With Halloween upon us, it’s the perfect time for sharing pet ghost stories. What follows is a real story from a member of our team. Leave us your spooky pet tales in the comments!
I was walking my dog, Poppy, one February evening. I live near a large park, with wooded areas and a lake, so that’s where we go every day. I used to let Poppy walk freely but I had to start keeping her on a lead since she tried chasing after the ducks in the lake. I walk her as soon as I finish work, so it was only 6pm, but it was already dark.
On this evening, we were only a few minutes into the walk when I heard shouting from far away. I couldn’t see anyone around, which unnerved me a little, but I think this was mostly because it was dark out. We carried on walking but at this point I could swear the shouting was getting closer. I could tell now that it was the word “Duke” over and over. Starting to feel more spooked, I picked up my pace, holding tight to Poppy’s lead. I was checking over my shoulder so often that I almost walked straight into a man as I rounded a corner. I was about to apologise, but before I could shake off the shock, he asked me if Poppy was my dog. I said that she was and he apologised, explaining that he was looking for his dog. Apparently in the dark he’d mistaken Poppy, a border collie, for his own dog, the same breed.
This seemed odd to me, but still feeling nervous, I was keen to move on. I accepted his apology, promised to keep an eye out for his dog, and we parted ways. I kept my eyes out, but with it being dark, I wasn’t optimistic. With that said, after 20 minutes or so, I saw a glimpse of white in the distance. I strayed from the path to get a better look, and sure enough, it was a border collie. Obviously it was hard to say for sure, but I could easily have been fooled into thinking that it was Poppy. I looked around but I couldn’t see the man anywhere, so I headed in the direction of the dog. I tried calling “Duke!” a few times, but the dog didn’t respond.
As I got closer, I realised that we were nearing the lake, so I wrapped Poppy’s lead around my hand one more time. It was then that I heard a splash, and looked up to see that the dog was gone. I had to find somewhere to leave Poppy safely, so I tied her lead around the arm of a park bench and ran towards the lake. I couldn’t see any splashing or bubbles - the water was basically still. I’m not sure how long I stood there, heart in my throat, staring at the water, but nothing happened. I remember seeing ducks sleeping in the bulrushes, like nothing had happened.
I returned to the park bench, where Poppy was still sitting. As I untied her lead, I spotted a plaque on the bench, and I remember it word for word. The plaque read, “In memory of David Knighton and his dog Duke, who used to love walking here.”