Lynn Sarver turned a scary start to her New Year into an act of compassion.
The Waukesha nurse awoke shortly after 5 a.m. Tuesday to find a man sleeping on her dog’s bed — along with Benton, her 130-pound Boerboel, a South African mastiff.
At first, she thought perhaps her son had come home unexpectedly from out of town. But when she saw it wasn’t him, she woke her house guest and asked her if she knew the man.
She did not, so both women grabbed a knife in the kitchen and called 911.
“He was out,” Sarver said of the stranger. “Even when I went to pull off Benton, the guy didn’t move.”
Waukesha police roused the man and asked him if he knew where he was. He said he needed his glasses.
“Once he put them on and looked around, he said, ‘Oh yeah, this is not my house,’ ” Sarver said.
She said the young man, about 21, who turned out to live with his mother two doors down, was cooperative with police, very embarrassed and extremely apologetic. Sarver said police asked if she wanted to press charges, but she saw no need.
“I learned a big lesson,” she said, “and I’m sure he did too.”
Waukesha Police Sgt. Brady Esser confirmed the man was “heavily intoxicated,” but not dangerous and was taken to his own home.
Sarver said she and her house guest had come home from a party about 1:30 a.m., then fallen asleep watching episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy.” Sarver’s alarm woke her at 5:15 a.m.
Sarver said she routinely locks her front door and had to unlock it for police, so she suspects the young man entered through a side patio door she had forgotten to lock. He said he couldn’t remember how he came in — or anything past midnight.
She got Benton about three years ago for protection and couldn’t explain why Benton didn’t bark since he does for most visitors. She said she got a deal on a twin mattress that serves as his bed in the living room because an official dog bed big enough for him was almost $200.
“My dog is pretty smart. He could probably tell this kid wasn’t a threat,” she said.