My dog, Katniss: ‘This is my house; I have to defend it’

My wife and I were watching “Damages” on Netflix recently, and a dog appeared on the television.

My dog, Katniss, a 40-pound German shepherd mix, immediately saw the dog as a threat and let loose a stream of barking louder than one of Lady Gaga’s outfits. After a few minutes she settled down.

Later in the same episode there was a knock on the door, and Katniss thought it was a knock on our door. This time she barked for about 10 minutes. We had to pause the episode until she stopped. Glenn Close’s face was frozen on the screen in disgust, but Katniss was more fierce than one of RuPaul’s outfits.

That night a slight breeze caused a tree branch to scrape against the living room window, and Katniss went into full wolf mode. This was at 1 a.m. or so. Awesome.

Even though she’s on the smaller side, Katniss has a bark that could terrify the Terminator. She is so protective of me and my wife that she growls at other people who come down our street when we take her on walks. And if there is an actual person knocking on our actual door, the next 15 minutes of my life will be consumed by her barking.

Katniss’ roaring always reminds me of “Home Alone,” the movie from when I was a kid. As grade school-age Kevin realizes two bumbling burglars are trying to break into his parents’ house, he slams the front door and vows to fight.

“This is my house. I have to defend it,” he says in one of the many memorable lines* from the film.

I remember the day Katniss first realized she could bark. I think the skittish Katniss may have even scared herself with her first attempts at barking. At first her barks were little puppy yips smaller than one of Nicki Minaj’s outfits, but those yips turned into thunder once she realized she could sound like a dog much bigger than her actual size. If only she never learned how to whine.

Her barking is more annoying than one of Miley Cyrus’ outfits, but I guarantee Katniss would do anything to protect her house—and her parents. At least that’s what I tell myself in the middle of the night when she wakes me up yet again as she goes into bodyguard mode.

One of these days, though, she just might actually scare someone with bad intentions away from our house.

Keep the change, you filthy animal.


*Under Armour, an athletic clothing brand, used “Protect this house” a few years ago as a marketing slogan, and I thought it was a total ripoff of “Home Alone.”


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