Our littlest and oldest dog, Moe, dreams a lot. She twitches and squeals and sometimes emits baby barks. Like other people owned by dogs, I wonder what my dog dreams about. The rabbit that got away? The swallows that dive bomb her every spring? Maybe she’s dreaming about the Great Blue Heron that she chases (from inside our yard) when it takes off from the pond (outside our yard).
Then I got to wondering whether or not dogs have bad dreams. Humans have bad dreams, why not any other animal that dreams? What, then, would a bad dog dream be about?
For Moe, I think a bad dream would be about catching a mouse, but weird, like dreams are. Here’s the scenario: Moe catches a mouse. The more she chews on it, the more it giggles, from being tickled. The harder she bites, the more the mouse laughs, right between her teeth. The mouse is unharmed, but can’t even try to run away, it is so incapacitated due to laughing. It may even snort. Have you ever heard a mouse snort? I’m sure Moe can tell you, it’s not a pretty sound.
Finally disgusted, Moe lets go of the mouse. It falls on its back, laughing harder and harder. It finally staggers away. (Still in the dream, now, are you with me?) From then on, any time Moe goes outside, that mouse waits for her, follows her, tries to jump in her mouth. Moe is now on the lookout for the mouse, but trying to avoid it.
Oh, yes, this is what a dog’s bad dream is all about. And maybe being chased by a cat. But that’s another dream and another story.