As a teenager (many, many years ago) my house gun was my Smith and Wesson model 19. I was nervous about keeping it loaded, so it was empty on the nightstand with several speedloaders next to it.
One night, I woke up out of a sound sleep to the alarming noises of a dog fight outside. I was still half asleep and grabbed the revolver, but no speed loader and rushed outside to find my lab/chow cross getting pinned by the neighbors pitbull*. If not for the fact that my other dog broke out the door behind me and defended her "brother", Southwest would have died that night.
Ever since I've keep whatever is on the night stand ready to go. The only one I have to do anything to be ready to shoot is the 1911 which I kept with one in the chamber, hammer down, which apparently is frowned upon these days.
*the neighbors pitbull was actually the reason I had unsupervised access to loaded guns. The dog attacked pretty much every other dog in the area and went after people (including another neighbors 6 year old) Everyone was armed to the teeth. To be honest, I'm suprised the dog survived until those jerks moved out.
Mal: "If anyone gets nosy, just...you know... shoot 'em. "
Zoe: "Shoot 'em?"