The Cinch Review

Even Deaf Dogs Have Their Day

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Deaf dog alerts owner to burglarIn Salem, Oregon, a deaf English Springer Spaniel named Bonnie is credited by her owner, a gentleman named Dan Strasser, for alerting him to the intrusion of a burglar into his home in the early hours.

Sometime around 6 a.m., reportedly, he was woken by the sound of Bonnie running around in the living room. It being an odd time for such activity, he thought perhaps a skunk or some such had gotten into the house and Bonnie was giving chase. Entering the living room, he caught a glimpse of a human figure running past, clutching Mr. Strasser’s laptop computer. Bonnie had evidently smelled and/or seen the visitor and decided it was play time—hence her running around. The intruder, in his alarm, failed to run out the back door, and instead ran through a door that led into the garage, and effectively a dead-end. At this point it could have gotten ugly. The intruder (allegedly a man named Thomas Lowell, who has been charged with a parole violation, burglary, criminal mischief, and unlawful possession of methamphetamine) reportedly brandished a knife and might have decided to fight his way out. Fortunately, Mr. Strasser had retrieved a firearm which he owned, and was thus able to persuade the intruder to remain in place until the police arrived to take him away.

The story highlights this very useful fact about dogs: they are truly creatures of routine, and the one thing of which you can be certain when there is a sudden unexplained change in behavior is that there is an explanation. It’s just up to you to figure it out. Bonnie the Springer Spaniel was no conventional guard dog; she couldn’t hear and she didn’t bark. But her owner knew when he heard her scooting around at 6 a.m. that something strange was afoot, and something which he should not ignore. As a result, he has not lost any valued possessions, an alleged criminal is facing justice, and no one got hurt. Good work by dog and human. These things are worth highlighting sometimes.

Video report via KPTV below.



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