Animal Investigators

I’ve had an opinion on this subject for quite a while now but I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about it, so here goes:   Should dogs be viewed as viable, meaningful, and – at the risk of sounding insensitive – “tools” among a paranormal investigation team?   To be honest, I’m split in an 80/20 kind of way, with a majority of my opinion leaning toward the negative.  My reasons are pretty simple;

The first is, dogs can’t talk to you so they can’t tell you why they’re behaving the way they are.  And unless your dog has lived its entire life in a paranormal environment, to the point the “paranormal” is actually its “normal”, you have no baseline to draw conclusions for why your dog is exhibiting any sort of behavior.

The second is, most dogs act a bit out of their “norm” when they’re introduced to new people, new environments, and anything else that isn’t in their day-to-day.   So, again, how is anyone to know the reasons why a dog behaves in any certain way simply because you think you’ve brought your furry friend to a “haunted” location?

Dogs at investigations, to me, seems to be somewhat of a novelty – a gimmick.  Something a team implores to make it seem like it’s more evolved than other groups who don’t use animals (dogs) on their investigations.  They probably think it looks good in photos, it looks great on video, and it makes them appear to be set apart from other groups.   Well, I’ll agree with that last sentiment, they’re set apart alright.  For better or worse, they are set apart.

Communication is of the highest importance during Maine Ghost Hunters investigations, and controlling our environments to the best of our ability is also of the utmost concern.  Without a strong grasp of the “norm” of any given investigation environment how can we accurately measure what’s paranormal and what’s not?   Having an unpredictable animal on scene is a wild card, and to add insult to injury, we have no real idea why the animal is behaving in any particular way so we can’t even draw any sort of evidentiary conclusions from the behavior.

So I’ll refer back to my 80/20 stance and say, while I don’t think it’s an absolute no-go, I do have a strong inclination to say animals don’t really belong at paranormal investigations.  There may be those few special cases where this approach works for the best interests of the case, but on the whole, I’m leaning more toward the “leave your dog at home” stance.

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