For the past few weeks now, Pepper has been acting very strangely. She's not sick because she's eating heartily and her poops are normal. She's bright eyed, cold nosed and lively when asking for treats or pets. For the most part, during the day she seems fine. But at night, she's starting to get frightened of something. She keeps going down to the end of the hall downstairs. If the doors to the den and/or back room are open, she will go into those back rooms and hunker down. If she is in the family room, she huddles up to my craft table area, which is where she parks herself if I'm making stuff and it's stormy, or there are fireworks during the summer.
The thing is, last year she was acting clingy and there was an earthquake in Humboldt County, California, like 600 miles away, but I felt it and it woke me up. I blogged about it. I know that animals are very sensitive to stuff like that. Pepper started acting like that again right after the earthquake in Chile, and she's been hinky since then. If she's out in the yard, it's hard to get her to come in. When she's in the house, she's trying to hide down the hall, or panting and shaking. She'll stand near us, kind of on alert, looking around. It hasn't even been raining or windy.
We can't figure out what could possibly be freaking her out. Our routines have not changed. Brian and I don't fight, so it's not like she's picking up vibes from us. I mean, this time last year we were WAY more stressed than this year, despite Brian still not having a job. If she was going to pick up on bad vibes from us, it would've been last summer. A few years ago, she literally tore the den apart, which was extremely out of character for her, when we had a TV on the floor in there, and a large box w/ an unassembled TV stand. She's always been very sensitive to any change in her surroundings. Once the TV & stand were gone, she was fine. So that's what we can't figure out: What could possibly be bothering her?
The one and only thing I keep coming back to is: Earthquake. Like I said, this behaviour started after the Chile quake. She was totally fine around the time of the Haitian quake in January, though. But since Chile, there have been large quakes in Southern California, Japan, Mexico and SE Asia. There have been countless aftershocks. Pepper was just starting to act normally again....or at least less-hinky....till last night.
She wouldn't come in the house from the yard. However, when Brian went out to the store she happily ran across the yard to go with him and Sagan. But when he got home, she refused to get out of his truck. She was huddled up in a ball in the center of the back seat. He had to haul her out, w/ me pushing her butt from the other side, lift her out of the truck and set her down. Once she was on the garage floor, she trotted right into the house, ran upstairs barking and jumping around like normal and asking for belly rubs, but then spent the evening hiding again. I woke up this morning, turned on the news and there was a 4.0 in Mexico and a 6.9 in China over night. Just now, as I write this, Brian had to bring her back in the house from the yard b/c she refused to obey his command to come in. Now she's back to hiding in the hallway. By the way, Pepper's behaviour is very puzzling to Sagan, who keeps going back and forth between us and her. He has not been clingy at all.
How in the world can she possibly sense seismic activity halfway across the world? I know that she's very, very sensitive, but we're talking THOUSANDS of miles! How can my goofy little mix breed Beandog be sensing quakes so far away? Is she feeling the earth shifting around the Pacific Rim? Are we going to be next on the Ring of Fire hit list? Is it going to be an earthquake or is Mt. Rainier waking up? She didn't seem at all phased back in 2005 when Mount St. Helens started percolating again. I don't recall her having any issues at all and there were several quakes & ash plumes down there, and we're only talking about 150 miles or so from our house; probably less as the crow flies.
Seismologists and geologists keep reassuring everyone that this Pacific Rim quake swarm is normal and the only reason we are hearing about it is that, recently, they've occurred in high population areas. Normally they occur deep in the ocean or remote areas so it doesn't make the news. I'm sure that's true; I haven't done any research on my own to analyze the statistics. I know they're the experts and they ought to know, but it really does seem to me like the severity and frequency of seismic activity has increased exponentially over the past 6 or so months.
My one main reason for blogging about this is in case we do have an earthquake. I want it documented that Pepper has been acting weird for quite some time and it's getting worse. To say I'm concerned is an understatement. Brian and I have discussed it at length and we can't find any medical reason for her frightened behaviour. She does act like this during storms and fireworks, but it has never, ever lasted this long or resulted in her hiding at the back of the house. Brian chalks it up to her always having been sensitive and the fact that she's about 9 now, so she's getting older. But she's in no pain, she eats normally and voids normally....she snuggles with me at night and runs around the yard chasing Sagan, like normal. But when she's in the house, at night, something is scaring her big time.
If anyone has any suggestions, or theories, I'm completely open to them, because she's really freaking me out.