This story shows yet again the amazing devotion of our canine companions.  Although it is not a “happy” story, it is heartening.  Last week in Port Orange, FL, authorities were trying to get to the body of 50-year-old Judy Long Ingalsbe. She’d died in her bed in her home in a mobile home park on Riverside Drive, no foul play. The problem they encountered was her dog, a 4-year-old chocolate pitbull named Stetson, who was protecting his mistress, even in death. He would let no one near her. He lay pressed against her, his entire body trembling, fearful and defensive as rescue personnel and police attempted to remove Ingalsbe.

Finally one of the neighbors who was a longtime friend of Ingalsbe, came to the rescue and took Stetson to the side.

“Stetson knows me and he wouldn’t hurt anyone,” Joe Hurst said. “He was just protecting Judy. When I came into the bedroom, that dog was shaking like a leaf.”

Authorities believe that Ms. Ingalsbe had passed away two days previously to the manager placing the 911 call and during that time, they don’t believe Stetson moved from her side except to relieve himself.

We’ve heard these amazing canine hero stories before, dog staying with their owners while they were hurt or lost, or guarding their bodies after they passed away. They’re not happy stories in many cases they they show us something, a depth of feeling; love, protectiveness, loyalty, devotion, more than many people will often credit our canine companions.

Yes, our dog are heroes, even if only in our eyes.  Stetson was a hero and refused to abandon his mistress except when someone he knew and trusted let him know it was okay.  Now Stetson will have a new life with Ms. Ingalsbe’s daughter and you can be sure that he will love and protect his new mistress just as his did his old.

People can say what they about a dog’s reasons but those of us who share our live with these furry family members, we know.  They do love us and protect us and in return ask for so little.

Here’s an interesting little tidbit that a friend sent me last week that just happens to go with this story perfectly.

FaithfulForever Friends in Life and Death

Andrew P. Peterson, of Corner Ranch, New Mexico, was murdered by bandits in March of 1917. Here is his friend, at his grave: The grave was reportedly 3 miles from the home they shared. How the little Border Collie found it on his own remained a mystery. The dog had to be physically taken from the site by Peterson’s daughter. Days later, the dog would go missing…and could be found at the grave. He continued this behavior until his death several years later…and they found him dead…at the grave.

Johnny, thanks for sending me this tidbit, your timing couldn’t have been more perfect!

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