The back story here is that she and her 3 children were in a horribly abusive relationship with her husband/their father. Just go with "nightmare" and you'll pretty much have the idea.
Don't ask me why I'm thinking about the dog we used to have. I miss him. I've thought of going back to where we used to live, to see if I can find him. But the people who live there now would probably think I was weird.
His name was Dingo, and he was HUGE. People would think that he wss scary, but he was a big old baby. He wasn't allowed on the bed because we had a water bed. But once the comforter was on the bed, and he couldn't hurt the water bed, I would let him get up there and snuggle with me and the kids.
But when my husband started hurting us, Dingo got tough. After it had been going on a while, Dingo would growl whenever my husband would come in the house. He would snarl if my husband walked into the kids' rooms. He would try to get in between him and the kids. He never left the baby's side.
Eventually my husband just started hurting the dog too. Then he bought a chain and chained him outside, with the chain hooked to a big fence. I would let Dingo loose when he was at work, but I knew I had to have the dog chained up again before he got home. But I know that dog wanted to protect us. I don't know if we'll get another dog when we get a house again. Maybe we would jsut compare the new dog to Dingo, and that would be awful.