Do you believe in GHOST PETS?

Originally published 4/29/11
Every dog owner knows the sound – the tick, tick, tick of toenails on the floor as Rover ambles onto the scene to see what you’re up to.

But what if you hear the sounds and there’s no Rover?

Three years ago a combination of old age and chronic bronchitis caused our dear old pug, Scooby, to pass on. It wasn’t unexpected, but I was devastated just the same. A couple nights later, I found myself awakened by the sound of canine claws on the linoleum. The sound proceeded up the hallway at a slow, waddling pace, accompanied by the jingle of tags. Thinking that my remaining pug, Fiona, needed to go out, I sat up – but discovered she was snoring beside me! All was quiet once more and I thought I’d dreamed the incident.

However, the distinctive doggy sounds continued to occur. By the third incident, I realized that Scooby was still checking in on us. This was confirmed when one of my daughters flew to visit us the following month and was awakened in the night by the same phenomena – and no, I hadn’t yet told her of my own experiences. Scooby had been especially close to her and I wondered if perhaps he had lingered in order to connect with her. After she went home, the pugly visitations decreased to once every few months or so.

Stories abound of departed pets visiting the people they were close to in life. A ghostly experience with one of her own cats caused Dusty Rainbolt of Lewisville, Texas to write a book “Ghost Cats: Human Encounters with Feline Spirits”. A month after her cat, Maynard, passed on, the woman felt something jump up onto the bed, walk across the blankets and settle at her feet. “I could feel the pressure,” recalls Rainbolt. “It was truly haunting but not in a bad sense. I was away from home when he died and I think he came back to say goodbye.”

So can animals really become ghosts? If we accept that humans can linger in another form after death, then it follows that animals can too. Some argue that animals do not have souls (obviously these folks are not pet owners), but it’s much more likely that animals possess the very same energy that we do. And, as with us, this energy is not extinguished by physical death – physics tells us plainly that energy can’t be destroyed, only transformed to another state.

There are almost as many motives for animals to “haunt” a place as for humans to do so. The most powerful reason would be emotional attachment – there’s no denying that our animals often love us as much as we love them. Intense trauma can also cause a spirit to linger, and this would be true for any creature, not just our species. And then there are some ghosts who seem to hang around either because they don’t realize they’re dead or they just prefer to stay in familiar surroundings. Again, this could occur in animals as easily as in humans. All of these are referred to as intelligent hauntings.

But there are also residual hauntings. Some researchers suggest that certain ghosts are not actual entities but a snippet of time being replayed over and over, like a loop of film. This may account for phenomena at the ancient Colosseum in Rome, where not only countless humans lost their lives but thousands of animals were killed. A steady supply of lions, wolves, bears, elephants and many more creatures were imported and used to perform tricks or pitted against gladiators. Over the centuries, there have been many reports of hearing and even seeing exotic animals in the abandoned structure. Today, many staff, workers, guards and visitors have reported that in addition to the sounds of swords clashing and chariots rumbling, they’ve heard the roaring of big cats and the trumpeting of elephants!

Former Civil War battlefields and camps are among the most haunted places in the country, the source of countless apparitions both human and animal. For instance, a Civil War re-enactor was surprised to discover a riderless horse standing a few feet behind him – but his company had no horses. The sound of many phantom horses snorting and pawing the ground has often been reported around Cashtown Inn in Pennsylvania, an area where Confederate soldiers stayed prior to the battle of Gettysburg.

As with the ghosts of humans, not all animal spirits are friendly. The “most haunted place in Maryland” is a house in Fells Point with five ghosts – and one of them is an angry cat. The story goes that a large cat belonged to a woman who was abused by her drunken husband. The man resented the cat and eventually killed it and walled it up in the cellar! Years later, the house was remodeled and the wall removed, revealing a feline skeleton. This likely explains the mysterious gray cat that has appeared in many rooms of the house over the years – and also explains its bad temper. Guests have attempted to pet the creature, thinking it to be a live cat, but it hisses and runs away. It has also been reported to run between the legs of people it doesn’t like, knocking them off balance.

Some phantom animals have a job or duty that they continue to attend to. For example, a church in Picton, Australia has a cemetery guarded by a phantom dog of enormous size. The story goes that a priest owned a St. Bernard, and when his beloved pet died, he buried it in the church graveyard. The ghost dog patrols the sacred grounds and has been reported to chase people out of the cemetery. The Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon, VA has a ghost horse which roams the grounds and startles guests on occasion. Legend has it that the horse is still waiting for its rider, a Union soldier who was shot in front of the building in 1864.

