There are times in my life that I just get a feeling. I do not mean that I have premonitions or experiences I just mean to say that I have gut feelings. I'm sure that it is a universal thing; just imagine the feeling of falling on a roller coaster mixed with a car crash (that is the closet as I can describe it.) These feelings usually come before something unpleasant happens; the most vivid memory I have of this is right before my previous story concerning a Ouija board and the most recent is before the birth of my nieces, my sister-in-law had extreme difficulty in labor and we almost lost all three of them.
My parents, who are disbelieving in certain phenomenon, believed that I suffered from acid reflux and had me examined and medicated for what they believed to be acid reflux and anxiety. However, I truly believe that though I am not in any way whatsoever 'special' I have the common sense to follow my gut and listen to what my body tells me.
Recently I moved out of my old residence into a home that is a great distance away from my family and friends. This area is a new life experience and I am well aware that stress will do strange things to your body but there is a difference between stress and the activity going on in my home and life.
I moved into a home that has a long history, not a dark or mysterious history just a long standing life. The research I have done on my home reveled that there was one human death on the residence (that of an older woman who passed away in her sleep after living a long healthy life.) There was also a period in which a woman hoarded numerous animals on the residence- though she kept them in relative health and comfortable conditions-this is how I came upon the home, the price had dropped from her housing conditions from the amount of animals. Besides the history the home is not located near any burial grounds or churches or rivers. It is located at the end of a neighborhood road in the middle of a small town. All in all the I can not find any reasoning behind the things going on in my home other than overreacting, or hopefully stress; though the feeling that I have in my gut tells me otherwise.
To get on with it, I have had shadows, sounds, smells, and a strange animal taking place on the ground of my home. I started noticing these things after my dogs starting acting strange; both of them are older rescue dogs, Cardamom a massive shaggy mix breed who was abused as a pup and because of this is deaf and has sever hip dysplasia and Damiana a large pit-bull mix who was a rescued "bait dog", both usually laze about and love to just cuddle or beg for treats. I had been living in my home for about six months and had my dogs for about a year so I know what they're usual behavior consists of, but recently they started to act protective and almost aggressive (never towards me though) at times.
At first Cardamom would just follow me wherever I went despite his hip issues; I played it off as him wanting to be let out or asking for food, but he refused to eat or go outside -he just wanted to be near me. Then Damiana started "standing guard" wherever I went, she walked in front of me and sat next to me putting herself between doors and myself. Both of them had become anxious when I went into the dinning room, which has two double glass doors that lead out into the backyard that leads down into a wooded area. I usually never enter the room unless I have company and when I'm cleaning, lately if I even go near it Damiana will stand still and refuse to let me enter and Cardamom will howl or whimper if I step over Damiana and enter.
At first I put aside my worry and just played it off as weird behavior from dogs that I was still becoming accustomed to, both were almost seven and I had only spent a year with them. Then I started noticing a smell on the side of my house that was near the backyard (the dinning room, kitchen, family room, restroom, and garage) the smell isn't a bad one per say it just smells as if I have left the windows open and the wood area has wafted in. It usually just smells like decaying leaves (again not necessarily bad), wood sap, and something else; honestly, it smells like an air freshener. The smell is just disconcerting because for the longest time I believed that windows were left open or there was something wrong with the walls or insulation, allowing cool air to get in and hot air out increasing my bills. It was only once or twice that the smell became overpowering and almost acrid-that will come later.
Along with the smell came sounds that I can not identify, at first it was scratching at the double doors leading toward the back-I came to see if the dogs needed to be let in or out on the off chance that they weren't in my immediate vicinity. Usually I would see them both before I even came close to the doors so I would assume that it was debris catching on the doors. Then I began to suspect raccoons may be making a ruckus and getting into things (my dogs wouldn't notice-one is deaf and the other is lazy) but there was never any evidence of raccoons. Still the scratching continued and then added to it came a whimper at times. Usually the whimper sounded late at night when I was about to go to bed and brushing me teeth in my adjoining bathroom and the dogs were already choosing which area of my bed to lay claim to. I thought it might have been Cardamom asking for help onto my bed but whenever I went in both dogs would just look at me and I caught onto the fact it wasn't them. The sound stopped when I left my room and it only ever started when I was about to go to sleep. There were moments when I would just faintly hear something-once it sounded like a strange grunting, then 'thunking' like a heavy ball and another sounded like a low groan that went on for awhile- but both were inside of my home with no locatable sources.
I never really had my "feeling" until I started noticing a shadow in my house. Both of my dogs would always be around me so I knew it could not have been them. At first I just caught it out of the corner of my eye outside of the living room window (it was usually a hunched up mass around the size of a large dog) and when I turned to look at it the shadow wouldn't be there. Neither dog seemed to react to it so I just put it from my mind; it wasn't until I started to see it out by the woods that I became concerned. It would hover by the tree ledge and stand there so I honestly just believed it to be an animal or maybe a stray dog. The first great feeling I had was when I walked into the dinning room (without my furry entourage) and opened the door to call to it. I always found stray animals when I was younger so I thought to see if I could get it closer to return it or maybe startle it off if it was wild. When I pushed against the door to enter my backyard I felt my stomach clench-it was as if I was staring at a semi truck coming straight at me and I couldn't move- the shadow seemed to turn towards me and hunch up into itself. My hand was frozen at the point of the door and I didn't have the strength to close it, like my arm was full of warm water and unable to do anything but stay where it was. There was this sudden silence as I looked at this shadow thing and it wasn't until Cardamom howled that I slammed the door shut-hard enough that it rattled the glass panes.
