he's just a 'fraidy dog

It would appear our ghost is back.

When we moved into our downsized house back in January, it was apparent we weren’t alone.  The dogs would frequently stare into an empty corner, growl and bark at the nothingness as if they were staring into the eyes of an unknown stranger.  This went on for weeks.  And it wasn’t just the dogs.  Members of the family would walk into an empty room to find something amiss.  A TV on when it had been off…or a TV off that should have been on.  Sometimes things were moved into new positions.  But most upsetting was the reaction from the dogs.  Especially Cybil.  She was the old lady of the group.  The alpha female.  The dog in charge.  She was the one the others took orders from. 

She was the one facing down a specter in the dark. 

Her hackles went up and her teeth came out.  The growl sounded deep in her chest.  The rest of us hid in the bedroom.  I wanted no part of a ghost.  

We were certain someone must have died in our house.  Someone that had not yet moved on from this world.   We did research.  We asked questions.  Then one day the ghost was just gone.  

Not soon after that, Cybil was gone.  She died in the very room she had seen the ghost.

Fast forward to last night.  Indiana Jones, the Mastiff sat at the French doors to be let out.  I expect this every night at 2am…it happens the minute I shut off the light and settle into the sheets to sleep.  I think he waits for my head to hit the pillows and my eyes to grow heavy before lifting a huge paw to the glass. 

Scratch.  And I’m up…

I stumble in the dark to the door, stepping on the pieces of someone’s shoe and half a milk jug.  I click on the light, open the door, and wait for him to run out.  But this time he just sits and stares at me.  I think I must have dreamed the scratch on the door, so I close the door, flip the light off and stumble back to the bed.

Head nestled into the pillows again, sleep just within my reach and…


I wander back to the door and stare at the dog’s innocent face.  He’s toying with me I think.  So I open the door again and he lies down in the doorway.  His head is on the deck, his body in the bedroom.   I try to nudge him out the door but he won’t move.  So I flick the outside light on again and go back to bed.  I figure he’ll go once I’m back in bed.  He doesn’t.  Instead, he freaks out when a moth flies at him. 

He crashes into me as I’m running to the door, nearly knocking me to the floor.  I go outside and call him.  He won’t come, so my husband gets up and goes outside.  The dog tip toes out the door and stares into the corner of the deck like he’s looking at someone.  The hair on his back stands on end and he backs into the house again, knocking me into the door. 

We finally coax him to the bottom of the steps where he relieves himself of at least two gallons and then runs up the stairs as fast as he can smashing into the door and flying into my bed where he hides under the sheets.  Dirty feet and all. 

When he gets up this morning the cycle repeats. 

My mastiff will not go outside because he sees dead people.  I think this makes for a funny blog, but if anyone else wrote this, I wouldn’t believe it.  Then I think about the rest of my life and realize it fits perfectly. 

My dog has discovered a sixth scent and it smells of fear. 


Until the next time…I’ll be sleeping between my husband and the dog.

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on August 12, 2011 .