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Intruder or Ghost?

First, a little background. A little over a year ago my brother, my boyfriend, and myself moved in to a newer townhouse. It is only about 15 years old and in a newer part of town. There are three ways to get into the place, front door, next to the front door is an enclosed type of patio with a sliding door, and the third entrance is through the garage.

There is nothing about this place that is scary. 

Anyway a few months after moving in I started noticing my dog exhibiting odd behavior. He'd be napping and suddenly jump up and look around like someone had touched him or something had startled him. He'd sit in the living room and "watch" something walk up or down the stairs. We'd be playing and he'd stop to stare at the top of the stairs. He'd never done these things before, but I brushed it off as him seeing a bug, or bad dreams, etc. 

Anyway, summer 2014 my brother was out of the country so my boyfriend, Sam, and I had the place to ourselves for about three months. I worked evenings so it was often just my dog and I home during the day. Sam left for work every day around 7am and on this particular day I didn't have any classes or work.

Just my dog and I lounging around, so I slept in until about 8. I was starting to wake up and was reaching for my phone to see what time it was when my dog suddenly sits up in the bed and is staring out the partially opened bedroom door, open just a few inches.

He isn't barking or growling, but is clearly on alert. He is staring at a fixed point somewhere near the bi-fold laundry room doors directly to the left of my room, The way the door is open, I can't see the doors, but my dog can from the foot of the bed. His ears perk up and his back hair stands up a bit, he lets out one of those low rumbly growls. Then I hear those bi-fold doors open and shut. Nothing creepy about that right? Except my dog and I are the only ones that should be home right now. 

My hand is still reaching for my phone as I hear what sounds like someone whistling, walk down the stairs, heavy boot steps on the tile floor at the bottom of the stairs, then nothing. 
I grab my phone and text Sam to ask what he's doing home. He immediately calls and says that he isn't home.

I feel a cold sweat as I grab the gun from his nightstand and coax my dog out of the bedroom. We search the entire house, all three floors. I check the front door, locked from the inside. The sliding glass door, still locked and the bar is still in. I never heard the garage door open or close, and my room is directly above it so both my dog and I would have heard someone coming or going.

I poke my head into the garage just to check, door is still closed. I briefly consider that there is a basement window that someone could have come into, so I go back down to check that. Not only is it still locked, but there's a layer of dust around the frame and handles.

There is no way someone was in my house. So what the hell was that? What was my dog staring at? What did we hear in the laundry room? Who was wearing the heavy boots I heard on the tile? I'd almost prefer to find an intruder. That would make more sense.

I took my dog for a short walk and got pretty angry that if there was a ghost, it thought that it was OK to scare me like that. So I stormed back home and slammed open the door. I told whoever it was that it is fine to stay here, but they are not to do that ever again.

This is our home, and I'll gladly share it, but I'd prefer not to be woken like that again. And it stopped, my dog stopped being randomly startled awake, he stopped following something up or down the stairs, and I never heard anything like that...until about a month ago.

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