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Dog Tries To Tell Owner Something Is Wrong — And Saves Her From Earthquake

"People say that animals have the ability to predict things and it seems like it's true."

When Poppy Yang of Taiwan rescued a stray puppy from a parking garage six months ago, she had no idea that one day — in his own remarkable way — the little dog would go on to return the favor.

But this week, he did just that.

Poppy Yang

Last Tuesday may have started off like any other for Poppy, but little could she or anyone have guessed that a powerful earthquake would be striking later that evening. Quite mysteriously, however, her puppy, whom Poppy calls Twenty, seemed to sense that something was awry.

"At about 11 o’clock that night, I arrived home and I went out to play with the dog downstairs for a while," Poppy told The Dodo. "We were heading upstairs at 11:30 when suddenly the dog ran back outside and started barking at the ground."

It wasn't Twenty's normal bark, Poppy said. He seemed particularly concerned about something.

Poppy Yang

With playtime over, Poppy had intended to go in and take a shower — but her dog had other plans.

"I told him to stop playing and come inside," Poppy said. "A few seconds later, he rushed outside again and continued barking, very distressed."

Unusually persistent, Twenty could not be cajoled away, so Poppy was forced to put bath time on hold. Minutes later, the 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit.

Thankfully, when the shaking ground finally quieted, Poppy's building was still standing. Numerous objects inside her house had fallen from the shelves, but the damage from the quake appeared to be relatively minor.

But then Poppy walked into the bathroom — the very place she would have been if not for her pup.

Poppy Yang

A glass door in the bathroom had shattered, strewing countless pointed shards across the room. Had Poppy not been delayed, things might have ended up much different for her.

"I would have been seriously injured, because the moment the glass broke there was no place to hide," she said. Instead, both Poppy and her dog were all right.

Looking back, Poppy suspects that Twenty had sensed the earthquake prior to it striking — and that's what made all the difference: "People say that animals have the ability to predict things and it seems like it's true," she said.

Poppy Yang

The notion that animals, including dogs, can detect earthquakes before they occur dates back centuries, but the phenomenon is still very much a mystery. Some believe that canines' acute sense of hearing may allow them to sense sounds or vibrations preceding an earthquake that are imperceptible to humans.

It's hard to say for certain what factors may have led to Twenty's sudden change in behavior, but Poppy credits him for saving the day.

"I am thankful he delayed me. I think it is our duty to look out for one another," she said, noting that her act of rescuing him months earlier has, in a way, come full circle. "We will live together forever, until we’re separated by death. This is the best way we can thank each other."