Saturday, February 18, 2012

Stray Dog Shows its Worth

The story of a stray dog alerting guards to the attempted escape via a tunnel of three inmates from a prison in Paraguay has received a lot of media attention (Washington Post for example). The quote from one of the prisoners that when he reached the street and stuck his head out of the escape tunnel just before dawn “the stupid dog barked” seems particularly popular.

The story doesn’t really need me to re-post it except to point out that this sentinel role of dogs is an ancient benefit of having these animals around that possibly pre-dates domestication. It is also a benefit that many people around the world enjoy from unowned village dogs and strays. These community security alerts may at times be annoying with their readiness to bark but they are a definitive deterrent to burglars for whom the dog’s bark IS actually worse than its bite. It is also a service that comes with little or no cost to home-owners but I feel is sadly undervalued.

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