Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Hound of the Snowkervilles

The weirdest thing happened last night. I went to bed at a reasonable hour (for a change). JLA was already sound asleep, as was Cody the mutt, who has his own long pillow on the floor.

The night was still as snow continued to fall. I fell into a half-doze. Suddenly, a prolonged, blood-curdling howl echoed through the room. When I glanced at the clock, I got a goosebumpy chill.

It was exactly midnight.

Cody never howls. Never. In fact, he rarely barks. Stranger yet, he didn't even stir. I told myself he must've been dreaming, since he does twitch and whimper when he dreams. Still . . . a mournful howl? There wasn't even a full moon to blame.

This morning, I found out there'd been a 4.3 earthquake overnight, centered 45 miles west of Chicago. That would place the epicenter about a two- or three-hour drive due south of us. Now granted, the quake took place a few hours after Cody's howl, but I still wonder if the two were related. I've heard about animals being able to sense impending natural phenomena, like earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. And Cody does have incredible senses. Is it possible a dog can "feel" movement below the earth's crust? Or some disruption in normal electro-magnetic fields?

So now I don't know whether to be creeped out by the timing of his howl or be fascinated by the earthquake connection. Can anybody shed any light, either supernatural or scientific?


Val said...

That is fascinating! I don't have any scientific data but I've heard that animals have keener senses than we do about such things, and things will happen like bees swarming at random before an earthquake.

Chris said...

Like Val, I've heard that pets are really good indicators of when earthquakes are coming, but have no hard evidence.

wren boudreau said...

I don't know, but it is sure cool to think they are tuned in, isn't it?

Tam said...

If I were you I'd make sure he sleeps OUTSIDE your room tonight. Dogs have sharp teeth, humans have soft throats. :-)

They do have better senses and I think other animals react to earthquakes so why not dogs?

K. Z. Snow said...

I just read about some guy who conducted a study (you can see why I'm not a journalist *g*), and one of the dog behaviors he reported was "mysterious howling in the middle of the night." Yowza.

Tam, Cody is an incredibly gentle dog who loves to cuddle. I don't think he has a clue his teeth are for anything other than crunching his kibble!

Lea Sinclair said...

There is definitely a relationship between your dog's actions and the tremors later that day. You could be living on the same fault line or a minor fault line that was experiencing pressure or minor tremors prior to the quake in the Chicago area. This is not the first time the Chicago area has experience tremors. When my family was living in the Chicago area (St.Charles, IL)in the late 1960's, there was a big enough tremor to shake pictures on the wall. My dad was at work when the tremor happened. He said his desk moved about three inches and everything was knocked over. Our dog was acting very strange all morning-- hiding and very withdrawn. I don't remember this incident since I was so little, but it did happen. There is a major fault line running through the Midwest.

K. Z. Snow said...

Thanks for letting me know, Lea. My boyfriend thinks I'm crazy, but there is no other explanation for that howl. The dog never did it before and hasn't done it since.