Harry is on holiday at our house. He's around four years old, a grand little dog; scruffy, bright, lively of dubious parentage and I would have said fearless. Except for a curious incident and strange behaviour for some considerable time around seven o'clock on Friday morning.
He bounded into our bedroom as dogs do; at least in our house they do. My wife rejoined me, correction us, and we settled hopefully for another thirty minutes. Except that Harry suddenly became very agitated, growling, physically shaking and standing, on the bedcovers (and our prone bodies at times) as if he could see, smell and or hear something we could not. This behaviour continued, in various degrees for a long time (thirty minutes?) and he was impossible to pacify.
My readers by now are probably aware my favourite saying is 'What's it all about, Alfie? '
The curtains were shut; the light was gloomy but not dark. The street, never particularly noisy was virtually silent. Not a sound, save for a dog, in the distance that did bark twice but Harry did not react to these faint barks. He faced the street all the time. He jumped on and off the bed probably in the region of twenty times; (he jumped back on the bed almost immediately.) I know that this is not normal behaviour for Harry and he was perfectly OK afterwards so can the animal behaviourists out there explain it all to me, please.
The house is a 1930's bungalow. Is it 'haunted'. Two previous owners; one an old lady (who smoked somewhat heavily) and my daughter Sarah and husband Jeff. (A fairly normal couple; well I did say fairly!) My wife and I are also, in the main fairly normal I reckon! But I've no doubt Harry did see, hear or smell something we could not. There is no doubt animal senses are superior to ours in so many ways. And now a little 'Grumpy' story just to confuse things even more!
Some years ago my family and I, plus white bull terrier Sam, a beloved family pet visited Holy Island in Northumberland, a haunting, daunting sort of place. Its a magical sort of place nevertheless and I particularly wanted to visit the churchyard, having a particularly macabre interest in such places. Is it that I am becoming increasingly aware of my own mortality, I wonder! Only young Sam was having non of it and refused point blank to pass under the archway formed by the lynchgate at the graveyard entrance. So I visited the churchyard whilst Sam didn't. (Sam was passed to the children; they didn't like churchyards anyway!)
Three months later, at Christmas I bought my son-in-law Simon a book about Ghosts in Britain. And there, low and behold was the story of the white dog that allegedly haunts the ruins of the abbey adjoining the churchyard on Holy Island. Clever old Sam, but it makes you think. What do you reckon!