A blind and deaf ‘ninja’ spaniel has been filmed sniffing out food in the dead of night and leaving a trail of licked-clean pots in his wake.
Stuart Balshaw, 56, from Wokingham, Berkshire, was still left speechless after finding a licked-clean pan on his kitchen floor with his homemade spaghetti bolognese nowhere to be seen.
After checking his cameras, Mr Balshaw discovered that his 14-year-old English Springer Spaniel Curtis had been waking up during the night and going in search of food in the kitchen.
Over the course of 18 months, Curtis, who Mr Balshaw describes as ‘untrainable’, was filmed stealing pans of food and licking plates clean before sending them crashing to the floor.
Blind and deaf English Springer Spaniel Curtis sniffs out a pot filled with food and tries to open it at home in Wokingham, Berkshire
The dog places his paws on the kitchen counter and continues to search for food during the middle of the night
Owner Stuart Balshaw, 56, from Wokingham, Berkshire, said his 14-year-old dog was ‘untrainable’
In one clip, the dog places his paws on the kitchen counter and begins to sniff for any food.
He makes his way to a pot and drags in to the floor as the Balshaw family’s Labrador Ben, who has since passed away, pops his head up in the background.
The dog then finds another pan on the kitchen worktop and tries to search its contents before sending it crashing to the ground.
Mr Balshaw, who gave up attempting to train Curtis years ago, said the family saw little reason to be angry with the dog as he could not hear or see them.
He said: ‘[Curtis] steals all the time. We’ve caught him a few times on the video camera.
‘We can’t relax at all in the kitchen when he’s around because he’s just constantly sniffing.
‘His trademark is his nose goes up like a periscope, he zones in on where he thinks the food is, then like a ninja he just jumps up and gets it. It’s gone before you know it.
‘If you leave anything on the side or cooker, like a dog biscuit, piece of cheese, ham, he zones in on it, finds it and eats it straight away.
‘There was one incident where we put three steaks out and suddenly there were just two.
‘We didn’t hear him or see him, and we were stood next to the steaks, but one of them was gone. Curtis was stood there licking his lips.
‘We’ve had builders here and they’ve put their bags down. He roots through them while they’re not looking and eats their sandwiches.
Curtis continues to feel his way around the kitchen worktop in search on food during the dead of night
Owner Stuart Balshaw (left with Curtis and right with his daughter Harriet), 56, from Wokingham, Berkshire, said his dog lives ‘in his own world’
‘We’ve given up on the training after 12 years. He’s untrainable. Because he’s blind and deaf as well, he can’t hear anyone telling him off and can’t see that anyone might be watching him.’
Curtis went blind in both eyes five years ago and was forced to have one eyeball removed after it became infected.
The rescue dog is also completely deaf, which Mr Balshaw claims leaves him ‘in his own world’ and focused entirely on sniffing out treats.
He continued: ‘We have years of memories where he’s eating all kinds of things. Constantly, every day, he’s up looking for food.
‘There’s loads of other incidents where we’ve been eating outside, and he’s nipped out from nowhere and taken a piece of cake from people’s plates.
‘Both incidents [with the pans] happened at about 5am. You can hear the crash.
‘[The first clip] was bolognese and I can’t remember the other [meals].
‘Normally we’re just coming out of a sleep and come downstairs. By the time we get downstairs, the whole thing has been polished off.
‘It’s like he knows he has to eat it all before he gets caught.
The 13-year-old dog standing on the door of the dishwasher and licking the plates clean
Mr Balshaw said his dog zones in on where he thinks the food is, including plant pots
‘We have a photo of him standing on the door of the dishwasher giving the plates a pre-wash. He’d managed to open the door of the dishwater and get in there with the plates.
‘You can’t be angry. He wouldn’t hear us anyway.
‘He’s in an ”I don’t give a damn” mode. He’s 14, in dog years that’s probably 90-something.
‘He wanders around in his own world and his main focus is where his next meal is coming from.’
Mr Balshaw said he decided to share the comical compilation in the hope that the clips would make people laugh.
He added: ‘I’ve shown this video to a lot of people just walking the dog and it is hilarious. I must have seen it 500 times and I still laugh every time I see it.
‘The funny thing about the videos is Curtis getting everything off the top and Ben’s looking at him thinking ”don’t involve me in any of this”.’