I am beginning to suspect that I may be losing my mind. I’ve been hearing things. Things the dogs don’t seem to hear.
Last night while out with the dogs, I heard a whirring noise in the woods. It sounded mechanical. It sounded close. The dogs did not seem to be bothered by it. It was dark and I couldn't see anything past the dog run. I brought the first group of dogs inside and when I went back out for the second group, the whirring noise had moved along and sounded like it was a few hundred feet away, somewhere over my 10-acre field. That field is separated by a line of woods, so I couldn’t see anything.
This morning it was bright, sunny, and cold (12°F). I was out with the dogs and heard what sounded like something large walking through the woods nearby. Not rushing, but stepping carefully, slowly. Again, the dogs did not seem bothered at all by this. I was bothered by this however, as I couldn’t see anything, but could hear it moving around a bit. I brought all the dogs back inside. I was curious as to what was going on, but scared too, so I grabbed my gun before I went back out. Nothing. Silence.
This afternoon warmed up quite a bit. The air was calm, it was sunny and very peaceful. The dogs and I were all just standing quietly soaking up the sun and in the far distance I could hear a sound. Almost like a dog barking, almost like geese, and very far away. Again, the dogs seemed oblivious. This is something they would usually respond to with excited barking. I listened for quite some time wondering if I was having audio hallucinations.
The fact that these dogs were not reacting was worrisome. They go bonkers if a vehicle drives by. They go bonkers if they see a deer. They go bonkers if they see a crow in a tree. And sometimes they go bonkers for no apparent reason whatsoever that I can tell. But these really weird sounds? Nothing.
Folks, I am used to isolation. Sometimes I don’t see another person for a couple of weeks. But I always know that I can go out and have some human interaction if I want. I can go to yoga class; Women of the Woods get-togethers; The Edge Center; a bar; The Effie Café; The giftshop; the dump; Grand Rapids. I even squeaked in a trip to Minneapolis to see friends before the pandemic hit. Yes, I can still go grocery shopping, and to the dump, but everyone is furtively trying to avoid each other and hurrying about their business. It feels like I’m in the Twilight Zone.
Most importantly, I have been able to reliably expect a visit from Nikki (and usually Maren is along too) for a few days each month. Not this month. Maybe not next month. Maybe not the month after that either.
I think I may be going a bit bonkers.