Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Smartest Dog in the World

In case anyone who knows me has failed to notice, I'm obsessed with animals. It's a long standing obsession, and I'm particularly interested in the ways we draw the line between humans and animals. Which might explain why I have an old children's book called Bob, Son of Battle. It's all about the noble dog Bob's noble exploits, but really I just bought it for the cover.

It's pretty much unreadable because a lot of the people talking about Bob are doing so with multiple apostrophes in each word.
"Yo' may well say that," cried Tanitnas in a kind of
ecstasy. "A proper Gray Dog, I tell yo'. Wi' the brains
of a man and the way of a woman. Ah, yo' canna beat 'em
nohow, the Gray Dogs o' Kenmuir!"
But forget the grey dogs of Kenmuir. Today I heard about Faith.

Faith is a helper dog to a Ms. Leana Beasley. But here's the deal: when Ms. Beasley took the wrong medicine Faith started barking at her. Then when she had a grand mal seizure Faith pushed her into seizure recovery position, knocked the phone off the cradle, pushed the 911 speed dial button with her paw, and barked at the operator when she heard a voice.

I heard the tape of the 911 call. It goes something like this:

"Hello, Emergency!"
"Hello, can I help you?"

The dog definitely waits for the human to stop speaking before replying with a bark. When the ambulance came, Faith looked out, recognized the police, and unlocked the door. Thus saving Ms. Beasley's life.

Faith got an Award for Canine Excellence, but really, I think someone should write a novel. Or at least make a painting of Noble Faith dialing the phone.

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