(**Remember there is a zombie short story contest until July 3rd...**)
I was thrilled to see “Ghost Hunters International” using a dog on one of their expeditions, albeit short-lived. I’ve always felt that there’s a very reasonable and practical place for dogs on ghost hunts. Humans can miss the signs of activity, dogs don’t.
When I lived in California, the neighborhood dogs were our first warning before an earthquake. When I was pregnant, my head in the toilet in the morning in October 1987 when we were about to get a 6.0, it was the neighborhood dogs howling and barking incessantly that made the hairs rise on my neck. I crawled to my “safe spot” in the crappy old second-story apartment just in time. They didn’t steer me wrong. Each time an aftershock came, they let me know with their cacophony of yipping. When I was done with checking the apartment building's gas main and the neighbors' safety, I went and gave the dogs over the fence some hot dog bits.
When I was growing up at Aspen Grove, our family dogs were the first warning sign when something was in the room with us. Their reactions were amazing, from hair standing up down their backs, tail between their legs, growling and barking at the unseen, to rushing from the room and hiding under beds. One time, they were so upset, they appeared to try to lunge and grab at something, one of them suddenly squealing as if he were kicked. He rushed out of the house with the other dog and cowered under the barn for several days!
If a dog won’t venture into a space, I know it’s a hot spot. If a dog stares at the unseen, I know it’s telling. If the dog refuses to enter, I know it’s bad.
Dogs may not always be practical on hunts, such as in someone’s residence where they don’t wish to have a dog or a public building, but when they can be used, they should be used. I’d prefer a dog to a thermometer and EMF meter any day—much more reliable. You can walk them through the site first and then try unleashing them, ignoring them so they’re not focused on attention, and then wander yourself around the place and see if the dog tries to come between you and something else. If he’s acting protective, take note of it. The only time a dog will lead you astray is if he finds a scent he likes more or a moving rat that’s more entertaining.
Consider taking one on your next hunt. They’re not just man’s best friend, they’re also his very own ghost meter!