Years ago we had a big old white dog wonder up to our house. We lived on the end of a dead end road. People were always dumping animals out there and they'd wander up. This was a big old mutt but he was loveable as all get out. Goofy and playful. We called him Dudley. Never thought he'd be a good watch dog because he was just a big silly thing. Then one morning as he and I were walking down the long driveway he started barking and got in front of me. he wouldn't let me pass, he just kept barking at something I couldn't see. Then out of the tall grass next to the driveway the biggest diamond back rattlesnake I ever saw shot out and across the driveway and into the woods. Dudley was protecting me.
A few months later, out son was outside playing with him when a large pack of wild dogs, maybe 10 of them came into the yard from the filed next to the house. Ryan ran inside and told me Dudley was staring them all down but they were trying to attack him to get to Ryan. I got to the door just before a fight really started and dropped 3 of them with a Marlin Model 60 before the rest ran off. Dudley came right up to my leg and stayed there. He was a great watch dog. He died a little over a year later in his sleep I believe from old age.
I can't see us ever not having a dog. They make life so much better.