As most of you are well aware, a personal defense plan is a multi-layered thing and guns are only a small part of the big picture. The rest includes awareness, flashlights, cell phones, first-aid kits, locks, house lights, burglar alarms and on and on. But in the midst of considering all of the things that can be used to protect ourselves, our family, and our homes, let's not forget some of the very simple defensive tools. For instance, a common and rather pleasing tool at our disposal is Canis familiaris: the common dog.
Of course, those of us who enjoy canine companionship will assure you that dogs are not at all common. Dogs can be trained to respond in a rather forceful manner to anyone who threatens to do us harm. If that is your desire, by all means go to one of the professional schools and have your dog trained properly. Crooks that aren't afraid of a double-barreled shotgun will often run up the white flag when a defense dog gets ahold of them.
But I have never bothered to attack train one of my dogs. Instead, I rely on them as an early-alert system. Years of shooting guns—and having some go off quite close to my head—have left my hearing just a bit on the weak side. OK, I don't hear very well at all.
My dogs let me know when someone, anyone, is around the house. I suppose that my friends and the various delivery people think it is nice of me to greet them at the front gate. They have my two dogs to thank for that. When we are out and about in the Jeep, they let me know when someone walks too close to the car.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed. The same dogs can let me know when someone approaches, long before crooks can begin to put their attack plan into action. I can greet them, too—maybe not in the same manner—but I will greet them after a fashion.
In addition, where I live, it is not uncommon for me to kill 4-6 rattlesnakes in my yard, each season. For this reason, my dogs have been trained in rattlesnake avoidance. You can bet they raise Holy He... - that is they alert me when a rattler is trespassing. And, wouldn't you know it, I have begun to have trouble hearing a snake rattle. But my dogs can and have saved me from snakebite on several occasions.
Our personal defense plan is, and should be, a multifaceted thing. Don't forget to consider the faithful dog. They've been looking after us humans for quite a long time.