It might have been 7 or 8. It happened so fast, it was a blur. We were sitting watching Idol, and some of the dogs were making weird noises in the kitchen. One of them, don't even remember who, looked around the corner of the stairs back at me, and I knew they needed help.
I ran to the kitchen, and they were circled around a large hornet in the middle of the floor. They were in a circle with their noses were pointed at the hornet.
I ran back to my chair (no shoes on) and grabbed a catalog. I folded it in half as I ran back to the kitchen and yelled, "MOVE!!!!", to which they all did.
I swatted the thing with the folded catalog as hard as I could, and it made a very loud noise. I don't think any of the dogs even flinched.
That didn't kill it, but I picked it up with the catalog (Woodworkers Supply), and flushed it.
The dogs all sniffed the spot where it met it's fate, and after that everything settled right back down.
They were making noises I'd never heard them make before. I remember an old man telling me a long time ago that he had seen one of these hornets "knock a mule down". It was a great relief that no one got stung.
Here's what it looked like, but I swear it was the biggest one I'd ever seen.
My Thai friends say their dogs do this exact behavior when they find a cobra in the house. (since most houses are open to the outside, at least in part, this isn't an uncommon occurrence) OTOH, they need a shovel to bash the things, magazines don't work well.
Do you think the wasp might have been the one pictured below? If so, these are Cicada Killers, and although they are scary-big, they are harmless. The males don't even have a stinger, and the females, although they CAN sting, are tame enough that you can safely coax them onto your hand.
I know about them because one year my riding ring got infested with these HUGE wasps. Needless to say, this was concerning. When I investigated, I found out that they were Cicada Killers, not dangerous, and REALLY interesting. We could ride right through them and they never paid any attention. I spent a lot of time that summer up on the ring WITHOUT a horse but with my camera, taking pictures of them, watching them build their burrows, and, most amazingly, come flying in carrying HUGE cicadas. (which they put in the burrows to feed their young)
The entomologist I spoke with, Chuck Holliday, told me that he regularly lets them climb on his hands. I wasn't quite that brave, but I did get very close to get the macro shots I took, and they never bothered me.
Here is his site:
The first photo below is mine, the second is from Dr. Holliday's site.