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To me a dog is a member of the family and not JUST a security measure and I feel bad for dogs that might simply be considered as much. (this isn't directed at you timmyp, you probably treat your dog just fine..heh). In general though a dog is a hugely expensive long term commitment that requires the proper type of housing and amenities
(My fiance is a vet assistant and we have done abandoned animal rescues, so that hits close to home)
HUGELY expensive. I have spent close to $10,000 in the 8 years I have owned my two shelter rescue dogs. My one pup ate a remote and a battery and had to have surgery. Then 3 years ago they both ate a bottle of Motrin off the kitchen table. They both sleep in bed with us and are my kids! They are family. In fact I think I asked about this in a home defense thread a while ago. The response was that under the law dogs are considered property, not family and precious life. All I meant was that an alert system Dakota Alert MURS Wireless Motion Detection Kit, Base Station Radio - Amazon.com of some kind might be in order. Find what works for you.

One thing that bothers me is that it didnt seem like a crime of opportunity that he happened upon an open garage door. This took knowledge of lay of the land, and at night no less. A pre-planned route that included where to park...
 

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Not to hijack your thread but, I can sympathize with not knowing if you should report minor things or not (not that someone in your garage is minor-could have been a serial killer for all you know). Couple weeks ago I noticed a vehicle sitting at the end of the subdivision across from my place. Vehicle was running with lights on. Sat there for about 20 mins and wasn't any of the neighbor's vehicles. Then pulls out of the subdivision and pulls into my driveway (a little farther than you would to just turn around) and shuts the vehicle and lights off. So now I'm watching out the window for something to go down. Then the van starts back up and drives off out of sight. About 5 minutes later they are back at the end of the subdivision. So I called the sheriffs (non-emergency number) and told them what was going on and just that I thought it was strange. They were going to send a car through to check it out. Never heard anything else. The van was gone next time I looked. I called because I would hate to not say anything when I noticed it and it turns out to be a violent ex husband or boyfriend or someone scoping out a house or anything like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
One thing that bothers me is that it didnt seem like a crime of opportunity that he happened upon an open garage door. This took knowledge of lay of the land, and at night no less. A pre-planned route that included where to park...
That bothers me somewhat also. On the other hand though it's entirely possible that he simply chose a centralized and secluded location for hitting up anything in the vicinity. The house I rent the downstairs half of is owned by a family member. By it's 'fancy' looks and size, the casual observer might think us to be considerably more 'well-off' than we really are. The neighbors however on both sides of me are actually more likely to have things of value to take. In fact, the officer noted specifically to me that he had made a ride up the driveway of the one who runs a small Motorcycle shop right on his property, and in his words, "He seemed to have a lot of things of value just sitting out" . My driveway is also the access road that serves as the 'entrance' to the orchards , which is otherwise walled off by rocks and high vegetation. So, using that particular escape route would be perfectly logical to anyone involved in nefarious activity in the area.
 

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Oh, as for the K9 getting the trail though , there is one piece of information I left out in my original telling of the story. In the lawn, not far from the garage door, we had one of those .. I'm not sure how to explain it.. a glowing globe sort of thing with colored LEDS inside that is planted in the lawn via a stake. I hadn't at first noticed it (and neither did the cops in their initial sweep), but it seems the trespasser must have tripped over that in his flight. When the officer brought the dog by it he noted (to the other officer, not to me) that it was broken. The dog took particular interest in that and it's probably where he really got the scent from.
What are dogs actually smelling when they pick up a scent? The smell of the friction between your foot and the ground? Sweat drops which fall from the body to the ground? I mean, any body odor would seem to dissipate into the atmosphere quickly, but I suppose that in fact is what is being picked up on. I just wonder how it makes it to the ground.
 

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Wow glad everything turned out alright. Got me thinking now of lights, cameras and other security measures. Unfortunately my boy has a bad habit of leaving the garage wide open. Probably got that from me but when I did it it was OK to leave the house open. Different time. Different place...
 

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What are dogs actually smelling when they pick up a scent? The smell of the friction between your foot and the ground? Sweat drops which fall from the body to the ground? I mean, any body odor would seem to dissipate into the atmosphere quickly, but I suppose that in fact is what is being picked up on. I just wonder how it makes it to the ground.
I'm no expert, so take what I say with a big grain of salt, but I'm pretty sure the dog can smell and distinguish between all of the following: the rubber soles of the shoes, the smell of the socks, the smell of the laundry detergent, and the perpetrator's body scent - just from his feet touching the ground. The dog can also tell how long ago the scent was made, though I'm pretty sure they perceive time much differently than we do.
 

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What are dogs actually smelling when they pick up a scent? The smell of the friction between your foot and the ground? Sweat drops which fall from the body to the ground? I mean, any body odor would seem to dissipate into the atmosphere quickly, but I suppose that in fact is what is being picked up on. I just wonder how it makes it to the ground.
That's a good question. Now I am curious and going to have to google to see if I can find out. What OwnTheRide posted makes sense.
 

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I've done a lot with the police K9 in my area... The nose that the dogs have is amazing. It's very fun to observe and be a part of.

