Time seemed to pass slowly. Minutes seemed an
eternity. Many thoughts
raced through my mind. What if there was a second
intruder? Where was my son Jon?
Were my kids safe? I made the hard decision to leave the intruder, guarded by Jack, and to go back into our bedroom and ask my wife to find the kids and barricade herself and the kids in case the situation
She was still talking to the 911 operator but followed
my whispered request to find the kids
and lock the door. I went back with my XD 9mm subcompact and settled in the chair across from the intruder, waiting for the police arrival.
Again, time seemed an eternity. The intruder’s
cell phone was going off every few minutes
like clock work. The rapper/ gangsta ring tone told me that this individual was definitely from a different background and culture than my own.
My anxiety was increased by more minutes of silence.
Again my thoughts
turned to a second intruder and whether my wife was
able to make it to the kids.
I decided to leave the intruder guarded by Jack and
find out about my children. I found
my wife walking in the halls by the kid’s bedroom. She seemed OK but I was frustrated and whispered an angry request for her to lock herself in the kid’s bedroom. I didn’t find out until later
that she was wandering the house because
while she found our oldest 11 year old sleeping in his bed, she had yet to find our 9 year old son Jon. Later she did find Jon sleeping with David (our other
son) hidden by some blankets.
I went back to the living room and joined Jack in
the vigilant watch over the sleeping
intruder. Thinking through all the scenarios that may confront me, I decided that if the intruder woke up, the intruder would have to surrender immediately. I made the decision ahead of time that if
the intruder did not obey my commands
to surrender, that instead of deploying the dog, I would have to shoot the man. I still did not know whether there were other accomplices or not and I was not about to spend precious time using my dog to convince him
to comply when time may be of the essence
for my family’s safety. I would expend
my 15 rounds of 9mm hollow points and then use the attack trained
German Shepherd as my last defense in case he was
hyped up on crack or some other drug
that somehow gave him the strength to survive the barrage of gunfire.
The police arrived a few minutes later. I heard
their calls through the door, which triggered
more barking from Jack. I released Jack from the “Leedhay” command and repositioned Jack away from the intruder and told him to stay with the “Zustain” command.
After repositioning my dog, I opened the door and
the officer’s asked me to place
my weapon down before they would enter. I complied and brought the officers in to take care of business. They asked me to make the weapon safe and I quickly removed the magazine and unchambered the live round
in the pipe.
The police woke the suspect up and it turns out that
this individual was
intoxicated beyond all belief. It seems that
we had inadvertently left the front door
un-locked and he just happened to be looking for a place to crash. I was glad that I had not used deadly force on this individual, but things had gotten pretty close and would have gotten much more complicated if he
had woken up.
The police handcuffed the suspect and took him away
for booking. I asked the second
police officer to verify that the house was secured. I followed the officer, with Jack by my side as backup to the officer.
We went room to room and everything was in order with
no signs of visible entry. The
police and I both surmised that we must have left the front door unlocked. Rest assured that we learned our lesson… always lock your doors before turning in for the night!
The entire family gave Jack a big hug for his vigilance
and bravery. For the rest of the
night, Jack slept by the living room couch, as if to protect the house from a repeat of the night’s incident. It took a while to get back to sleep, but
with our big Czech German Shepherd on duty,
we finally dozed off.