Last night, fairly early (say, maybe 9pm) I heard sounds coming from the woods. The rest of the family was in our other building watching a movie, and none of them heard anything. I had heard these same sounds once before, about a year ago.
At first, it sounded like a pack of small dogs, all yapping at one another. The sounds seemed to call and reply, but also to overlap. Not like a whole bunch of dogs barking frantically, but like dogs in a group, calling back and forth.
This lasted long enough for me to realize that the sounds didn't quite sound like dogs, exactly. My second thought was that perhaps my husband and kids were outside playing, and were making these sounds. I remembered that I'd gone through the same series of thoughts when I heard these calls last year - thinking they were dogs, then thinking they were . . . something else. Something I couldn't identify.
My dogs, who were all in the house when I heard the sounds, went crazy with desire to find the source of the noise, so I opened the door and they shot away in the direction of the sounds - but they were back in a few moments, apparently not having found anything close enough to home for them to chase off.
The family has discussed the possibility of these sounds coming from birds (but at night? - that seems odd), coyotes (which we have around here, but aren't they more likely to howl than to bark?), and monkeys (which we do have locally, on a nearby mountain which is a national park, but we've not ever seen any of them). In the end though, we're left with only the knowledge that there's something out there . . .