Friday, April 18, 2008

A Dog Senses Danger

My son called me on his way to work this morning. “Did you hear about the earthquake?” he asked.

I had and was going to E-mail him later to ask if they had felt the quake in the west suburbs of Chicago.

My daughter-in-law had been awakened by a shaking house and had tried to convince my skeptical son that she wasn’t imagining things. Only after checking the morning’s news did he realize she was right.

Now, unlike the west coast, you don’t really hear too much about earthquakes in the Midwest, but according to the U.S.Geological Survey, "this region has more earthquakes than any other part of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains." For example, the New Madrid Fault is one you might have heard about most. Back in 1811-1812, a series of earthquakes hit New Madrid, Missouri, and even changed the course of the Mississippi River. Today’s quake, which occurred in the Wabash Valley fault system, was centered in southern Illinois and was felt in St. Louis, Cincinnati and even as far as Canada. Because of the region's geology, earthquakes here tend to be felt over much greater distance.

But, what captured my attention was the strange behavior of grand-dog Monte as reported by my son. My son said that yesterday Monte was barking at the ground like he was terribly afraid. Monte's legs were trembling from fear. From past experience, I know dogs will bark at a lot of odd things--motorcycles, vacuum cleaners and especially items that are out-of-place; however, I am now convinced Monte is an earthquake-detector dog.

The National Geographic
has an interesting article on the subject of animals sensing earthquakes. Next time, I think I’ll listen to Monte when he sounds a warning. I have a new level of respect for him.


Elle Jaye said...

Way to go, grand-dog Monte! I'm sure he was saying, "I told you so!"

Sheila said...

I guess there are worse things to listen to than a dog.

Diane J Standiford said...

I know it's true, every earthquake in Seattle the birds outside go nuts. A crow sat next to our bedroom window and SCREAMED at 5am, waking me, 5min later the quake.

Don said...

Since I have a niece living in Nashville,TN and other relatives in the Chattanooga area, it was quite interesting to me to read reports and accounts of the earthquake’s effects as reported in the Tennessean online yesterday @ Several people, in emails to the paper, told of the reactions of their pets.

I emailed my niece and asked if she had been “shook up” and she replied saying that when she goes to sleep nothing wakes her up --- that she could fall into a huge crack and not even know about it.


Sheila said...

Interesting about the crow, Diane. I think we have a lot to learn about listening to instincts.

Don, I checked out the link. I guess you niece is like my younger son--he can sleep through anything too.

Jackie said...

I read that the coastal elephants all rushed to higher ground in Asia ahead of that terrible Tsunami they had that drowned thousands. Animals appear to be so much more in line with nature than we are.

Glad I am not in an earthquake area as I would be too terrified to live there. Lightening is probably my biggest problem here.

Palm Springs Savant said...

Yes, I've read several reports that many animals can sense or feel earthquakes before they actually happen. We notice dogs, cats and birds especially since they live among us. The last time we had an earhquake in CA my dog was very restless just before it happened too.

rainlillie said...

Last night right before the balckout on my street my dog was acting weird.
I think animals can sense when things aren't right. When I received news that a relative had passed away. she stayed by my side for the whole day. If she senses that I'm distressed, she runs to me. I can't even go down to my laundry room without her running down the stairs first to make sure there isn't anything down there. Dogs are great!

Marion said...

My dogs generally act weird, and so, sometimes it is difficult to tell if Mother Nature has something in store, or if it is just their personalities, lol.

But, my dogs aside, animals can certainly tell if something is up, be it earthquakes, storms, or a sickness in the family.

And Monte, now, has another member in his family to be concerned about. What a great dog!

Naomi said...

Some animals just have an instinct about things like earthquakes Sheila. Monte was obviously trying to protect his family. What a wonderful dog he is!

jan said...

When we moved to California all I heard about from relatives around St. Louis was how scary the earthquakes were. Now they have far more problems that I have had with them.