Dolly, a Boy's Protector
By: Stephanie Dube Dwilson
My husband Derek has always had a special relationship with animals. And — lucky for him — they've always had a special love for Derek. One of his childhood dogs loved him so much that she risked her own safety just to look out for him.
Derek was an adventurous child. When he was around eight years old, he had a sweet Golden Retriever named Dolly who kept a close eye on Derek, following him around every time he went outside. Derek loved to go exploring, and if something seemed a little out of place, he had to find out why.
Derek and Dolly used to walk around the rolling hills of limestone near his home. He thought of the area as "chalk land" because the limestone behaved a lot like chalk. It was his own personal adventure park, of sorts.
"The gorges between the hills could be quite large," Derek says. "It was great fun to ride my bike up and down the hills and do jumps, with Dolly right behind me." The area was expansive and full of trees. In fact, people sometimes dumped their old cars there. There was even a spot where someone had started building a house and then abandoned it. He and Dolly loved to go out there and play, looking for new treasures that would delight a little boy.
One day while he was out adventuring in "chalk land," Derek spied a pit with a rusty old tractor inside.
"Some areas were overgrown, and that's where I found the tractor," he says. "It was rusted and had jagged, sharp edges. It was at the bottom of a particularly steep hill that probably had an eight to ten-foot drop."
Being an adventurous kid, Derek got right on the edge and peered over. He wanted to see what was there. But then he lost his balance and started to tumble in.
Dolly was right beside him, on guard, as always. She jumped in front of him and used her own body to block his fall and push him back to safety. She stopped him from tumbling into the pit, and helped him get his footing back on solid ground.
Dolly risked her own life to make sure Derek stayed safe. If he had fallen in that pit, he likely would have been injured badly and unable to climb out. Dolly didn't hesitate; she reacted instantly to help him with her big "smile."
In fact, Dolly was known for her very unique smiles. She'd actually pull her jowls up and show her teeth when she was happy or when someone in Derek's family asked her to "smile." And you can bet that on the day she saved Derek, she was showing one of her big trademark grins right afterward.
Dolly wasn't afraid to put her own life at risk and go above and beyond for the little boy that she loved. And even today, I see our own pets displaying that same type of devotion to my husband.
Photo Credit 1: "Golden Retriever" by Jemma Marycz via Flickr. License info.
Photo Credit 2: Stephanie Dube Dwilson
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