This story was related by Pat Routledge of Winnepeg, ONT about an unusual telephone service call he handled while living in England.
It is common practice in England to signal a telephone subscriber by signaling
with 90 volts across one side of the two wire circuit and ground (earth in
England). When the subscriber answers the phone, it switches to the two wire
circuit for the conversation. This method allows two parties on the same line
to be signalled without disturbing each other.
This particular subscriber, an elderly lady with several pets called to say that her telephone failed to ring when her friends called and that on the few occasions when it did manage to ring her dog always barked first.
Torn between curiosity to see this psychic dog and a realization that standard
service techniques might not suffice in this case, Pat proceeded to the scene.
Climbing a nearby telephone pole and hooking in his test set, he dialed the
subscriber's house. The phone didn't ring. He tried again. The dog barked
loudly, followed by a ringing telephone. Climbing down from the pole, Pat
a. Dog was tied to the telephone system's ground post via an iron
chain and collar
b. Dog was receiving 90 volts of signalling current c. After several jolts, the dog was urinating on ground and barking d. Wet ground now conducted and phone rang.
Which goes to prove that some grounding problems can be passed on.