Real-life stories of animals and their amazing bond with humans

Jock’s curious warning about a fire


Scottish terrier Jock lived with Paul and Jennifer Smith in their New England home in the 1960s. The couple had a busy life; they had two daughters, Amy and Francesca, and worked on restoration projects. As for Jock, he was very much a part of the family and was also an effective watchdog. If something unusual occurred, or a stranger arrived, Jock would instantly let the family know with his abrupt little barks. He was with the family for many years.

One night Paul and Jennifer, tired after an exhausting day of work, sank into a deep sleep. But in the early hours Jennifer was woken by the sound of Jock barking in their bedroom. Paul awoke, too, and in the darkness they could both make out the unmistakable barking figure of the Scottie dog at the end of the bed.

They quickly noticed something else too – the smell of smoke. Scottish terrier Jock

The couple leapt out of bed and on to the landing, where they saw flames and smoke. They rushed to their girls’ bedrooms, grabbed them, and rushed down the stairs to safety.

Although neighbours called the fire service, it was too late to save the house, which was destroyed. But the important thing was that the family had escaped.

As for Jock, he did not perish in the fire either. This was because he had already died some months earlier of old age. Yet though his appearance is utterly baffling, Paul and Jennifer had both heard and seen their faithful terrier that night doing what he had always done in life – warning the family of potential danger.

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