Can pets see ghosts?

Cats 30

Have you ever seen your precious pooch stare at “nothing” as if he were mesmerized, or witnessed your typically calm kitty hysterically swat and hiss at “nothing”? Could it be your pet has a sixth sense – yes, like young Haley Joel Osment in the movie The Sixth Sense – and see dead people?

Dogs and the Supernatural

A recent Harris Poll (one of the oldest and most prestigious polls in the world) found 42 percent of people do believe ghosts exist. For those who believe, would it be so far-fetched to think our furry friends can see them? Obviously, there is no possible way to prove such a theory, so consider the following:

• Our four-legged friends’ heightened senses provide them with a different view and perspective of the world:
o While a dog’s vision is much less developed than a human’s – dogs see limited colors and have poor distance vision – they have superior night vision and can visually follow fast-moving objects much better than we can. The same goes for our feline friends.
o Adult dogs can hear approximately four times the distance of a human with normal hearing. They can also hear high pitched sounds that are inaudible to humans. A cat’s range of hearing is similar to ours, but they can hear much higher-pitched sounds.
o Dogs possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their nose, compared to a human’s mere six million. The percentage of a dog’s brain that is dedicated to analyzing smell is 40 percent greater than that of their human. As for cats, their sense of smell is twice that of a human’s. Could it be possible, with their spectacular sense of smell, that animals can detect ghosts through minute odors that we don’t know exist?
• There are documented cases of animals displaying abilities that are difficult for science to explain.
o Research published in 2011 found a Labrador Retriever correctly identified 91 percent of breath samples and 97 percent of stool samples from patients with colon cancer.
o Oscar, a cat who resides in a New Hampshire nursing home, has predicted the deaths of over 50 patients, curling up beside them in their final few hours, as if to help them to the other side.
o Animals can often sense danger. There are documented cases of wildlife acting strangely before a big hurricane, and dogs barking emphatically before an earthquake hits. Animals are more attuned to their environment than humans.
• Pets are generally considered to be highly intuitive when it comes to sensing how their human feels. When you don’t feel well, does your pooch react differently toward you? Perhaps he is gentler, softly “kisses” you, or wants to snuggle. If you’re angry, does kitty intuitively steer clear?
• Well known Pet Psychologist Marti Miller, who treats people’s pets across the U.S and Canada, believes animals have the ability to sense ghosts because they aren’t quick to judge and don’t over-analyze, unlike humans. As she says, humans have a tendency to deny what they are feeling, while animals simply react to what they feel.

Read here for famous ghost dogs

Skeptics will read this and think, “Ghosts aren’t real. End of story.” And it is quite possible your pet’s so-called sixth sense is simply the result of his keen senses. But for the 42 percent of you who believe in ghosts, how many of you would say, without hesitation, that your precious pet can indeed see the dead? If only our pets could talk…

The Dog Ghost by Caitlin Healey

The ghost dog awakens from his dream
His golden locks now faded
Whiskers sprouting from his face
Quivering as he sniffs.
His old limbs reborn
Chasing after an invisible ball
To the garden he used to know.

The ghost dog wanders around
His eyes like tiny pots of chocolate sauce.
Barking his silent bark
If anyone approaches the house

It’s his home
Not the dogs next door
Not the dog down the lane
The lane he used to run
His home only

The ghost dog has only one memory
A little blonde girl feeding him cornflakes
He waits in the kitchen
Waiting for them to come
Waiting for the little blonde girl

A patter of little footsteps
A toddle into the room
A single word “Doggy”
A chubby fingered stroke
A pull of his tail

The ghost dog trots back into the woods
The woods where he used to play
Lies down on a blanket of soft autumn leaves
And goes back to his eternal dream.

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