Also, your call was more or less a possible "burglary in progress." Depending on their distance, I'm surprised it took that long! In progress usually raises some ears
 

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Wow ... what a story Hex!! Glad everyone is fine and this wasn't a violent crime story. Oh ... BTW ... nice job throwing your neighbors under the bus so the next "thief" knows better to go to THEIR houses next time!! That's the best deterrent .... put up a sign that reads "Items of value can be found at the houses on either side of this one!!" :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
Wow ... what a story Hex!! Glad everyone is fine and this wasn't a violent crime story. Oh ... BTW ... nice job throwing your neighbors under the bus so the next "thief" knows better to go to THEIR houses next time!! That's the best deterrent .... put up a sign that reads "Items of value can be found at the houses on either side of this one!!" :p
Haha.. well.. you'd have to know exactly where I lived to figure out what neighbors I might be referring to. Unless the perp from my garage is reading this, I don't think I'm giving anyone any ideas..heh

This story was really pretty uneventful but I just thought the whole thing with the dog an all was interesting. Trust me, I've got a few crazier stories than this one; one of which was a MUCH worse and more seriously dangerous situation that involves intruders at home.

I'm just not willing to post those publicly. :p

Actually.. I will give you one 'home intruder' story, but this is more of a funny one than a 'scary' one . (by 'scary' I mean anything requiring serious action or defense.. this wasn't one of those) This was not reported to to the police, but there was really no reason to. It does however involve me employing the use of a pistol though against an 'intruder'.

This was when I was living in what was more of a 'real' apartment than I do now. It was still a relatively small town but by no means anything like the 'country' town I live in now. The houses on my street were all very close to the road and very close to each other; generally with just a few feet of walk space between them. It is perhaps worth mentioning though that there were a bunch of kids that thought they were a gang that hung around the area and were involved in extremely petty crime. These kids were a joke, but even a joke can be dangerous in the right circumstances. This has nothing to do with the story, I'm just setting the scene and trying to explain that this wasn't a high crime area or anything but also not a place to be completely unprepared.

Anyway, I lived on the ground floor apartment of what was also the bottom level of a two-story house but this was more a type of house that was clearly apartments. I cant explain it better than that, but you probably know what I mean. Anyway, I was sitting around waiting for my girlfriend at the time to come over (who is now my fiancee for a few years now that Iives with me here). It was late afternoon in mid-summer and I had come in from being out somewhere. I was settling in and shirtless, but still had my pants on (and therefore also belt and holstered pistol). I had intentionally left the door unlocked so she could just walk in; assuming I might not hear her knock if I was in the bedroom just relaxing on the bed with the AC on. (It was hot and that was the only room with AC) So, I'm sitting in there a while and suddenly I hear yelling from what seems to be INSIDE my apartment right outside the bedroom door.

I hear, "CHEYANNE ! CHEYAAAANNE !" (obviously a person's name, but I don't know any Cheyanne.)

So, I start to jump up but before I'm even fully off the bed, and mid "CHEYANNE !", my bedroom doom pops open. There stands a kid, maybe between 17 and 21, with a full armload of what appeared to be audio equipment. Computer speakers or something; I never got the best look at it honestly. Now, you've got to understand this next part all happened so incredibly fast, there wasn't much time for thought. I instinctively started drawing my pistol before I even made it to a full stand. I did have enough clarity though , even in the moment, to recognize as I'm drawing that this kid is not a threat and I only just barely cleared the holster. The gun was never pointed anywhere near the kid. Now before I even got the slightest chance to say a word, the kid had the look of ultimate terror on his face and he turned and bolted for the door. I'm surprised he didn't drop all the stuff he was carrying. I quickly holstered the gun and tried to follow him to the front door but by the time I even cleared the bedroom he was already going out the front.

The only thing I hear as he's flying off the porch was "WRONG HOUSE !" and he took off down the street a bit and back into the car that he presumably came out of to deliver some stuff to 'Cheyanne'

True story, every word. :)
I couldn't stop laughing and then neither could my then girlfriend when she got there and I told it to her.
 

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So I stepped out on my stairs alcove to smoke a cig, and clearly wound up scaring someone that was in the doorway of my garage. (It's a separate building from the house). I was barefoot and in my PJs and couldn't see a thing because not only was it pitch black, but also the position the person was in was behind some garden/ladder type fencing from where I was. I heard the person try to shut the garage door and then take off running. I saw nothing other than maybe some movement. Got back in as fast as I could and grabbed a pistol/flashlight combo and my phone and went out to take a look. I really wasn't that concerned, but obviously it needed to be investigated. (Mind you I'm sort of out in the country. Other houses aren't that far , completely visible from mine, but neither are they right next to one another)

Anyway, I saw nothing but it would be hard to tell if something were moved or missing from in the garage since it's kind of a storage nightmare. The door was open but that's not surprising as I can't ever seem to convince anyone who lives in this house to lock it; even though we've had clear evidence that someone (that shouldn't be) has been going in there before

I wouldn't normally call the police on something like this.. in fact I don't believe I have ever called the police before. In this case though I thought, "Well.. since I'm 100% sure this was a person that I had just scared away.. maybe it would be for the best to make a report ". They might get more reports of criminal trespassing or whatever and maybe they'll catch whoever it was. I have, in the distant past now, not reported things that maybe I should have. I don't like to involve the police for various reasons, many of which I'm sure people on this forum can relate to. However, It always wound up bothering me somewhat that maybe by not reporting something I could have let someone go free that might wind up doing something worse down the line. So, that was my line of reasoning in making the call.

