He changed the batteries in all the smoke detectors and the carbon monoxide detector in the middle of the night after he got out the ladder.  (My hero!)  He found it was the carbon monoxide detector that was causing the annoying chirps.  Even after replacing the batteries, it chirped on.  He took it into the garage and it still chirped there.  So he took it outside where it still chirped relentlessly outdoors.  Being a retired engineer with an analytically-positioned mindset, he determined the carbon monoxide detector was faulty and that it was not a carbon monoxide incident.  He took out the batteries to silence the chirping noisy detector, patted Alexia’s worried head where she was anxiously and faithfully waiting for him at the top of the stairs — for her beloved “daddy” to come back to bed so she could relax and get back to bed too.

I really don’t think she thought that every thing was okay when she saw him on a ladder in the middle of the night!  I mean, putting a ladder right next to the balcony railing on the second floor that is opened all the way down to the entry foyer floor could result in a long fall over the side!  Oh, that would not be a funny splat at all.  Now that’s cause for concern in the brain of our l♥ing Alexia protector!  You could see her doggie-frame heave a sigh of relief when he finally came back upstairs.  Now she at last could relax and go back to bed, worry free.

Now you know why we don’t just think of Alexia as a dog.

When we had to put our last German Shepherd down, Ferrari, due to hip dysplacia (another form of arthritis), we knew we had to have another dog, my son went to pick out a dog himself.  We got Alexia from the local animal shelter when she was seven months old.  The shelter wouldn’t let him adopt her without the rest of the family’s consent, which I gave readily.  Still they made us wait another two weeks for her.  Alexia wasn’t called Alexia at the shelter.  Her name was Maggie.  My son and I spent three nights searching the Internet for the perfect name even before Alexia arrived at our home.  He and I were like two expectant parents awaiting the arrival of the coming baby.  When we found the name, Alexia, we knew it was perfect.

Alexia means “defender of mankind.”

Our Alexia defended us a few nights ago from what she thought was a threat to her beloved family.

Now I can sleep a whole lot more soundly knowing I have Alexia sleeping with her ear cocked to listen for sounds of danger and smart enough to rouse us — even at the risk of our anger for her disobeying a command to never get on our bed.

And that’s just one of the many millions of reasons why I l♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ve Alexia!

As time goes by, I’ll continue to share other “warm and fuzzy” stories about Alexia.  She is a dog with heart, smart and personality plus!

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