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Why We Love the Dogs We Do | Dog as Machine?
| What Do Dogs Sense? | Sherlock Dog | Sigmund Dog
Sleeping Dogs
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Sherlock Dog

Excerpted from "What Do Dogs Know?":

Sometimes people give dogs credit for knowing more than they actually do.Take the case of Kato, the Akita owned by Nicole Brown Simpson. As probably everyone one this planet knows, the murder of Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman triggered one of the most publicized and controversial trials in history because the accused killer was the sports hero and actor O.J. Simpson.

Kato enters the story because one of the neighbors heard the dog's agitated whining on the night of the murders. Noticing blood on Kato's paws, the man assumed the dog had injured itself. As the neighbor tried to return Kato to Nicole's home, the dog pulled him in the direction of the garage; this was how the bodies were discovered. Many people felt that Kato had seen the murder and was trying to get help.

One morning, while O.J. Simpson's trial was in progress, I received a phone call from a lawyer associated with the court proceedings. He offered me a lot of money if I would come to Los Angeles, meet with Kato, and see if I could get the dog to identify the murderer: I tried to explain that in comparison to humans, dogs have a mental ability similar to that of a two-year-old child. I asked him if he would expect a human two-year-old -- with no clear understanding of death, and limited language ability -- to be able to comment on an event that occurred nine months earlier "Look," he pleaded,"couldn't you just come down and interview the dog!"

Forgetting that some lawyers lack a sense of humor, I quipped,"You mean something like getting him to bark once for yes and twice for no?" The amazed voice on the phone asked, "Could you do that?"

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