About 20 minutes later a deputy from the Ulster County Sheriffs office shows up with his K9. (This is about 1am now). He listens to my story and I explain to him that I wasn't even sure about reporting it since I had essentially no details to give. He was very nice and polite, shook my hand gave me his name. Took down my story and my basic info of course, name, number, etc. Another deputy showed up 5 minutes into that. Also very friendly. They asked if I had inspected the garage fully and I said that I had, and the was the ones who had turned on the lights and all. What surprised me was that he said he wanted to try to get a trail with his dog. I thought that was unlikely since I had since been in the garage and had touched the handle and all. They decided to try it anyway and told me just hang out for awhile or go ahead and go in out of the cold while they took a walk.

Sure enough though, as I sat on the back stairs, his dog got a scent right away and led them about a half mile (That's what he told me) through the apple orchards behind the house and up to a connecting road back there (even more secluded) and then lost the trail. I was pretty sure from the get go that the person had most likely run into the orchards, so I thought that was quite impressive. The K9 deputy said that it was probable that the person had parked a car there, thus the end of the trail. Still though I was shocked the dog was that capable from a now 35-40 minute old scent that was already mixed in with others (mine and theirs)

In the end, one deputy just gave me his number and said to let him know if anything obvious turned up missing or someone showed back up. Mind you, I really wasn't too worried about it in the first place. It's not unusual for kids in this area to go exploring into people garages and such, probably due to the relative seclusion. I remember kids doing the same stuff when I was that age (not me though..heh. I had my issues, but I was never a thief). You never know though.. so again, why I decided to report it.

At some point during all this I had time to just BS with both guys; mostly separately, while the other was doing something or other. Both of them were really nice guys and really respectful. They joked around when it was time but when it was time to work they also took a simple trespassing more seriously than I would have thought.

So.. well, that's what happened. I came back in and started typing this. .. heh
Hex,
Glad to hear that things didnt turn out badly. Also glad to hear something that we all seem to know: that there are plenty of people in Law Enforcement who are really good people. We have all heard horror stories, but it is nice to be reminded every now and again that a few bad apples shouldnt spoil it for all of them. These guys sound like stand up professionals, and at the same time, regular people.
Maybe somethig to consider: Check out Skylinkusa.com - they sell inexpensive wireless home security systems. Starting from very basic (like maybe something with a door sensor and a local siren, which sounds PERFECT for the garage) - to more complex systems with auto-dialers. The point here is to deter - if someone set off an alarm - they will likely go look for an easier meal elsewhere. No one willknow what you have, if its monitored, if the cops are on the way, etc. It can be something simple that accomplishes the same thing as a motion light - the bad guys just wont wanna take the chance.
I have a number of SkylinkUSA alarm products as part of my 'home security' - and there are inexpensive, and work very well. Ive got a couple of sirens, motion sensors, multiple keypads, remotes, an auto dialer, etc. You just cant beat the peace of mind for only a few bucks.
 

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Hex...

Check out Skylinkusa.com - they sell inexpensive wireless home security systems. Starting from very basic (like maybe something with a door sensor and a local siren, which sounds PERFECT for the garage) - to more complex systems with auto-dialers. The point here is to deter - if someone set off an alarm - they will likely go look for an easier meal elsewhere. No one willknow what you have, if its monitored, if the cops are on the way, etc. It can be something simple that accomplishes the same thing as a motion light - the bad guys just wont wanna take the chance.
I have a number of SkylinkUSA alarm products as part of my 'home security' - and there are inexpensive, and work very well. Ive got a couple of sirens, motion sensors, multiple keypads, remotes, an auto dialer, etc. You just cant beat the peace of mind for only a few bucks.
Here's the URL for them: Skylink Group
 

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Where was your pistol while you were speaking with the cops ? In the house, on your person in a holster ?
I had gotten dressed in 'everyday' clothing while I waited for them to arrive. They never asked me if I owned any firearms and nor did I feel compelled to volunteer such information. Whether I owned a pistol or not had no relevance to anything that had occurred, so why would I ?
Thanks, Hex for a very intelligent and very succinct answer on this one.

What are dogs actually smelling when they pick up a scent? The smell of the friction between your foot and the ground? Sweat drops which fall from the body to the ground? I mean, any body odor would seem to dissipate into the atmosphere quickly, but I suppose that in fact is what is being picked up on. I just wonder how it makes it to the ground.
Most of the scent that dogs pick up while doing a human track is a result of discarded epithelial (skin) cells. All of the other answers with regards to shoe rubber, soaps, etc are correct in addition to the skin cells.
 
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