We were moving from Chicago to San Francisco, and I left first, while my husband stayed with our Golden Retriever in the condo. It was in June 1999, and I was in a hotel in Reno when he called to tell me his father died.
A couple days after his father passed away, he was awakened in the night by what was clearly an intruder. Whoever broke in was right there in the room, and so my husband turned on the light. Our dog was just sitting there, alert, looking at something that nobody could see, turning his head in the way dogs do when they appear confused.
My husband was bothered because our "watch dog" wasn't going after the person who broke into our home. So, he got out of bed to confront the intruder. It's a mistake, we both know. But we often act on instinct in times like these.
There was a long corridor in our condo which led to the dining room then the kitchen toward a back door, out to a deck. So my husband followed out of the bedroom through the living room, only feet behind the footsteps through the corridor towards the kitchen. The footsteps faded as the visitor passed through the door onto the deck. There was no sound other than the footsteps.
The gait was uneven, with one foot landing harder than the other. His father had an injury which caused him to limp the same way.
My husband called his mother and said he had something he wanted to tell her. She said she didn't want to talk about it, knowing it was about his father. But he told her anyway. He described what happened that night to her. Her sister had written her a letter where she described a similar experience, having an intruder visit her in the night with an unmistakable gait that matched her husband's.
Mother-in-law has since passed. I don't think he wanted to tell either of us about this immediately since he didn't want us to think he was nuts. I don't remember how long he waited to tell either of us. So, I feel like her sister received and read the letter before he brought it to her attention.