What if the pet owner is a ghost too? The Hotel Vendome in Prescott, Arizona has long been considered haunted, with numberless sightings of ghosts in and around the building. Among the “regulars” is Abby Byr, a woman who once owned the hotel before falling on hard times. And keeping her company is her cat, Noble. The pair have been spotted in and around Room 16 by guests and staff for decades. It’s become a tradition to bring gifts for Abby and Noble when staying in the hotel!


This little guy reminds me of my
dear old pug, Scooby, who shared
my life for 14 and a half years.
DANI'S GIVEAWAY is now CLOSED and a winner has been drawn: 

Leave me a comment about pets -- tell me a memory you have about your own or somebody else's pet. Don't forget to include an email address so I can contact you if you win. On March 9th, I'll draw a name at random from the comments. Winner will receive this adorable little Webkinz Pug! (NOTE - NO DONATION IS REQUIRED TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY)

Want a second chance? There's ANOTHER Webkinz Pug up for grabs over on the Bitten By Paranormal Romance site starting March 5th. Yup, my executive secretary, Fiona the Pug, is blogging over there on March 5th. Check it out and enter her giveaway too!

The following event is now CLOSED: BLOGGERS HELP "PAWS WITH A CAUSE" 
Hosted by Bitten by Paranormal Romance and Romance Book Junkies

We have a total of 58 blogs that have gotten together to help raise money for this amazing organization (See the Linky List below). 

By making a donation to Paws With A Cause® you become eligible for one of the following 4 awesome prizes:
     2 - $65 gift certificates to any online book store.
     2 - huge boxes of books and swag from Romance Book Junkies and Bitten by Paranormal Romance (for US residents only). 

The real winners are the clients of PAWS WITH A CAUSE. Clients pay no fee to apply for or to receive their much-needed Assistance Dogs from PAWS. But the sponsorship to train and place a PAWS Assistance Dogs is about $30,000 --- so donations are critical to this program! 

Here is a little about the organization that we are raising the money for:

Photo from PAWS website -

Paws With A Cause® enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs.
PAWS® increases awareness of the rights and roles of Assistance Dog teams through education and advocacy.  Founded in 1979, Paws With A Cause is dedicated to helping its clients who are challenged by many disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Seizure Disorders, and Hearing Disorders to name just some.

Each of our dogs are trained to meet the specific needs of our clients. Tasks may include opening and closing doors, picking up objects, pulling a wheelchair, turning lights on and off, and alerting a person to particular sounds like a telephone, doorbell, smoke detector and many others. Our dogs change lives by enhancing the independence of our clients. 

By just opening a door, a dog opens up the world for a person with a disability and your donations will go to making that happen. PAWS thanks you so much for your donation and allowing us to open more doors.

THIS EVENT IS NOW OVER - Winners of the Grand Prizes will be announced soon.
By the way, this event raised over $850
 for Paws With a Cause! 


    1. I definitely believe in ghost pets. When I was a girl I had a Siamese cat (who was rather snotty and only loved me...ha ha big brother), she passed away one day and several days afterwards I could hear the bells on her color jingle. I adore my fur-babies and don't think I could ever not have them :)
      tracidhorton at yahoo dot com

      Stop byMy PAWS hop post if you get a chance :)

    2. I definitely believe in ghost pets. I know that after one of my dogs died that he came back and that my other dog and cat could see him too. We also have a ghost cat that wasn't ours but comes in every once in awhile and my dog can see it and runs. My husband and I will catch a dark shadow of it at times when it's there.

      Vanessa Strickler

    3. I have had pets my whole life and believe they make your life better. My kids will always have pets to love.

      susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

    4. My dogs make life so much better!!

    5. I know that all the pets I've had over the years have made my life richer. Thank you.


    6. all the animals i have had have made my life better!

    7. Yep, I've been visited by pets that have passed on. I've gotten sounds and have seen them in the corner of my eye. I would think it was wishful thinking but I wasn't the only who saw it. :) Love my fur-babies!

    8. I believe but have never experienced a visitation from a ghost pet. I like to think they'd be a lot rarer then human ghosts cause they're a purer soul that wouldn't have reason to linger and would be sure of a good place in the afterlife!
      suzi1811 @

    9. I don't see why not, although I've never experienced this. I did have a Siamese cat who lost 3 of her kittens as she had mastitis, and, I swear, I saw a tear from her eye!

