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Discussion Starter #1
The dogs always sleep on my bed, and are usually ready for bed any time from 9.30pm onwards. Last night I took them out for a last pee, then they both ran upstairs and onto the bed as usual. Ten minutes after I put the light out Sophy jumped down. I got up to see what she was doing and she got back on the bed. I offered her water (the bedroom bowl needed refilling) and she had a few laps, then settled down. Lights out again, and I was just dropping off to sleep when she jumped down again. After a while I went to look for her and she was on the sofa in the bathroom (I have a very big bathroom!) ears up and with the worried, alert look she has when she hears thunder. I couldn't hear anything, but she was obviously mildly anxious, so I gave her a quick once over for any painful spots (nothing), then sat with her and read for a while. After 20 minutes or so she began to relax, and after half an hour flopped over into a snooze. When I suggested bed she shot back into the bedroom, onto the bed, and slept till morning.

I still have absolutely no idea what she could have heard or felt - there was certainly no thunder in the air, and we are not in an area with much night shooting - in any case, poachers would not be out that early. I was faintly aware of neighbours playing music earlier, but she had paid no attention to that. If we were in an area subject to earthquakes I would suspect a mild tremor, but we aren't. Perhaps it was simply a spasm of tummy pain from gas, but her attitude was looking outwards not inwards. Any ideas? She is very confident about most things, and ignores most sounds - only rumbly thunder and sharp bangs seem to worry her.
 
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Hmm, that is puzzling. A change in barometric pressure? The smoke from a neighbor's bonfire? Any additional clues this morning?
 

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That’s a hard one. The only thing I can think of is she heard a very distant loud noise. Maybe thunder very far away. Or felt it, as I’m sure thunderstorms can be felt by animals before they are heard.

I hope you had a bit of sleep despite Sophy’s anxiety.
 

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I think you are right - something similar enough to thunder to disturb her. No tremors under 2 on the Richter scale get reported, so it could have been something undetectable by humans but that she felt. Absolutely nothing wrong this morning, and she slept well all night - whatever it was only lasted an hour or so. I may ask my neighbours if they were playing a heavy bass beat, just in case.
 
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I was thinking very small earthquake. We had a small one here recently. I didn't realize at the time, but it apparently was noticed by our dogs who all were up around the same time and unexpectedly just after the quake was recorded.
 
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That would certainly explain it, Catherine. Poppy and Pippin slept through whatever it was, but they sleep through fireworks and thunderstorms directly overhead, so that is unsurprising!
 

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I hope you find an explanation. It's puzzling when our furry friends are trying to tell us something and we can't figure it out.

I can't stop myself from commenting on your bathroom sofa. Sounds wonderful! I have long had the goal of having both a sofa and a fireplace in my kitchen, while at the same time I do not want my kitchen in my living room. Homebuilders in my price range don't understand my needs... :)
 
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Discussion Starter #8
For a long time I had a chaise longue in there, along with an antique dresser, a bookcase and a (probably illegal) 8 arm chandelier. The sofa is much more useful though, and usually has several animals on it whenever I am in there. The room is about 13' by 9' with a huge window about 8' x 7'. I have thought of redesigning it to fit in a big walk in shower, but at the moment prefer the library ambience!

Sofas covered by throws and dogs seem to be a fixture in kitchens in posh houses here - preferably ancient, slightly saggy chesterfields or Knoles.
 

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...I still have absolutely no idea what she could have heard or felt - there was certainly no thunder in the air, and we are not in an area with much night shooting - in any case, poachers would not be out that early...
Just curious. Do you mean hunters with a license to hunt, or poachers, if so what kind of animals are they shooting?
 

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Maybe she wanted to spend a little alone time in your vast bathroom. Nice option to have besides the usual crowd in bed.
 

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Shooting round here is mostly released game birds - pheasants and grouse - but there is some illegal lamping (shooting at night with a bright light to reflect from eyes - usually rabbits, hares or deer). Poachers are more commonly after salmon or sea trout, as the fishing rights are valuable and tightly controlled, but will sometimes be out after game as well. But we are well down in a highly cultivated valley, close to a village - it is much worse where my sister lives high on a mountain in Wales. They have car loads of men coming in from the cities to shoot at practically anything that moves.
 

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fjm,

I dunno but if you get it figured out maybe you can work on my puzzle. On May 3rd this year, my dogs started acting peculiarly. My little Chihuahuas kept looking skyward. Boo Boo was literally shaking head to toe. She wasn't bolting from whatever it was but she was disturbed. My Giant was not taking flight or shaking but she saw whatever it was too. She gruffed but did not advance forward. She stayed right beside me & continued to watch, very stoic, very serious. It would not have been a good time for someone to test her. The Collie would glance up, then pace the room & acted as if something was in the room that she'd like to drive out yet she did not. Mr. Layne took his position with the Giant. he didn't press into her space. When she is that level of serious, it would not be wise to press her. He would look up in the same area & fold one front foot as he lay down but he would glare up from time to time. I was raised with a lot of old Native American ways & so such things doesn't disturb me but that night I began to wonder. I was taught that dogs walk with two paws in this world & two paws in another, they see things that we do not because there is no reason for things to be hidden from them. I'm sorry, this creeps a lot of people out. I never have figured out what had them all out of sorts but it was enough that I checked on my old Dogmaster friend to ensure he was still with us the next day. I know he was smiling when he wrote back that he was alive & well.

I was a bit surprised when I had several emails myself & some dog friends through social media sited their dogs really having a bad night. I kept track: Pennsylvania, Texas, Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Arizona, Arkansas all had folks complaining that their dogs kept them up all night & several of these folks even went as far as to check with weather service, with local law enforcement, etc.. One lady contacted police to have them do a neighborhood check because her dogs got her nervous thinking someone was prowling around. Still puzzled. I have no idea what happened that night but something was in the wind.
 

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I had to go look the date up again but it was very weird. I tend not to say to much about such things as it creeps some people out. I might not have done more than make note of it until I started getting emails or seeing it on Facebook or what have you. People being kept up all night by their dogs & such. If it happens again. I'll share here. It's very odd.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It sounds as if it could have been an earth tremor - too small and deep for humans to notice, but evident to dogs.

I never did find a cause for Sophy's episode. She was back to normal in an hour or so, and there has been no recurrence. The only other thing I can think of is that she is going through the final stages of a phantom pregnancy - it is possible that she had some sort of pseudo contractions that scared her. The dates would be more or less right, but I have never been aware of it happening before.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Repeat of the same behaviour last night. We went to bed around 10pm and in the early hours I was aware of slight whimpering from Sophy as she took herself off to the bathroom, where I found her at full alert on the sofa. She would not settle back in bed, so I sat and read with her for an hour or so until she slowly relaxed and fell asleep. She then came back to bed and slept peacefully until morning.

No thunder, and too late for fireworks. I am wondering if she has bad dreams... At least I know how to calm her now, and that it wears off quickly.
 
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It's lovely how you responded, joining her on the sofa in the bathroom and staying with her until she was ready to go back to bed. Not sure what she's sensing, but perhaps you're right about the dreams. Do you have any sense of her whimpering or kicking in her sleep before getting up?
 

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There was definitely whimpering, but I don't know whether it was while she was asleep or after she woke. I can't sleep if the dogs are upset, so it is easier to get up and be with them than to lie awake worrying. Sophy was rigid with worry at first, then accepted a comforting massage, and eventually flopped into sleep. That's when I know we can go back to bed!
 
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