Thursday, December 31, 2009

Canines turning our own technology against us

Dogs evolved along with us, to be part of our way of life, but sometimes one has to wonder if this has gone a little too far. It's one thing for them to learn that they can get a person to produce a treat by doing a cute trick, or that the couch is the comfiest place to lie when no one is watching. It's another when they start figuring out how to work our stuff - and use it against us.

In November alone, two dogs were blamed for fatal shootings. A man in California, accused of involuntary manslaughter in his wife's death, claims that his dog tripped him while he was holding a gun. In Florida, a woman accused of murdering her husband says the family dog knocked over a shotgun.

You may think these humans are trying to shift the blame, but it would hardly be the first time a dog shot someone. In January, a teenager in Arkansas lost several toes when his dog jumped onto his shotgun. Last year, a man in Oregon was shot in the leg in a similar fashion. In the latter case, as we have so often seen, the victim is perhaps unsure where his interests lie:

His son was concerned about the dog, Henry Marcum said. "He's a good dog. It's just one of those things. It's an accident."

Sure, one dog jumping onto a shotgun could be an accident. But two begins to look like a pattern.

Now, canines going after us with actual weapons is obvious enough, but are they also getting their inspiration from TV murder mysteries? In another case, foxes in England were found to be cutting the brakes on cars.

It's hard to imagine what's in it for them, so, while not normally a conspiracy theorist, I find this suspicious. Are their cousins - our "best friends" - whispering to them through the fence, saying, "Once he's out of the way, we can share the kibble?"

Again, the humans involved obviously don't read this blog:

Sgt George Blair, head of the West Wickham Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: ‘We were pleased to be able to find an innocent explanation for the cause of the damage.'

Finally, next time you think you've left the house with your dog safely contained, consider this item from the Washington Post:

STERLING, Vinson Ct., Dec. 2. An animal control officer responded to a report of two dogs roaming a neighborhood. When the officer arrived, the dogs were back in their home. The dogs' owner said the dogs had knocked a garage door opener onto the floor and escaped when the door opened.

Useful warning from Flickr user ianturton.


  1. That's a great post!
    I'm going to make sure Jake stays away from the knife drawer. Thanks for the warning..

  2. Keep an eye on the stove, too - you never know when that arsonist tendency might spread to more breeds of retrievers.


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