Many of us have experienced it…. sitting quietly on the sofa watching television, and then hearing our dog suddenly emit a low threatening growl. They aren’t looking at the front door or any windows. Nope. They are staring down “something” in the corner of the room, on the stairs, or in a doorway. As you watch, trying to figure out what is going on, Fido suddenly scrabbles backwards, head low to the ground, barking a warning, as if being approached by a threatening presence. You see nothing there, but the hairs on the back of your neck start to prickle and rise, and goosebumps start marching up your suddenly very cold skin. You feel the cold sweat of fear starting to form on your forehead. An enemy is near, but you can’t see it. Only Fido can.
So, what is going on here? Is your dog really seeing or sensing a paranormal presence, or is he/she just a Nervous Nellie?
Dogs have a very keen senses, so some would say that your dog must be hearing or smelling something from outside. I disagree. If this were the case, would Fido not be at a door or window, looking for the source of whatever has set off their “spidey” senses? Doesn’t make sense that they would be growling and barking at a wall or corner, and backing away from it in alarm, if the source of their upset was somewhere outside.
Many cultures have long held the belief that dogs can sense when someone close is dying, often howling to alert others that the Reaper is near. Why? Are they seeing a soul depart the body, or are they able to smell death? Nobody knows, but in ancient times dogs were often linked to death in some way. The Persians kept a dog near the bedside of someone who was dying so that when the soul departed the body the dog could guard and protect it from evil entities. For the Egyptians, Anubis guarded the tombs and also guided the dead to the Hall of Justice.
Dogs also have the uncanny ability to know when natural disaster is ready to strike. They have been know to act out oddly and then seek a safe shelter just before an earthquake or tsunami hits. This tells us that they are very sensitive and attuned to the atmosphere and any disturbances that we ourselves may not notice.
Today, we have dogs that are actually trained to sniff out cancer. They can also sense when their human is going to have a seizure, often providing life-saving alerts so that their human can be ready to deal with the impending seizure. This shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been ill and found that their loyal Fido will not leave their side. Our canine companions not only display a deep empathy with humans, but they seem to also know when our bodies are not function right and it causes them upset and concern.
You cannot deny that dogs have a “sixth sense” that allows them to see, hear or smell things we cannot. Because they have a wider field of vision, and although they do not see in full colors they can see better than we can during the hours of dusk, twilight and dawn, and also have the ability to see moving objects at a far greater distance. Because a dog’s sense of smell is 100,000 times stronger than humans, it is possible that they are able to smell the energies of entities or beings that we cannot see. We can only hear in ranges of up to 20,000 Hz, but dogs can hear sound in the range of up to 60,000 Hz! Who can say that they are not hearing sounds coming through from a parallel universe?
Dogs are also known for letting us know when a certain place or room in the house gives them the heebie-geebies. They simply will not enter that area, often putting up a huge battle to prevent themselves from being forced in. They will growl, whine, bark, shiver, shake and cry. They will dig their heels in and not budge. They will tuck tail and run in the opposite direction, looking for a safe place to hide under. As humans we have all had this feeling of “something isn’t right,” whether it be around a certain person, in a new or unfamiliar location, etc… With a dog’s higher senses maybe should put more faith in our furry friends and their ability to let us know that Casper (or something less friendly!) has popped in for a visit.
My dog is a Belgian Malinois. They fear nothing and nobody. If I witness her growling at a wall or barking and backing away from something I can’t see, you can bet I’m going to trust her warning that an unseen visitor is lurking around!