from "What Do Dogs Know?":
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
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
© 1999 Stanley Coren.
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