The Sixth Sense of Canines

Posted by on Aug 15, 2012 | No Comments

Dogs seem to have a sixth sense about coming disasters. Historians and researchers claim they can sense earthquakes coming. Although when one hit Seattle we had to wake my parent’s snoozing terriers so we could get out of the house. But I do know of one case where I believe a dog had a sixth sense about a coming disaster and managed to avoid it. 

In the fall of 2008 the University of Washington mascot, Spirit, an Alaskan Malamute was chasing a squirrel when he injured his shoulder. A live mascot has roamed the sidelines of UW Husky games since 1922, but Spirit wasn’t there for the opening of the season. In fact, he didn’t make it for any of the games that year. Not even the last one which was going to be his retirement ceremony where he’d be replaced by Dubs, the current mascot.

I went to watch football, as in American football, and not soccer. It was University of Washington's Huskies vs Freshno State's Bulldogs. Was a really exciting game (even though I didn't really understand what was going on), and my ...An injury chasing a squirrel? Personally, I think Spirit could smell disaster coming. That season the Huskies went zero for twelve. We were the first 0-12 team in PAC-10 conference history and the only NCAA Division I team to finish the 2008 season without a victory.  We couldn’t even beat the 1-10 Washington State Cougars. We were firmly atop only one ranking—ESPNs Bottom 10 

In my opinion, Spirit proved that canines do have a sixth sense when it comes to coming disasters. Injury chasing a squirrel? Yeah, right.

Related Posts:

A Bit of Attitude

A Little Faith

Postscript: Some question why our mascot is the Huskies but we have a malamute roaming the sidelines. Legend has it this is based on a compromise from 1922 when a committee charged with selecting a new name to replace University of Washington “Sun Dodgers” selected “Huskies.”  Malamutes was a strong contender for the official name but it just didn’t roll off the tongue like, “Go Huskies.” In deference to those who lobbied for Malamutes, a malamute was chosen as the live mascot. 


  1. Tracy Ward lifelong friend of the Rumberger's side of the family
    August 15, 2012

    OH DENNIS! THAT IS TOO FUNNY! Go Malmutes!!!!

    • Dennis
      August 16, 2012

      Either one would have been better than the UC Santa Cruz mascot. Can you imagine cheering, “Go Slugs.”

  2. Tracy Ward lifelong friend of the Rumberger's side of the family
    August 15, 2012

    Okay wait, Tracy didn’t say that I did!