There’s a large Ibizan hound — just past being a puppy, easily 60-70 lbs. and ridiculously tall — who is a regular at the dog park. She and Buster have never been particular friends before, but last night they were having a blast playing chase and wrestling for Buster’s ball while I talked to her owners.

Then she did something naughty, and her owner scolded her and went over to pull her away, and Buster sprang into action. He jumped between the dog and her owner and tried to herd her away, moving whenever she moved to keep his body — all 15 lbs. of it —between the owner and the hound, while the hound towered behind him and looked smug.

It was the funniest thing. The owner wasn’t angry or overreacting at all, but Buster was all, “No one treats my friend like that!” He barely comes up to the dog’s knees, but he was sure she needed his protection and she was very pleased with her knight in shining armor.

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He’s such a smart, silly, opinionated, strong-willed, ridiculous dog, and I love him so much it hurts sometimes.