Continuation from Monday:
It would seem irresponsible to ignore a whimpering dog, and so I went out with him again. I now leash him! We both thought that while we should certainly let him go outside, if that is what he wants, he should be leashed. We would not only have some control over him in the event we do get surprised by a “nocturnal”, but we could also coax him back inside rather than having to sit around until he decides to come back in.
Ray and I went into the garden where he repeated his previous routine. He casually checked out scents and then peed. A little pressure on his leash and we were both heading back into the house. A tiny part of the problem (him staying out) appear to be resolved!
As a result of no real progress with identifying the issue that was driving him outside, and we had quite a list of possibilities, I decided to spend a night (Sunday) with him. i.e. I was going to sleep near wherever he decided to sleep. The rationale was very simple. As I would not be getting much sleep (On the sofa? On the kitchen floor? On a kitchen chair? On the living room carpet?), I may just hear whatever Ray is concerned about. We had a plan!
My daughter Melanie is following this story with interest, and she called on Sunday night. “Dad … I think I know what it might be?”
When I bought this house, it had a really tiny kitchen, so an extension was added. Due to the design of the house, the kitchen was extended over a back patio area … and about 3ft above it. The result was a good storage space beneath the extension, for little used outdoor items such as non-seasonal car tires, wheel barrow etc. etc.
Melanie suggested that perhaps we have some creatures living in that storage area. It is sheltered and would offer a nice secure place to live during the winter months. As Ray often sleeps in the kitchen, he may well scent and/or hear, activity from beneath him. It made sense, and explained the inconsistencies in Ray’s timing!
The only weakness in the idea of having a visitor beneath us, is that Ray spends a lot of time checking out scents in the garden, but he has never pushed his nose along the lattice/trellis that is attached to the outside edge of the house in that area.
I did notice, this past summer, that a hole had been burrowed under that lattice/trellis, but it was of a size that would match a chipmunk. I cannot imagine Ray getting too excited over a chipmunk (who should be asleep now anyway!).
More so than ever, I was looking forward to spending the night near him! Would there be a revelation?