“I need to go out… No I mean now,” was the look Sophie the dog gave her owner as she sprinted into the room seconds before a massive 6.5 magnitude Earthquake which shook the West Coast. The event, documented on security tape, is one of hundreds of cases reported already this year of animals predicting Earthquakes shortly before they happen, but is far more dramatic and clear than the norm.
Sophie had been lazily sprawled out on the floor of the Times Standard newspaper in Eureka California enjoying another normal day of napping, when suddenly she raised her head and looked around the room. It was clear the dog thought something was wrong, when it suddenly snapped its head to the floor and clearly listened for something imperceptible to human senses, but quite clear to her. Immediately she bolted up and sprinted to the desk of her owner, Jessica Richelderfer. Jessica was perplexed by Sophie’s strange behavior for a few seconds before the room started to shake violently. Jessica wasn’t at her desk at the time, and upon seeing her owner’s disappearance, the faithful dog ran back and found Jessica quickly leaving the office. Throughout the ordeal, Sophie guided Jessica out of the building and to safety never once leaving her side until after the event was over.
The edited security video was uploaded to several different sites, and has been viewed more than 700,000 times, but an accurate estimate is difficult as it has been uploaded under several names and the real total may be over a million. No doubt those fearing earthquakes will certainly be considering employing the use of dogs to help them prepare, and as an advanced warning system. To date there is no way to accurately predict Earthquakes any more than a few seconds before they happen, and it seems with this lack dogs would certainly effectively be an alternative. Truly trained dogs, may even be able to be trained to set off an alarm or some form of alert system to help those in danger get to safety quickly. As the Associated Press reports the death toll could be as high as 200,000, it becomes clear that an early warning system could have given those hundreds of thousands a few seconds to get to safety. And a few seconds mixed with a firm understanding of what to do in the event of an Earthquake could have gone a long way toward helping many people. In the past week there have been over 56 Earthquakes with magnitudes of five or greater.
Still, Sophie clearly earned herself a nice long nap after the adventure she and Jessica had in Eureka. After the incident, some who had been present at the quake made the claim that the quake was able to be felt by humans from the beginning. This claim seems unlikely, however, as other people can clearly be seen to react slowly after the first big quake shakes ceiling lights and knocks dust particles into the air. By the time the first sign of human movement comes on screen, Sophie has already run off to rescue her owner.