    10. I've had 2 ghost cats in the past the Siama I only saw once, but Sylvester was a different story. It started by me being woken and seeing him on the dresser. The next time he was sunning himself in his favorite spot. I was the only one who could see him but my husband could hear him the same as me. Sylvester like to sleep in a chair in our bedroom it made a certain sound when he would jump in the chair. My husband and I both heard it and we were surprised, even more surprised when we could hear him jump out of the chair onto the floor and walk away. He wasn't a little cat so the sounds were definitely his, every night we went through this for a about 2 years. Then we moved. Did the sounds stop, no the same thing started again. We finally just moved the chair to the shop in the backyard.
      Theresa N

      1. Congratulations Theresa! Your name was drawn from the big blue mixing bowl. I'll be emailing you in a few minutes. :)

    11. I've never encountered an animal ghost, or any ghost, but it's possible. I've never gone more than a few months without a pet and I hope I never do.

      Bea @ beasbooknook AT gmail DOT com

    12. I believe that pets make life better. We don't have a pet right now other then fish. The last pet we had was a bird and my son was very attached to it and when it past he was very upset. We have not had a pet since.

      quiltlady110 AT gmail DOT com

    13. i said a final goodbye to my puppy girl 2 yrs ago. it was amazing how quiet the house was afterward even though she wasn't a noisy dog. this past summer while sitting outside reading/relaxing i heard the jingle dog tags that made me start & brought her to mind. i use to listen for her tags jingling to know where she was (particularly when I let her out after dark) & while there are dogs in neighboring yards i've never noted the sound coming from them & this particular set sounded it as if it come from close by along one of the "paths" she use to take when "patrolling" her yard for squirrels or such. upon hearing it, i looked up immediately almost expecting to see her to walk through the (now closed) dog door onto the porch -- perhaps she did, just not so I could see her :)

    14. I had never thought of ghost pets /animals until I read your blog. I guess it could be possible. Very interesting blog today. I learn so much from blogs.

    15. I believe in ghost pets. Our very first "baby" was a Westie named Mischief. When she passed away at 16, we were devastated. A few years later my husband became very ill and that is when I first saw Mischief. She was just a white blur out of the corner of my eye but I continued to see her whenever my husband's illness got worse. He ended up in a coma for a long time but when he woke up he told me that he could feel Mischief cuddled against his legs during that time. She is the only one of our furbabies that comes back to watch out for us.

      jrobe (at) aol(dot)com

    16. I have a rat terrier dog named Skip, two guinea pigs, and a hamster.
      They make everyday better!
      Thanks for the chance to win!
      natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    17. Don't have any pets. Like dogs


    18. I miss my big dog, Shadow. She belonged to my daughter. When her and her boyfriend broke up we ended up with her to keep her from starving. She was big - Saint Bernard/Rotweiler. My daughter named her Shadow because she followed her everywhere. We loved her dearly. She was like a big teddy bear. She got a tumor. The day I went out to feed her and found her dead (just like she was asleep in her dog house) was so so hard. I still miss her 5 years later. Enter me please jrs362 at hotmail dot com
      I have a German Shepherd/Saint Bernard mix now.

    19. It's a great cause and I wish you all luck in meeting your goal. I made my donation!

      We have had lots of animals over the years, we live on a farm and life is what it is with animals. The kids raise rabbits, chickens, and turkeys for 4H. My daughter also has cavies and her dog that she has used in her 4H projects. My son's dog is his pride and joy. Of course we have the occasional cat wander by as well.

      I remember when my daughter was little, we had a few different yellow cat and each time we would get one, she would always name it Thomas. Living on a farm, we loose to wandering off or to the traffic on the road. I remember one time it had been a few years since we had a yellow cat and I found her crying, when I asked her why she was crying she said "I miss Thomas"! Just love how special those fuzzy children become to the whole family.

      evanlea at gmail dot com

    20. It's a fascinating idea. I've never had this experience, although sometimes I can feel like there is something in the corridor when there isn't.


    21. Such a neat article. I had a dog that passed away recently. Not sure if I've heard him pattering around yet, but I'm waiting for it! I do have a ghostly dog in the forthcoming sequel to my first novel, actually. :) So, it was good to find this article.

