Our family is good proof that God has a sense of humor. You have to be a character to be a member of it, pets included. Case in point, our black Lab, Charlie.

Labs are not known for being great watch dogs. They’re more likely to lick you to death or beat you to a pulp with their nonstop tail than to attack you. But for whatever reason, Charlie has taken it upon himself to be a watch dog for two things: our trash and our snow.

Now, he has no problem with the mail carrier. I don’t know if it’s like this in other places, but here, we don’t have real mail trucks. We have carriers who drive their own personal vehicles, from the passenger side no less, with little flags attached signifying they are delivering the mail.

When our mail lady has packages for us, she pulls into the driveway and honks. Her lap is so full of mail that it would be hard for her to get out of the car. So we come out to see what she has. We being Charlie and me. He has to look in her car to see if she has anything for him. She pets him but that’s it. Still, he keeps hoping someday a package will be for him. So he likes the mail carrier.

The trash man is another thing all together. The best I can figure is he thinks the trash guy is taking our stuff. Which he is. But it’s stuff we want him to take. Or rather, I want him to take. Charlie would probably like to examine all of it thoroughly before it goes to the street. Regardless, from the moment the truck comes around the corner until it disappears down the street, Charlie’s at the front window barking and growling and carrying on, letting us know that someone is taking our stuff. Of course I pet him and tell him he’s a good dog for letting us know that.

His battle with the snow plow is a little more adversarial. After our last big snow, the kids and dog went outside to play. The plow was coming up the street for the first time.

Charlie heard the rumbling, which probably sounds quite a bit like the trash truck. He stopped and started barking at it. It kept coming at him, despite his protests, which grew louder. The final insult, though, was when it threw a great wave of snow on him–which he hates–that sent him scurrying back to the house.

War was declared but from now on, Charlie would be safely behind the living room window.

But at least I know if someone is trying to steal my trash or my snow.