Damiana seemed to push against my legs and tried to maneuver me out of the room but I couldn't look away from the tree line and the shadow thing, I think I may have stumbled on the carpet because the next thing I knew I was flat on my butt with Damiana standing over my torso with her hackles straight up and growling like I have never heard her. When I managed to wiggle out from under her and stand up I called to her and tried to get her away from the door. But she refused to move-I finally grabbed her by her collar and pulled her out of the room. When I hauled her out of the room I hurried to the phone and called the local animal shelter and their officers to report a possible wild dog of large size. I told the officer what I had seen and heard, a large black or dark colored dog relatively the size of a Great Dane with a great deal of hair who was by the woods in my backyard and I was apprehensive about approaching because of my own dog's reaction to the animal. I waited for the officers to come and sat with my dogs loving on them and trying to calm us all down from what had happened-especially me, my stomach refused to unclench.
Within the hour I had two officers come out and take my statement, both of my dogs were fawning over the visitors and loving the added attention. The men said they would check out the area and see what they could find, I told them that the woods was only half a mile wide and adjoined my neighborhood to a elementary school-and children constantly took it as a shortcut home. The men took what I said seriously and started off into my backyard. When they came to the edge between the woods and my yard both of my dogs started to become nervous wrecks- drooling, whimpering, and stalking out the area between my kitchen and the dinning room. The officers were out there for almost three hours, until it became dusky and their flashlights would be of little use in the dark. They came around to the house again, near the front door, and rang to bell; usually Card and Dami will rush to the door even when they know who it is-but this time they came cautiously and when the men tried to enter both started to growl at the officers. It surprised me greatly to see the turn around in their attitude to the men-they had been rolling over before to have their stomachs scratch by these same men, now they sounded like they were ready for an attack!
Even the officers seemed surprised so instead of coming inside I went out and left Card and Dami inside-and they went ballistic (howling and whimpering and barking) although I was just right outside. The officers had to yell over the noise to tell me that they didn't find an animal matching my description but they had found dog tracks near my house, but that the animal could have just been passing by but they would inform the neighbors and schools to look for a stray dog. They informed me that a fence might help ease the tension and that if I saw it again to call them immediately. They left and I reentered my house to be pushed down and become reacquainted with my dog's tongues and I went about looking for fencing estimates.
It was around three months later-the fence had been put up since then- and I was going out for a morning walk with my dogs. My sister in law and my two nieces had come over for a visit so I had left a note telling them I'd be gone for a while and I had my phone with me-although I didn't believe they would need me it was close to four in the morning. We went in the opposite direction of the woods and it was about 45 minuets later my gut went cold and I received a frantic call from my sister in law. Her two girls had woken up screaming, not crying or colicky-just screaming. They had been placed in the family room because that was the largest place for their cribs and when my sister in law rushed in she saw a "friggen big dog" staring into the window from my backyard inside of the fence. Later she told me that when she looked at the thing that she was afraid, no reason for it but just primally afraid. It took her a moment but she threw a blanket at the window and then the dog disappeared. By the end of her call I had already made a good track back to the house but when we reached the block Card and Dami almost took out my arms by just pulling me home. Inside my sister in law had all the windows covered and every door locked-the girls had quieted down but the smell was back-stronger then it had ever been but it was acrid, like it was spoiled.
Dami had gone to the window the dog was at-no one told her which-and just paced with hackles raised and tail straight up. Card had gone to the trio and was snuffing the girls and my sister in law and would stop and lick them at random intervals. Once I was assured everyone was fine I called animal control and demanded that someone come out. Again they searched to no avail but they could not figure out how something had cleared the seven foot fence unless the dog was simply that massive-not necessarily reassuring but a good to know fact. My family left soon after, my sister in law was just so uncomfortable that she would jump at a door shutting to quickly. I was lately informed that things had started to occur with her and the twins but that is another tale all together.
Since that day I still have the strange behavior of both Card and Dami, but with a reinforced fence and safety precautions it has eased a lot of their tension and
Abnormalities. I have since then rescued another dog (Anemone-a large white mutt) who also seems to dislike the woods behind my house-she also 'guards' me and will join Dami on stalking patrol but otherwise shows no strange behavior. I still have the woodsy smell in my house and I can hear the whimper occasionally. But the shadow has not reappeared and the strange animal has not made an encore performance. I occasionally have the gut feeling when walking home or anywhere near the wooded area but I have yet to feel afraid. There was only one more time that heard of the animal showing up-my neighbor has two children who are students at the school behind the woods and they reported to their mother a strange occurrence.
They were approaching my yard and they heard something walking towards them-they said it sounded like a large animal, so they assumed it was one of mine. However, when they turned around all they saw was a large dark dog with yellow eyes (like it was looking at them sideways) and they took off running only to have the animal follow them to my fence. Their mother said they were extremely frightened after the experience and demanded to know why my dog had bothered them. I pointed out to her that my dogs are both light colored animals who are either to afraid of children or are physically incapable of chasing the boys. She had to coincide to my point after she saw Dami with her bright white face and Card's trouble rising up to greet her. I informed her of the issues I was having with a similar animal and we left it at that, though I did inform her that I had notified animal control and the school of the issue-just so she understood and wouldn't further blame my dogs. There is still some apprehension over the strange animal but I deal with it and I still have to walk away from the woods with my dogs in tow, otherwise they seem to want to stalk the wood line.
I honestly hope that what I described is just a strange occurrence of a wild animal coming too close to society, and my dog's reactions thereafter. Some where deep down though I still feel a little uneasy when I think about what happened, I can logically explain the occurrence -the smell just being down wind of the area, the sounds being from my dogs or otherwise normal animal behavior, the shadow my imagination, and the strange menacing shadow animal just a menacing animal. I just can not shake my gut feeling of this though and until something happened to the contrary I will hold onto my gut and keep an eye open. Maybe someone here can put my fears to rest or explain it?
Well thank you for your time and anything you have to offer.