OREM — Maya may not be in the doghouse, but the yellow Labrador retriever did something Wednesday morning that caused her owner to think his house was being burglarized.
Bruce Gardner was at work for maybe 10 minutes when he got a call coming from his home phone around 9 a.m.
"I knew nobody was home, so I answered it," he said. "I said, 'Hello,' and all I could hear in the background was all this rustling noise. I wasn't quite sure what it was."
Gardner said it sounded like somebody was in his home. After a few more attempts to talk to the person on the end of phone and getting no response, he called 911 and then rushed home.
"My mind immediately went to, 'I'm being robbed,'" he said.
Gardner told police he could hear "banging around, rifling around, some scratching." He told them there was a possibility somebody was breaking into his home and asked if they could send some officers to check it out.
"Our officers went to his house, were able to get inside the home and they didn't find anybody inside," Orem Police Sgt. Craig Martinez said.
Nothing was out of place, nothing appeared missing and there were no signs of forced entry.
Officers cleared the house and allowed Gardner in. They started searching for the phone that had called his cellphone. His house has three wireless phones, though they could only find one — and it wasn't the one had dialed Gardner. At that point, the officers left since there were no signs of a crime.
That night, Gardner went to put Maya in her kennel in the backyard, when he had an idea.
"I thought, 'Maybe I should just do a call to my home phone number out here to see if it is out here,'" he said. "I called it, and I could hear the ring. I started going toward the sound and found it out here in the garden."
It turns out the culprit was Maya. Apparently she found the phone on a bench in the backyard, chewed it and then buried it.
"She must have hit redial, and what I could hear was her playing with this phone and chewing the phone up," he said with a laugh.
Gardner called police to let them know what had really happened at his house. He said he was embarrassed and apologized to the officers.
"It's pretty comical to say the least," Martinez said. "He thinks it's as funny as we do."
Gardner said Maya is a wonderful dog, but she likes to chew things. The 4-year-old dog has destroyed several items, including the handle of a screw driver, a tool belt and a soccer ball.
"She's well-known for that, so that's why we try to keep her in the kennel during the night, for sure, just because she has the tendency to do that," Gardner said.
But recently that routine was changed. That's because 10 weeks ago, Maya gave birth to a litter of puppies that have taken over her kennel.
Maya is not in trouble.
"I can't really punish her for it," he said. "I don't feel like I need to."
So the mystery is solved, and Gardner said he learned an important lesson.
"I know that I probably need to make sure I don't leave things out here that I don't want eaten up," he said with a chuckle.
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