Can Pets Sense Spirits?

Late in the evening on the 5th anniversary of Kyle’s passing, I noticed that Marley, our Labrador mix, was uncharacteristically restless, tense and edgy.   That evening, as Marley laid at my feet,  he would lift his head up from his nap, stare intently into our darkened kitchen, and slowly let out a long, low growl.

Listening and hearing nothing, I shrugged off his odd behavior.  I know that a dog can hear frequencies approximately 2 times better and up to 4 times further than that of a human.   I just assumed that my dog was reacting to something outside of my range of hearing . . . or so I thought.

That night Marley chose to sleep on our bed close to my husband and me.   Marley’s restlessness continued throughout the night, eventually waking me up in the wee hours of the morning.  Unable to go back to sleep, I was reading in bed when Marley suddenly tensed up and began letting out the same deep, low growl.

This time the focus of Marley’s attention was the pitch-black hallway just outside of our bedroom doorway.  With his eyes locked on something that was imperceptible by me, Marley let out another menacing growl as he began to push himself up into a crouched, ready to attack position.  Suddenly, with unusual swiftness for a pudgy, lazy dog, Marley launched himself off the bed and barreled out of our bedroom.   All that could be heard was barking and snarling as Marley, chasing after some unseen transgressor, disappeared down the hallway into obscurity.

Having heard Marley growling most of the evening at seemingly nothing, my husband just rolled over and went back to sleep.  Like my husband, I wasn’t overly concerned, but since I was already awake I decided to get up and investigate around the house.   First stop, the hallway.  After flicking on the hall light and finding nothing ominous, I made my way downstairs.

I walked around listening for any noise, inside or outside the house, that Marley might be picking up on.  I even peered out of the blinds to see if a deer, or perhaps a stranger, was lurking.   Not finding any satisfactory explanation for Marley’s behavior,  I made my way back to bed.

I found Marley proudly standing guard at the top of the steps.  I patted the top of his head as I passed by him on my way back toward the bedroom.  Approaching the doorway with the hall light still on and shining into the room, what I saw next stopped me in my tracks.

Next to my husband, who was sound asleep, I saw an apparition hovering near the foot of the bed.  The semi-opaque, misty silhouette seemed to be just under 6 feet tall and the bottom quarter of the apparition appeared to dissipate as it neared the floor.  Stunned, but not afraid, I just stood there and stared in awe of my spiritual visitor.   I watched as the apparition, having made its presence known, began to fade away right before my eyes.  Intuitively, I felt my son had just paid me a visit on the anniversary of his passing,  and it warmed my heart.

Some people fear that a growling dog could indicate the presence of a dark spirit.  Realistically though,  a dog’s personality needs to be taken into consideration before jumping to the conclusion that a spirit is malicious.   Marley is a territorial dog, and as such, he likes to growl and bark at anything that he perceives as trespassing on his territory.  Marley’s behavior was in no way indicative of the spirit’s nature.

In conclusion,  having taken into consideration Marley’s peculiar demeanor combined with my son’s anniversary visitation,  I am of the opinion that some animals can see, hear and sense spirits.  That said,  please take into consideration reasonable explanations for your pet’s odd behavior before concluding that you have a invisible visitor in your home.  For example,  I once had a dog that suddenly and for what seemed like no apparent reason,  became super clingy, very anxious, and fearful acting.   She was shaking and wouldn’t leave my side.  Studying my dog carefully,   I noticed a little puffiness under her eye.  I realized in that moment that my poor little dog was in some serious pain with an abscessed tooth.  She was trying to tell me that she needed immediate medical attention from a veterinarian, not a house cleaning from a priest!

If, after ruling out any and all logical explanations for your pet’s strange behavior, you conclude that your pet may indeed be seeing dead people,  don’t let fear get the best of you.  Consider the possibility that a loved one may be stopping by for a visit.   Loved ones that have crossed can visit us anytime and are often around during family milestones.   Sometimes a loved one in spirit will visit simply because they miss you.  Embrace the love, thank them for the visit, and know that they are watching over you and still apart of your life.