But hard evidence of dogs' extrasensory perception is elusive and anecdotal. The 2009 book "Tails of the Afterlife," by Peggy Schmidt, chronicles multiple instances of unexplainable actions by dogs who apparently interact with something, or someone, unseen. For instance, she writes about a woman named Del Johnsen who left seven dogs and six cats when she passed away. Numerous witnesses believe she still visits her pets daily, and report seeing the animals suddenly gather in one spot, cats arching their backs and purring, dogs flopping over for a belly rub, wriggling in enjoyment, all of them sitting at attention and staring into the air before resuming their own activities. And Schmidt says her own Jack Russell terrier Pixie has repeatedly reacted to ghosts present in local buildings rumored to be haunted.
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Scientific studies on dogs' senses offer debatable evidence of dogs' psychic and sensory perceptions. In his 1999 book, "Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals: An Investigation," biologist and author Rupert Sheldrake presents a five-year exploration into canine behaviors. His work is based on the experiences of thousands of dogs and owners whose arrival home at unexpected times did not surprise their pets, who reacted with anticipation. Sheldrake concludes that "there is a strong connection between humans and animals that lies beyond present-day scientific understanding."
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