Since we had to have Pip put to sleep I have noticed that Toby seems to have bad dreams. Like most dogs, when he sleeps he often makes woofling sounds, and twitches his paws as though running. Those dreams are fine, perfectly normal.
However, these days he has some dreams where he whimpers piteously and sounds deeply distressed.
Both dogs came from a rescue centre. We got Pip when she was about a year old - she came in with buckets of self confidence and tried to dominate the household immediately. She was very successful. A proper terrier. A proper terror.
Toby joined us six months later, when he was about 10 months old. He had an unknown history but was showing many signs of having been abused. He was afraid to eat, afraid of his own shadow. Pip took him in hand and taught him who was boss while giving him frequent washes and affection when she felt in the mood.
They were together day and night for about 11 years. Through thick and thin, good times and bad times. She didn't do much in final months - but she always managed to give him a wash if she felt he needed it.
Now she has gone and I am sure he misses her. I know I am placing a human interpretation onto a canine dream, but I think he misses her a great deal. We all do our best, even the cats do their best and cuddle up to him
which is amazing when you think they were rescue cats and semi-feral themselves just six months ago!
Thinking about Toby and his bad dreams got me thinking about dreams in general. I know that I dream, but I rarely remember them in the morning. I know there have been periods in my life when I have had bad dreams, recurrent ones and I do remember those.
There are two wonderful dreams which were so special that I have never forgotten them. Well - I remember the sense of them and the way they made me feel.
After my mother died, about 15 years ago, I really missed her and would sometimes think that I had caught sight of her in supermarkets and other odd places. I think most people go through that process. I wished that I had told her how much I loved her, I am sure she knew - but I wish I had actually said it out loud to her.
One night I dreamt that she came and sat on my bed and talked with me, she told me things and I told her the things I wished I had said when I had the opportunity. It was an amazing dream, a healing dream, a comforting dream. It made me feel better. It still makes me feel better when I think of it. It didn't feel like a dream at the time.
The other one I remember so well was of a similar thing happening, but the visitor was, for the sake of argument, a higher being. I could suddenly see why we are here, what happens, and why things happen, how time is such a funny thing - and why it seems to go fast sometimes and is lumpy and slow at others. It was an amazing dream, very powerful and came out of the blue. Unfortunately that knowledge faded when I awoke!
I would say that I wish Toby could have a comforting visit from Pip - but Pip's personality being what it was, he could be having dreams of her - his nightmares. I wouldn't be at all surprised if she wasn't tormenting him!