I am now and have pretty much always been a “dog person.” Dogs are faithful, loving, and dependable. We’re down to one dog right now but at one point not too long ago, we had three. Harley was a purebred keeshond. More fluff than substance, nonetheless he was exceedingly loyal. He was our early alert system as he barked at anything he felt didn’t belong in or near our yard.
We brought Nikita home from the humane society. Near as the vet could tell, she was a purebred husky. Bright blue eyes that glowed red when the light would hit them just right. She was nothing but skin and bones when we got her, but we fixed that up in a hurry. She was the protector of our pack. Huskies don’t really bark, they more “talk.” She rarely ever made noise but I had little doubt that if she felt one of her pack was threatened, she’d make quick work of them.
Tucker is our current mutt. We took him in when a neighbor moved away. We’re not sure of his lineage but figure he probably has at least some golden retriever mixed with chow. He’s a fairly good watchdog and keeps tabs on what goes on outside. He has also shown some very good protective instincts.
Why should you consider adding a dog to your disaster readiness plan?
They are great with pulling sentry duty. Obviously their senses of smell and hearing are vastly more acute than ours and they will sense something amiss earlier than you. Most dogs are protective of their packs and will defend you without hesitation. They provide a much needed stress relief too. There just aren’t many people who won’t feel better after hugging a canine friend.
While you should certainly stockpile kibble and canned dog food, most dogs can hunt on their own to supplement their food needs. Our husky was able to catch squirrels, for example.
Larger dogs can be fitted with specially designed backpacks to help carry supplies during a bug out. Consider purchasing booties for them as well, so their paws don’t get cut on broken glass or other debris in this situation.
Obviously, training is important. Dogs are a responsibility not to be taken lightly. They need to be taught how your home “works.” In some ways, they are like little kids and need to be shown right from wrong. Of course, there is also the financial end of things. Vet bills can easily run into the several hundred dollar range.
Most dog owners have favorite breeds, like german shepherds, goldens, or rotties. For my money though, I’ll take a Heinz 57 mutt over any of them.