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bettabird August 1st, 2011 07:52 PM

STRANGE BEHAVIOR nightly... seeing ghosts?
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Hello there,

I've decided to come to this forum since I know that no one else in my family is working on addressing this issue. My West Highland Terrier named Sadie is about 3 years old. We adopted her with her brother, Maxwell, last summer from a family who could no longer take care of two dogs. We are so happy to have them in our lives, and they get along well with our Westie Basil, who we have had for nearly 13 years.

I suppose it has been going on for about 3 months now, but every single night our Sadie becomes obsessed with a certain part of our house. Right next to our door that leads to the backyard is simply a wall. But the spot in between the crack of the door and the wall area itself is where she goes crazy every night, barking & scratching, tail wagging excitedly, growling. Or she will sit there and just stare at the area. Mostly she will lay down, with her ears still perked up, eyes open, and continue to look at the spot. Every now and then she will have bursts of excitement where she will again get up and scratch at this area. Right behind the wall is OUTSIDE, our medium-sized suburban backyard. She seems to have no interest with what is outside more so than this small part of the wall next to the door. If I scoop her up and bring her to another area of the house, she will get down and run back downstairs to the SPOT. It is really weird behavior, and it has been happening every single night for the past three months. My parents notice this just as much, if not more, than I do -- but they are more willing to just say that she is "crazy" and leave it at that, all the while still being confused and annoyed by the ridiculousness of it all. I, on the other hand, want to search this matter deeper...for as I write this, I look down to my right and there she is... laying down facing the wall directly, ears up, eyes open, breathing a bit fast. She looks ready to jump up and pounce any moment. But she will stay in this position for as long as it takes. I want to help her.

It is interesting that this happens way more in the evening than during the day. Also, there is a generator outside for the house's Central Air cooling system, however it is not always on and I do not think that that is what she is hearing and barking at.

Has anyone had an experience like this with their dog? Could Sadie be "seeing" something that no one else is? Sensing something real? I am willing to try anything to get down to what is going on. It is sad because she will be up and obsessed all night long, and consequently she will be so tired during the day. I want her to find peace in this house. I never really had any supernatural ghost experience myself, but I am a believer. So I just don't know what to do about this.

Please help!

lindapalm August 1st, 2011 11:26 PM

Even though the generator isn't always on, I think your dog hears it when it is, and he remembers it. Ours hates electric clippers, shavers, lawn mowers, anything that buzzes or has a motor. The test will be when you no longer need air conditioning and the generator doesn't make noise.

Goldfields August 2nd, 2011 12:03 AM

My first cattle dog had a food allergy, maybe the preservative in the canned food back then, and she would hide under our table, staring out at the hall as if there was a pink elephant out there, and she'd go to bite if you tried to touch her. Take her off that food and she was fine. So, worth considering? I assume Sadie is fed in the evenings? On the other hand, nightime is when little creatures like mice like to move around, are you sure she's not hearing them in the wall? Or, does she want to go outside, does she think the wall is the door? I notice that Bo, who got used to a door that opened from the left, always goes that side even though he's been here for years now with a door opening from the right. Interesting problem, bettabird.

Marty11 August 2nd, 2011 07:01 AM

That is exactly how my neighbours jack russell behaves. She actually finds critters, smells them, hears them, in the wall, in the garage and even under my deck. She knows exactly where they live. She is even fixated on ants too in between patio stones. This weekend she found a litter of brand new baby squirrels they were still pink. When this dog finds a spot you can be sure something is living in there. Your pooch is a terrier and I believe they are ratters too.

growler~GateKeeper August 2nd, 2011 10:25 PM

Sounds like you may have mice or bugs in the wall in that spot, especially since it's an outside wall they may have found a tiny open hole or crack for an easy route into the wall.

Dog Dancer August 5th, 2011 03:51 PM

My first thought was also mice or bugs. Carpenter ants in a wall an make a fair amount of noise that is very very hard to hear, and they are most active at night. I'd certainly consider pests of some sort before I worried about ghosts. But Goldfields makes a good point also if the pests are not the issue. Always worth considering.

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