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HE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE

I’ve always thought of myself as a very independent person. I’ve never wanted to “need” anyone else (just in case they decided to leave I guess).

When I got Church, it was for his companionship. A neighbor in Wilmington asked me once “so, what is he going to do (as in a job?)”…nothing…he’s going to be my best friend is all. Church has turned into so much more than just a best friend. He has changed me in so many ways. He has made me less selfish, more loving, more affectionate, more patient, more responsible, less stressed, more fun/carefree, and even less (more?) scared. Yes, this independent woman gets scared now. I say less/more because I don’t think I was as scared when Church wasn’t in my life. But now that he’s here…I NEED him. He is my protector. Even though Church is the biggest pansy and he’s sort of scared of everything himself…he always tries to protect me. He puts his game face on and knows that it’s his job to be tough for me.

Our home security system.

Our home security system.

Dogs provide unconditional love, devotion and sometimes your own personal security detail. Pretty sweet deal. They are naturally protective of their families and will typically put themselves in harm’s way if it means protecting their loved one. I don’t know many humans that can say the same thing. They are a remarkable species.

Even beyond Church, I’ve now become accustomed to having Tyler around…maybe even a better protector than Church (because he has guns and a deep love for me). I never have to worry about my safety at home, and that is a very comforting feeling, one that you take for granted until it’s not there. Of course this relates to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Wanting to feel safe and secure is part of human nature.

The NEW hierarchy...

The NEW hierarchy...

This past week Tyler was gone on a fishing trip for work (I know, lucky right?!). That’s when the fear set in. I was home, alone. We’ve had some armed robberies in the local neighborhood recently too, so that always creeps back into my mind when I’m alone.

Have NO FEAR momma, Church E. Bear is here! And there he was! My big baby was right back into the role of protecting his momma. It was like he knew that Tyler was gone and he was now the man of the house.

Nothing is more comforting/scary than your 100lb Bernese mountain dog staring out the back window and growling and barking. Ughh….is there someone there Church?! Maybe he heard a noise, but he wasn’t letting it go unnoticed, he was there to do a job; protect his family. For the rest of the evening Church sat at attention RIGHT in front of me. He was on high alert, and I felt protected.

The snapchat I sent to Tyler of Churchie protecting me! He sat there all night.

The snapchat I sent to Tyler of Churchie protecting me! He sat there all night.

Church usually sleeps in his crate at night…Air bear doesn’t like sleeping without him (maybe he makes her feel safe too). But that night I had to steal him. Sorry Airy, he’s sleeping in momma’s room tonight. I laid down and Church laid on the floor right next to me (and then later got up into the bed). He is so much more to me than I will ever be able to be to him. Yes, I feed him and bathe him and walk him and love him, but he is a teacher, a protector, and an inspiration to my life.

I have this strange and overwhelming love (maybe obsession is a better word) for dogs. It’s fairly uncontrollable. My heart bursts even when stalking all my instagram pup friends. It’s like God’s creation was perfected in a dog in my eyes.

My life changer.

My life changer.

So if my old neighbor asked me again...I would say that Church's job in essence is defined as 'life changer'. He has been able to do impossible things. He has mended hearts, helped kids read (see: http://www.leanandlead.com/blog/2014/10/24/a-bear-with-the-heart-of-a-servant), protected loved ones, encouraged laughter, and inspired me to live and love a little more freely each day. His job role in our household is so big that it encourages me to live bigger dreams. He has taught me that I need to have big impacts through the work that I do as well, and I will not be fulfilled as just a cog in the wheel. I need to be a game changer too.

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
— Unknown