This story is an excerpt from the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle” (see below). This story is about when our German Shepherd Baby protected our Leonberger puppy Bronco from dogs walking off leash. It is a violent and scary story, but also a story about the mother instinct and of bravery. The moral of the story is; always use a leash when walking your dog in public.
Baby was our second family dog. She was a German shepherd and was also a rescue. (Although we were told that she was a purebred, we didn’t have a certificate.) First Claudia’s sister Marianne adopted her, but when Marianne moved to France, we adopted Baby. Baylor and Baby became good friends, but sometimes Baby got annoyed with Baylor when he stole food, especially when it was hers. She liked to lie at the entrance to the kitchen and tell the other dogs, particularly Baylor, “You shall not pass.” It wasn’t because she wanted the food for herself. She just didn’t like other dogs stealing it, so she tried to prevent it, like a good kitchen police dog.
Baby was quiet and well behaved. She was well trained and easy to walk, but she wasn’t fond of noisy places. She was a bit anxious and less social than our other dogs, and she didn’t like dog parks, though she tolerated them. We were told that she had been mistreated by her first owners, and the first months of a dog’s life are very important for his or her mental health.
Even though Baby was a shy and anxious dog at first, once we got Bronco, her personality changed. She loved Bronco, and she took on the job of being Bronco’s adoptive mom. She played with him; she watched him; she was fiercely protective of him. Bronco was her puppy. She seemed rejuvenated, as if she had found an important job to do—a purpose, if you will. It was beautiful to see her take care of Bronco and play with him. She became happier and more confident, and Bronco loved her.
One day I was out walking with Baylor, Baby, and Bronco. Bronco was very young, maybe four months old. We met a man walking two medium-size black dogs off leash. Suddenly, one of the dogs attacked us. There was nothing I could do. As I watched helplessly, the black dog made the monumental mistake of going for Bronco. If the dog had attacked Baylor or Baby, either dog would certainly have put up a courageous defense, but going after Bronco was nearly suicidal, not because of Bronco himself but because of Baby.
I heard a loud explosion of barks that lasted only a few seconds, and then I saw the black dog flying five or six feet up into the air. Baby had bitten him in the side and tossed him skyward. It was surreal. I almost couldn’t believe what I was witnessing.
The black dog lay in the street. The man knelt before him and started crying. He said his dog’s back was broken. I was mortified, and I said, “I am so terribly sorry.” He said, “It’s not your fault. I was the one walking my dogs without a leash.” It was gratifying for me to hear that under the circumstances, but it was no less tragic.
Then, to my astonishment, the black dog stood up and quickly walked back to the other side of the street. The dog was in shock, but he was fine. The man calmed down, and we said goodbye to each other on good terms.
It wasn’t the only time Baby protected Bronco, but it was the most memorable. Thinking about it still sends chills down my spine. Years later, after Baylor and Baby passed and we got our small dogs, Bronco would take on the role of their protector. He would save lives.
Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.
ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954
ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR
Below are a few of the places where you can buy it. Click on a link to buy it from your favorite store.