My wife keeps a 9mm in the nightstand by the bed. She is often home alone when I am off working out of state. I have taught her how to rack the slide (Micro Compact XD9) and how to sight and shoot it. The day before Christmas she calls me and there is a stray dog that has come up to the house. She had gone out and tried to chase it off and it attacked her. It was growling and snapping at her and she just barely got back inside the house. She was scared and I told her to just sit tight. I called a nieghbor and asked him if he would go up to the house and check on it for me. Meanwhile the dog got into the corral and was after the horses. My big gelding was rearing up and pawing at it and trying to kick it. Protecting his herd of mares, who were huddled in a corner wild eyed and panicked. She grabbed her pistol and racked the slide like I showed her, she went out the door and got about 20 yeards from the corral when the dog saw her and came running at her. She took her stance like I taught her, sighted down the barrel and pulled the trigger......CLICK! A couple of days before I left home last week we had some friends out and had been target shooting. We came back up to the house about dark and fired up the grill to cook some steaks. Before I left home I put all the guns up, returned hers to it's place beside the bed. But, I obviously had forgotten to reload it! She said she ran back to the house with the dog on her heels and once again just barely got the door closed before it got to her. Of course she called me, VERY upset and panicked. I got an earfull for sure. My nieghbor showed up and the dog went after him. He shot and killed it. My wife is fine, just shook up and none of our animals were bitten or injured. But I learned a good lesson. I will always make sure her weapon is loaded and ready for use before I leave the house again. But I told her that it should be a good lesson for her too. I told her to never assume a weapon is loaded, or unloaded. I told her to always check the magazine. She said "I cannot believe that you, as much of a gunnut as you are would make that kind of mistake." I told her that anyone can make a mistake and that ultimately your own safety is up to you. I think we both learned some good lessons from this incident. I am just glad it was a 4 legged threat and not a 2.