Kelly, the 10-year-old Lab mix, proved to be too much for a would-be thief.
by J.P. O'Connor
On a hot and humid night in a quiet Woodinville neighborhood, a burglar silently entered what appeared to be an empty house. Seconds later, the thief exited, stumbling and running through the rose bushes and out into the darkness ...
At least this is how I imagined it the next morning after a thorough investigation of the crime scene. As the police officer filled out the paper work, I had a moment to reflect on how fortunate our family had been and then wondered what had actually happened the night before.
The evidence showed that the burglar had carefully cut open the screen on the front window and climbed into the living room.
As the dirty footprints on my white carpet indicated, the perpetrator had come to a sudden halt at the end of the coffee table and then beat a hasty retreat back through the window, leaving all our "priceless" possessions behind.
In the best tradition of any Agatha Christie fan, I studied the evidence of the crime scene and came up with several deductions as to why this had been a botched burglary instead of a successful heist.
From the end of the coffee table (where the footprints ended), there is a clear view down the hallway to the family room couch. It must have been here that the burglar met the only one home at the time--the one who was to become the Hero.
The simplest explanation for the thief's hasty retreat is that the wagging of our Hero's joyous greeting set off the red light on the motion sensor in the hallway. How was the burglar to know the alarm system had not been set?
The second possible scenario requires more imagination and understanding of human nature. Deeper analysis reminded me of the fact that the family room couch is the favorite spot for the Hero to catch a quick nap, especially when everyone is gone.
However, with age comes a little less concern for outward appearances, and her favored sleeping position is a free abandonment of modesty with all legs pointing skyward, the mouth hanging slightly agape, and the tongue falling out over the gray muzzle.
This relaxed pose is usually accompanied by certain strange and jarring noises that erupt from her throat periodically, a noise not unlike my husband's snoring when he falls asleep watching TV at night on the same couch.
As most will agree, including my husband, it is embarrassing to be caught off guard while snoozing, so I can picture our Hero hearing a noise in the hall and jumping up as quickly as possible pretending to be awake and alert.
However, if the thief had looked more closely, he would have seen the Hero's glazed eyes with drool rolling down her chin. This alone might have been enough to frighten the intruder and send him screaming into the night.
The third supposition concerns disruptions in the Hero's digestive system. From experience, I know she can easily clear a room, or a whole house for that matter, with one of those "little digestive indiscretions." It is doubtful that the common house thief includes a gas mask along with the other tools of his trade.
It is unlikely we will ever know the true story, but I prefer not to delve too deeply into life's little miracles. I like to believe that my old friend was heroic, fearless, brave, and true in foiling a criminal at his crime.
Being the Hero of the hour and dealing with heavy doses of adrenaline at her age is very taxing, so a hug, a tasty dog treat, and a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood let Kelly know that her heroic actions (whatever they might have been) were well done and appreciated.
Somewhere out there in Woodinville is a disgruntled cat burglar who has wisely learned it's best to just let sleeping dogs lie.