    22. very interesting, I have never thought or read about ghost pets. the phenomena at the ancient Colosseum was fascinating

      tiramisu392 (at)

    23. I have never really thought of ghost pets, you have definitely given me thoughts to ponder here. We lost our family pet about a year ago now and I will admit to months of expecting her to be there when I went looking for her. They add so much to our lives. Thank you for this wonderful post and sharing it with us.

    24. My boyfriend and I rescued the best pittie from a high kill shelter. He was scheduled to be killed the day we got him. We loved him for 2.5 years before he suddenly passed. Although we were devastated, we rescued another from a local shelter. He's great too! I was inspired me to volunteer at the shelter every weekend because of our Rocko...RIP <3



    25. Two weeks ago I adopted a Beagle mix puppy from a rescue center. It was the runt of the litter and small for its three month of life. You couldn't find a better friend.
      The only experience I've had was once when we had an Alaskan Husky that was really close to all of my family. About a month after it died, I had a dream where it came back and just sat at the bottom of my bed to let us know everything was fine. Loosing a pet is such a hard thing.
      grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

    26. I don't think I beleive in ghost pets, but then I've never really had many pets. One of my best friends has a slightly crazy cat called Kiki though.


    27. I believe in Ghost Pets... I have had many cats growing up and my parents had to put my shadow cat down a few months ago... My dad got attached to him and I knew when i got married i couldn't take him from my dad... Being married on going on 10 years we have two boys and two dogs... Zelda we got as a puppy she is our lab and baby girl she will be 5 this year and Eddie we adopted from a guy hubby works with he is a german shepard/husky who has depth perception problems so he tends to sniff around and run into things sometimes... Both dogs are crazy and we love them they are part of our family... I also can't for get our Turtle Mr. Turtle who we got from my cousin for our sons 5th birthday he is about 16 years old.

    28. Yes, there are animal spirits. One was a cat, Ra, we had years ago, who after we had to have put to sleep due to what he had that was not curable, I actually a few time felt someone with paw jump into the bed when I lay there and walk to me. Plus a girlfriend called me a week after Ra was gone to tell me she saw Ra lying in the kitchen window and figured we hadn't taken him into the vet's. I said, "Kathy, Rha been dead for a week." It took her a few minutes to talk back to me.

      Another is the ghost cat (gray) seen in my current home a couple time by me back in January 2011. I had walked into our laundry room to take some wash out of the washer and put into the dryer. Now, our laundry room is not big. I looked down at the open maw of our dryer and saw the upper gray body and tail of a small cat turning around. Naturally, I thought it was our older cat, Ripley, as she is small and gray, but when I flipped on the light switch by me, there was no cat to be seen anywhere! There was no way for her to have dashed out the door, as I stood in it and she would have smacked my legs.
      I turned around and stepped out. Our other younger black cat, Bast, had this wide-eyed freaked out look and she sat there tensed. I walked into the living room, looking for Ripley, and found her asleep on the floor. That whole night, as I sat on the couch, I would look toward the doorway that led into the kitchen and where you could see the doorway of the laundry room, watching Bast stalk slowly to the laundry room and peek in as if looking for something. Even when she lay down on the floor outside of the laundry room she kept staring at it.
      The next time I had an encounter with the ghostly gray kitty was when I came home one morning a couple of weeks later from exercising at Curves. With the door open, sunlight filtered in, and I caught a gray cat rearing up on its forelegs to peer into the top hole of Bast’s kitty-condo. Then it dissipated right before my eyes! I stepped over there and saw Bast in the living room, body tensed and looking freaked out. Again, I found Ripley asleep on top of the couch.
      My adult son, Chris, was next to see the feline spirit. He rushed into the office/sewing room, yelling, “I saw the ghost cat!”
      Bill and I looked at him. He blurted out, “I saw it standing in the doorway leading into the kitchen. It disappeared.”
      Ripley was in the office at that time, as Bill was in there and whenever Bill is home, you can be sure to find his gray shadow. Even Bast was, too.
      Bill told me that last week Chris told him he saw the cat again, just lately. Guess it like my home, or maybe because I have cats.

    29. By the way, the ghost cat in my home, ended up in my new nonfiction ghost book, Haunted Richmond II. Another friend whose house has had paranormal activity, has had what she believed was one of her cats that passed away too.

    30. My cat i have now thinks he is a dog ;)

      Such a great cause! Thanks for being a part of it!!



    Love your comments and read every one of them! Thanks for taking the time to write!