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Clancy the dog protects owner from burglars

Clancy proved to be a fine watchdog when intruders entered Agnes Larsen's home in January. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

The legacy of Clancy the cop continues, this one a bewhiskered, tail-wagging rambunctious fellow who thwarts burglars.

Agnes Larsen, who resides on Como Street, woke up to a growl about 4 a.m. a few weeks ago. Her 7-year-old, 65-pound soft-coated Wheaten Terrier that shares the bed then proceeded to stand up and bark.

An intruder was standing outside her bedroom door, armed with an iron club with a burr on the end. She would later discover the weapon on the floor of her home.

As the man came closer, Clancy took an eight-foot leap from the bed, charging the man who'd entered the home through a back deck door.

Larsen, groggy from having taken pain medication earlier, didn't initially realize something was sorely amiss.

She got up and went into the hallway and heard the exterior door storm door close, but attributed it to the wind.

Larsen, barefoot, stepped in a puddle and blamed it on Clancy, his house training yet to be fully mastered. But its temperature told her it was melting snow.

The intruder, she would later learn, had entered the house to steal money they thought was stored in her bedroom dresser drawer.

Larsen's former cleaning woman, who'd been arrested for stealing money from the same drawer, had informed the two of the possible stash.

Clancy foiled their mission.

"I was dumbfounded," Larsen said as the reality set in. She didn't call law enforcement, initially. "I was in a daze," she said. "No one has ever broken into the house. And the lights were on," Larsen said of table lamps.

About a half-hour later, she dialed 911. "Someone tried to get into my house," she told dispatch. Police arrived, following footprints in the snow to the back of Ace Hardware where the two men had parked a stolen vehicle. Security cameras caught them on film and law enforcement later identified the car as stolen.

"A buddy ratted on them," Larsen said of reporting the car missing.

Cody Hawk, 20, and accomplice William Dunbar, 18, were apprehended and charged with first-degree burglary a day or two after the incident. Bail was set at $250,000.

Police informed Larsen of the apprehension.

"They admitted to everything," Larsen said, including picking up her favorite butcher knife on the counter with intentions to kill the dog, then use the iron club on Larsen, if necessary.

"These are rocket science guys who are probably going to be charged with a bunch more," Park Rapids Police Chief Terry Eilers said of an ongoing investigation in Wadena and Douglas counties.

"Clancy is spoiled rotten but he meant business that night," Larsen said. Law enforcement is calling him a "hero."

Meanwhile, Larsen has changed her locks, adding deadbolts and chains. She's had sleepless nights, but lauds Clancy for alerting her to the danger.

"If not for my dog, the outcome may have very different."

An omnibus hearing has been scheduled for March 4, and Larsen plans to attend.

"I want to see what those two dinks look like...I hope they get a very long sentence."