Real-Life Sawtelle Dogs
It's not enough for Cooper Alexander to be close enough to me. It seems as if he must touch me with his paw to feel that I am all right.

He's always been protective of my son, but I've never seen a dog behave in this way. I am pregnant with my second child, and this is Cooper's first time protecting the pregnant. It must seem to Cooper that this will be a very long nine months. He won't leave my side. If I am hungry, I get up to walk out to the kitchen and he will follow. If I need to use the restroom, he will lie beside my feet until I get up to move into another part of the house. Cooper has become absolutely so protective of me and my growing baby, he can't let a noise go by unbarked or ungrowled.

At only 6 years old, our family pet has taken on the responsibility of our own personal security alarm. If a door is half open, he will nudge it open the rest of the way just to check out the room first and then proceed to lie down as if to tell me "all is clear." I've tried to calm his fears when he would hear someone walk up the steps or open a door, but this job is just too important for him to stop now.

As I am writing this, he let out a very long sigh, almost as if he knows I am writing this about him this very moment. When the baby is here, maybe he will finally get some rest, but I doubt it. This is what he now knows and what he seems to enjoy doing the most—keeping his family safe from any harm. Even if "harm" is only the soft howl of the wind.

— Dyan