When I was a baby, my dad bought my mother a German Shepherd. He named her after Mother's middle name - Josephine. As I grew and became ambulatory, it was clear Josephine loved me and I loved her. I couldn't pronounce Josephine. It came out Ho Heen. So, Ho Heen it was.
We became inseparable. She would lie beside me while I played in my sandbox (a tractor tire with a sidewall cut out and filled with sand). I'd drive my cars all over her, dump sand on her, and many more indignities that a noble German Shepherd would normally find insufferable. She was my constant companion. I used to have a bit of wanderlust, disappearing onto the prairie and confounding my mother. But, I had Ho Heen beside me and protecting me.
Yep, she darn sure had my welfare in mind. One fine summer day Mother heard me raising hell - I was mad and highly upset. She stepped out the door to see Ho Heen holding me by the seat of my pants, preventing me from playing with a coiled and buzzing rattler. Mother dispatched the venomous legless lizard with a shovel, and a legend was born.
Ho Heen already could do no wrong, but this incident elevated her to Permanent Pet Icon and Hero. However, Ho Heen, like her minute master, liked a little wandering herself. She'd disappear for several days at a time, then she'd be back, welcome in the folds of our family. On one trip she didn't make it back. My parents always told me someone had stolen her - supposedly there were a lot of German Shepherd thefts to supply labs with test animals in those days. Looking back, I'm sure some coyotes got her - they are hell on pets who stray from safety of the farm.
I've had some pretty decent dogs over the years, but none match the Peerless Legend Ho Heen.