~by Barbara Barker Cecil, Houston, Texas, USA


Although we would have appreciated a photo of Barbara, few are shared. Barbara staunchly preferred that Pistol Pete be the focal point. In her eyes, he was key to their legendary status:

“Pistol was a gift from the dog gods... I just let all that natural intelligence, athletic ability, and "I can do that!" attitude shine through.”
~Barbara Barker Cecil

For many Lowchen fanciers, a chance to see Pistol and Barbara participating in agility was on the wish list. This Lowchen team was a true trail-blazer for our breed. Although most of their fan base simply thought of them as Barbara Barker Cecil and Pistol Pete, this Lowchen legendary athlete was officially known as: MACH 3, NATCH3, VERSATILITY NATCH ATCH-SP, TayWil's Aerien Pistil Pete, UD, RAE, AJP, AXP, XF, OFP; UCDX;ASCA UD; ECC 400, EJC 400, EAC 600, HP-N; PG3, PS3, PJ3, PD2; CL4-H, CL3 “Pistol!”

Barbara leaves no doubt that Pistol Pete is A True Lowchen Guardian:

“Because our king size bed was already occupied at night by two adults and a pack of Papillons, my husband Jim and I decided it would be best if puppy Pistol slept in a crate beside my side of the bed. Pistol was fine with that, so that's where he slept his first 4 months in our home. Then I went out of town for a week and while I was gone, Jim let Pistol sleep on the bed. "It's no problem," Jim said after I was back home and had discovered the new arrangement. "He sleeps at the foot of the bed and doesn't move or make a sound." Well, why not, I agreed. After all, we had slept with 2 big Golden Retrievers for years, about equal to 3 Papillons and a Lowchen. Within a week, of course, Pistol had inched his way up the bed until he had claimed his spot, under my arm and right next to my heart. And that's where he slept every night for the next 9 years of his life.

The particular night I want to tell you about happened just a few days after Pistol started sleeping on the bed. I'm an insulin-dependent diabetic; I had never had a problem with my blood sugar dropping during the night. But that night, for the first time, it did. It was 2:00 a.m., and I was awakened by Pistol whining in my ear, licking my face, and nudging my head with his nose. My energy-depleted brain barely functioning, I thought, I've got to get up and let Pistol out. But because the brain is the first thing to go in a severe blood sugar drop, I didn't act on that cloudy notion until Pistol became really insistent that I move.

As soon as I sat up, I knew I was in big trouble. I started popping glucose tablets and then took my blood sugar. It was 42. Normal is 100. I had been perilously close to falling into a coma, and through the fog in my brain I realized that was exactly what would have happened if Pistol hadn't forced me into consciousness and action. Of course he would not have been able to have done that had he still been sleeping in a crate. And no, he hadn't gotten me up because he needed to go out; he knew how to use the doggy door in the den. I will always believe he was with me and woke me up to save my life.

From that night and on for the rest of his life, Pistol took on the role of my protector. I've been in dogs for 40 plus years and my role has always been: I take care of them. But with Pistol, that was reversed. Pistol believed and joyfully accepted that it would always be his responsibility to take care of me. Unless it was impossible to do so, Pistol never let me out of his sight. He was attendant to my every move and mood. I was the most important thing in his world and anything I asked of him, he returned 110%. Pistol was, and always will be, my Guardian Angel.”