Kudos to you for being prepared. I don't have a dog for early warning, so I usually sweep the shadows with my flashlight before I walk through a dark area.
I'll pass on the 6 D-cell Maglite club. My main light is a Fenix L2D, which runs on 2 AA batteries and has brightness settings from 11 lumens to 175. The white LED projects a solid beam with no holes in it. Very nice.