It wasn’t clear how it happened. Looking back at the records, we know that there was a large electrical storm that took place over our town and, at the same time, somewhere in southern California. After things returned to normal, scientists proposed a variety of explanations. Those explanations went far over my head but I recall a few phrases like “quantum entanglement”, “harmonic vibrations” and “sympathetic resonating frequencies”. But, at the end of the day, all I can tell you is this: My dog became possessed by a Kardashian!
Things are getting a bit fuzzy now that all the uproar has passed. The reporters have stopped bothering us, the scientists have gone back to their labs, the government vans have, so far as we can tell, stopped keeping an eye on us. But, here’s what I recall about what happened.
It was, literally, a dark and stormy night. I know that sounds trite, but it’s true and it’s relevant so it’s hard to not include that detail.
Where we live, we don’t get a great deal of thunder and lightning. Call it less than ten storms a year. But, this was a BIG one! Because of the geography in our area, we typically get twenty minutes of some nice flashes, some throaty rumbling in the distance and buckets of rain. We live in the Northwest United States, so rain comes with the territory.
This storm was different. It seemed to hover over the area like it was holding a grudge. On a regular basis there was a flash followed pretty quickly by a *crack* and rumble from the nearby lightning. My wife and I were watching from inside the house because of the rain. The power would occasionally flicker but the development we live in is only a few years old and the electrical infrastructure has been largely sound through these kinds of storms. But, as I said, this storm was different.
At this point I should mention the dog. Or the dogs.
We have two. They are sisters and they are labradoodles, a cross between a barrel-chested chocolate lab with a great disposition and miniature poodle that was not, shall we say, present at the act of conception. Though, had he been, he would have been feeling pretty full of himself for the accomplishment. We have labradoodles because my wife has allergies and this breed seems to trigger those allergies much less than the average breed.
They’re not big dogs, only 30 to 35 pounds each as adults. We have two because, the rationale went, one would be lonely as my wife and I both work and one dog by itself would just get in to trouble. So, we have two sisters from the same litter.
One of them is a yellow blonde and looks very much like a down-sized yellow lab. Same face and happy demeanor as a yellow lab. That one is fairly smart, albeit a bit sneaky, but always has a smiling face and a wagging tail. That’s Gabby. The other is mostly black with a few patches of white fur. She got the long legs and dark brown eyes and she’s pretty. That’s Zena. Her name starts with a ‘Z’ because my wife likes Z names. Her sister is named Gabby because I was able to sneak in a Xena Warrior Princess connection without getting caught.
Zena is the one that everyone else seems to like. She’s a bit neurotic and acts as though she’s a ten pound lapdog in her head. She will place her head under anything that could be a hand in hopes of being touched. She is demanding as she uses her wet nose to make clear that, to her, any unoccupied hand would really better be used to touch her.
As a result of all this, and don’t tell the dogs, but Gabby is my favorite. Zena strikes me as sort of pretty but vacuous. She’s interested in attention at all costs and doesn’t do much to earn it.
All this background may or may not be relevant. Who can say in retrospect?
Back to the storm.
As my wife and I were chatting about our day, having completed our chores and cleaned up after dinner. Gabby was nearby gnawing on a bone and Zena was under hand trying for attention. Suddenly there was a mighty flash followed almost immediately by an even more mighty *CRACK* of thunder and the lights went out. Well, mostly out. As our eyes began to adjust to the darkness, there was an eerie glow coming from Zena. That might have been my imagination, though, because it quickly seemed to subside.
Then, out of the darkness came a voice I didn’t recognize.
“Who the hell turned out the lights! Where’s the music! Someone get the lights back on right now!”
Obviously we were surprised because there was no one in the house besides my wife and me. And the dogs. The power was out so it wasn’t coming from a radio, computer or television. And, most strange, it was coming from very nearby my feet! Actually, it was coming from Zena.
At that point the lights came back on. My wife was sitting on the couch at the other end from me. I could see Gabby lying on the floor where she’d been gnawing her bone prior to the outage. At my feet was Zena and she was staring up at me with the same big, brown eyes and (to me) vacuous expression. But, she opened her mouth and spoke!
