It’s Thursday, April 26, 2018. It’s already ninety-two degrees at ten in the morning. Both Bernie and Chris keep cool, fully stretched out on the tile floor. Not a sound from them.
It was different last evening. Bernie was moaning and twitching, and his legs were spastically pumping.
I’m used to that from him. He’s dreaming. I smiled as I heard and watched him.
Of course, dogs dream. Stanley Coren PhD., DSc, FRSC wrote in Psychology Today that “Dogs dream like humans and about similar things.”
“Many people believe that dogs do dream. Most dog owners have noticed that at various times during their sleep, some dogs may quiver, make leg twitches or may even growl or snap at some sleep-created phantom, giving the impression that they are dreaming about something. At the structural level, the brains of dogs are similar to those of humans. Also, during sleep the brain wave patterns of dogs are similar that of people and go through the same stages of electrical activity observed in humans, all of which is consistent with the idea that dogs are dreaming.”
At our weekly dog therapy visit, while Bernie and Chris wander among the group, a woman asked me if I ever wrote stories from the dog’s point of view.
I’ve only attempted to do it once. How does a human understand what a dog is thinking? With Bernie, I have a hard time knowing what he’s feeling, let alone thinking.
My best success is when I observe his behavior. Oh, by the way, just because a dog wags his tail doesn’t necessarily mean he’s friendly. However, when Bernie and Chris wag their tail, they are friendly.
Bernie has been hurt a few times, but I didn’t know it. He didn’t complain. Although he didn’t make a sound, getting nipped by another dog at the community dog park resulted in several stitches and Bernie had to wear an Elizabethan Collar. The collar kept him from licking the wound.
It kept him from eating food from the bowl as well as drinking. He must have been miserable, but I couldn’t tell, although his entire demeanor was sad to see.
On the other hand, last week I saw him limping in the field. I went to him and pulled out several hard stickers from his paws. Again, no sound from him. Only my sharp observation of his behavior alerted me he could use help.
Chris plays in the same field. I smile when I think of Chris. His behavior is totally different when he has a sticker in his paw.
He’s funny and effective. Chris will stop immediately, hold up the paw and patiently wait until I strolled to him. Not only does he expect me to rescue him, but he also won’t move until I do.
He’s immobile as I remove the sticker and then takes a cautious step. Once he’s satisfied he is okay, he bounds off to resume playing.
Back to Bernie’s recent dream. I know dogs live in the ‘here and now,’ however, dreams don’t count. Where was Bernie in his dream?
Maybe this was what he was remembering…
It happened about four years ago, and he was joyfully running in the grass in a nearby park. We loved that spot. However, the police chased us out.
Ears are flying as he played there for more than two months before it wasn’t available to us.