I’ve spoken before about the ethereal and haunting sounds of my dog when he has a nightmare, but last night topped it all. I was dead asleep. Both of the cats were sleeping on the bed with me and Sid was sleeping in the bedroom. He insists on sleeping by the doorway, no matter how much we entice him to sleep in the bed that we got for him.
He started making those creepy whining noises that signal that he’s dreaming. That’s what woke me up. Because I have finally become accustomed to their eerie and sinister sounds, I was on my way back to sleep when it happened. He barked.
It wasn’t a normal bark that says he’s happy to see our new visitors. It wasn’t the communicative bark that he shares with the many dogs in the neighborhood. It was the terrified bark that came from him when Cory walked into the house in full motorcycle regalia. It was the uneasy and frightened bark that he yelps when we encounter unfriendly dogs in the neighborhood. It’s the bark that wakes you up in the middle of the night wondering who is trying to break into the house.
Maggie jumped so high that she landed on me in terror. Both she and Linda jumped off the bed and hid in the closet. Because I had heard him whimpering in his sleep before the bark, I knew that he had been dreaming, but he didn’t understand. The bark woke him up and he was disoriented and scared. He rushed out of the room, supposedly to check the house for whatever scared him in his dreams. I went back to sleep, nursing claw marks on the back of my legs.
Now, I’m worried. Why does my dog have so many nightmares? We treat him well. Scary men with motorcycle helmets turn out to be fun loving playmates for him in the end. We feed him. He is never disciplined physically. The worst that happens to him are the times when we lock him in the bedroom when workmen are in the house. Why is he haunted in his dreams?
He’s such a good dog that he should only be having dreams of successfully chasing the neighbor’s cat out of our yard and finally catching one of those birds that tease him from the cherry tree. He should dream of playing tug-of-war with Mike until the both of them are so tired that they just sleep together on the thick green grass. There should be no whimpering and there definitely should be no terrified barking in his dreams. I wish he could talk so I could know what his doggie nightmares are about.