Please don’t get me started on the physics or the physical inability of a dog to speak. Even my high school Biology tells me that can’t happen. All I am going to do is wave my hands and say “quantum entanglement” or “sympathetic vibrations” and tell you that, yes, a voice came out of my dog’s mouth and it spoke. It spoke English. And it was a female voice. I’m just going to tell you what happened, not why. I’ll leave that to others with far more interest and education than I.
“You!” the voice said. “Where am I? Why am I on this floor? And where is my drink!”
I looked at the dog. I looked at my wife. I looked back at the dog and responded appropriately with “Huh-wha?”
The dog looked over at my wife. “Is he stupid? Answer my questions! I was at a party. This is, like, someone’s house or something. Where is the party? I was dancing with this really hot guy. The lights went out and suddenly I’m on the floor in a house with you people. Do I need to call the cops? Is this a kidnapping? I have money!”
The dog looked around a bit more. On a nearby wall was a floor length mirror which was resting against the wall because I hadn’t got around to hanging it yet. The dog looked over and saw the mirror. She walked over to the mirror. They say a baby can recognize itself in a mirror sometime in the first year or so. Some elephants can do the same. Our now talking dog looked at herself in the mirror, turned about, raised and lowered her head and then one paw. She sat and then she got back up on her feet. Then our dog turned to us and said, “Why is that dog in the mirror doing what I’m doing? What kind of sick joke is this? Do you know who I am?!”
I was still in shock and not particularly capable of reasoning. My wife who is far more level-headed in a crisis than I responded, “Who are you?”
And she told us. My dog was apparently possessed by a Kardashian.
At this point my brain re-engaged. I grabbed the video camera from my office and started filming. This seemed to please the dog who, consistent with her original personality, seemed to crave attention and the camera seemed to focus her.
My wife proceeded to talk to the dog, asking her questions, answering a few posed by the dog.
Meanwhile, it occurred to me that this experience was far, far out of my realm of expertise. I got out my phone and called my friend who is an adjunct professor in Psychology at the local university. He lives nearby, no more than a few minutes away.
He showed and I quickly caught him up on events. He, of course, wanted to know if the lightning had hit me but I assured him that he just needed to come in to the living room and see for himself.
He stepped in and came upon the strangest conversation between my wife and our now talking dog.
“I need someone to give me some answers right now! I’m going to call the cops as soon as I find a phone. This is kidnapping!”
At that point the dog spotted us coming back in the room, me filming again with the video camera. The dog seemed quite taken with the camera, looking directly in to the lens, seeming to pose in a flattering manner, turning to face the camera at an angle and, I swear, smiling.
I explained that my friend was here to meet her and that attention seemed to calm down our still talking dog.
After a few minutes my friend understood that this was not an elaborate prank, having established for himself that the dog was talking and responding to questions and seemed to have an identity and, more or less, a personality.
Soon after and following a flurry of calls, our house began to fill with additional scientists called in by my friend. Very soon our living room took on the look and feel of a press event. There were lights, cameras, microphones all around pointed at our dog. The dog, sorry for the pun, lapped it up.
Meanwhile, the storm which had seemed to abate for a while after the immense strike nearby, had continued to build again.
In the middle of a long, drawn out and rambling answer to a very simple question, there was, again, a mighty flash and *CRACK* of thunder and, once again, the lights went out. This time, however, it was far shorter, probably less than 10 seconds.
When the lights came back on, all eyes returned to my dog. She looked around, blinked and approached the nearest hand and began sticking her head under it in hopes of being pet.
The assemblage of scientists asked more questions, prodded the dog (which the dog liked as she took it for the attention she wanted) but quickly reached the conclusion that whatever had happened appeared to have come to an end.
There was talk of taking the dog and giving her more examinations. There was even talk of brain scans and even removal for dissection and study, but my wife stopped that line immediately. In the end, all the examinations and scans could not find any evidence that she was any different than the dog that she was the day before.
Whatever had happened had come to an end.
I don’t think there’s any moral to this story. Something odd happened and then things eventually went back to normal.
But, I’ll end with this: During the couple of hours that our dog was possessed by a Kardashian, it turns out there was a party in California attended by the same Kardashian. And during that entire time that my dog claimed to be that person, party-goers didn’t think it was odd that she spent two hours socializing, saying nothing, rubbing herself all over people for attention and occasionally drinking directly from a punch bowl until she passed out. No one at the party seemed to notice that their Kardashian didn’t have anything to say the entire time.
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