Posted by: chlost | March 9, 2015

One Dog in the Chair is Worth Two Canaries in a Cage

Each morning, as I groan and roll away from him, Merle turns off the alarm and slowly rises to get ready for work. The green glow of the clock radio says 4:30. No matter the time of year, even in the daylight-rich summer months, it is dark. He is in the car and off on his hour-long commute by 5:30.

I have the luxury of a bed to myself and a 7 AM alarm. Even then, I often struggle to get going on my morning routine after being up much too late the night before. Seven o’clock is much too early for a night owl like me.

Our dog sleeps in even later. He does not move out of “his” soft armchair until I am ready to go downstairs each morning. At that point, I suppose he feels it is worth expending the energy to be let outside for his business and to eat his breakfast before he goes back to sleep.

Yesterday was no exception to the routine. Roll out of bed Stumble to bathroom. Pick out clothing for the day. Step into shower.

But while I was in the shower, I was surprised to hear Merle’s voice. “Hello!”  “Hi there!” I heard him coming toward the bedroom, announcing himself so as not to alarm me.

I waited to hear him explain why he came back home so early. I could hear his voice over the shower water. “Hi! It’s me!”  I waited just a few more beats as he came down the hall that runs alongside our bathroom.

“Merle?” I called from the shower, thinking that maybe his car broke down, or perhaps he wasn’t feeling well. “What’s up? Why are you back home?”

No response.

I turned off the shower and called his name again. “Merle? Is that you?”

Nothing. No response at all.

It was a bit unnerving, to say the least. It wasn’t like him to be home. It wasn’t like him not to answer me.

All sorts of scary scenarios played through my head as I stood there, naked and dripping with soap. What was going on?

Finally I turned the shower back on, rinsed, and stepped out to towel off. I called out again, just to be sure. Still no answer.

He wasn’t there.

As I thought about the whole thing, trying to figure out what was going on, it finally hit me.

Our dog barks like crazy and runs around and jumps up and down when Merle gets home. Our dog barks frantically and jumps to attack if someone other than Merle comes anywhere near me.

As I stepped out of the bathroom, the dog was curled up on a pillow in the chair. He was awake, but not moving. Just like every other morning. No frantic barking. No jumping and running all around the bedroom.

Merle was not at home.

No strange person was in our home.

There was no one. It was nothing.

I was hearing things (otherwise known as hallucinating, but let’s not go there) that were not there.

In the future, I will keep it in mind-if the dog does not bark, there is nothing there.

If the dog barks frantically, all bets are off.

But at least I will know I really did hear something.



  1. Interesting read.. is your clairaudience active?

  2. Nice post! I smiled as I read it becasue I just finished drafting a short piece on my little dog who similarly enjoys sleeping. It’s funny what we can learn from our pets. If you’re interested, please have a look at my blog where I’m posting, among other things, the ‘lessons’ I’ve learned from my Jack Russell terrier.

    • Thank you for stopping and reading! I will get over to your blog and check it out. I love our little dog. Dogs are really quite amazing.

  3. Maybe a neighbor’s parrot escaped and was outside a nearby window. Or maybe your dog was practicing for the moment he lets you know he can talk.

    • That’s quite a creative explanation. But no more weird that what really happened.

  4. Great title. As for the story, sort of makes the hair on my arms stand up.

    Reading this reminded me of the time I was in the shower on a May morning and heard sirens, which then stopped near my home. I knew in that instant, just knew, that my son had been struck by a car crossing the street to his school bus.

    I stepped from the shower and ran to the living room wrapped in a towel and dripping water. A police car was angled in front of my house. The front interior door was flung open and my husband was gone.

    Fear jetted through me. Long story short, the son was struck by a hit-and-run driver. Thankfully my boy was not seriously injured. But, by far, this rated as the most frightening moment of my life.

    That is what you reminded me of with your fear in the shower.

    • Now your story sets the hair on my arms atingle. I had a somewhat similar incident happen to my son, but I had no intuition about it. I’m sorry I brought such a memory back to you.

  5. Huh. Those sorts of misperceptions (I’m going with that instead of auditory hallucinations) are always interesting to me. I wouldn’t read too much into it unless it keeps happening.

    • Misperceptions…interesting term. I am trying to just laugh it off.

  6. The HELL. That’s sort of amusing but mostly unsettling. Except no big deal. But still.

    So, yea, I’m full of great comments at 9 a.m.

    • Yeah. Unsettling. Let’s go with that.

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