“With my last breath, I’ll exhale my love for you. I hope it’s a cold day, so you can see what you meant to me.” – Jarod Kintz
We all have our stories of how our dogs are our best friends, how their loyalty and pure love can save us from darker times. I think every pet parent knows what I'm referring to.
A lot of people ask me how I started training dogs, and what got me interested in working with animals. That would be most likely be my childhood dog, Pebbles. The best dog ever. A scrappy little Border Collie mix my parents got from the Cleveland Kennel when I was a kid. She was small, only about 20lbs or so. But she taught me a lot about animals; how to respect them, to realize they are indeed capable of communication rather than just straight up training. But she was truly a hero, in the purest sense of the word.
When I was a child of about 5, my mom took my younger brother (aged 2.5), and my older brother (aged 7) and me hiking with Pebbles. She let my older brother and I climb some not-too-steep cliffs by the river while she held my younger brother’s hand at the bottom. Halfway up, a man appeared from behind a boulder and tried to get me to come with him.
My mother couldn’t release my younger brother’s hand for fear of him toddling off into the river, but she could see that her older two children were in terrible danger. She threatened to the man to leave us alone or she would release our dog, Pebbles, from her leash.
The man kept creeping forward, so she released our dog. Pebbles immediately scaled the slope and boulders. She herded my brother and me down the cliff, nipping at our heels as we went. Occaisionally she turned and snapped at the man, backing him off every time he’d come closer.
With Pebble's help, my brother and I made it safely to the ground, whereupon our mother whisked us home and called the police. The police found the man right were he had last seen him. He had a little nest set up with blankets, food, etc. in one of the rock overhangs.
He also had a warrant out for his arrest for molesting a little girl.
I’d hate to think of what could have happened if Pebbles hadn’t been there. I think of my poor mother, and the abject terror she must have felt. Leaving her young son to rescue her older two could have resulted in his drowning. Leaving us to fend for ourselves at the top could have ended in terribly as well. How much hope did she place in Pebbles, desperately trying anything to get out of the situation. And Pebbles came through. Pebbles weighed in at roughly 20 lbs., but definitely packed a lot of spunk into that small body. A typical shelter rescue.
There’s a reason many dogs are named “Fido”…it means “Faithful” in Latin. Thank you, Pebbles.
Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio