Do Dogs Dream?

sleepingA few nights ago I was in bed reading as Lindsey snored away beside me and Samson slept on the floor. Suddenly he makes a weird moan and then pokes his head up. A second later he jumps on the bed and curls up to Lindsey. He laid his head across her body. dog-with-big-bone

It reminded me of when I have a bad dream. The other night I had one where a car hit Samson. As soon as I woke up, my first instinct was to check to see if he was alright. Another time, I had a dream my brother died and I woke up freaking out. I was so nervous about it that I called my mom to make sure he was okay. So my first thought was maybe Samson had a dream that something happened to Lindsey and he wanted to make sure she was safe. Or that maybe he was scared and wanted her to protect him.

And then I started thinking. Do dogs dream? Do not dismiss me by saying “of course they do.” What would a dog dream about? Maybe a nice bone or a big steak? Perhaps hunting some wild animals? Some of their more base instincts? grim-reaper-dog-costumeBut, would a dog have a nightmare about his master dying? Do dogs have a concept of death? Think about it for a second. We usually say that dogs are like small children. Well at what age does a child truly understand death? To be honest, can any of us really understand it?

I think sometimes we get this idea that dogs are very much like us. As I watch Samson, sometimes I wonder what he is thinking about. I read somewhere that dogs do not really have a concept of time. That fascinates me.

Back to the idea of dogs and dreams. I remember a great issue of Sandman, where a cat is gathering all the cats together to tell them a story. Long ago, cats were huge and humans were their playthings. The humans grew tired of this and they went to Dream and asked him to help. He told them if all humans had the same dream of being bigger than cats then the dream would become reality. So now the cats have asked Dream the same thing and he told them the same. So this cat is trying to spread the idea of a unified dream of being big. I always thought that was a cool story, especially when the cat visits Dream and instead of his normal human form, he is a giant cat.

I wonder if Neil Gaiman was answering this question for me all those years ago? Do animals dream? Of course. Did you really think I was going to ask this question and not do any research? It seems that almost all animals dream or at least the thought is that they must since they go into REM sleep. If you want to read a good article about dogs and dreams, then here ya go.

I bet that Samson dreams he is a big ol’ wolf, ready to tear apart a caribou with the rest of his pack-mates. I wonder what this wolf dreams about? Probably that he is a mini-goldendoodle, who never has to worry about catching caribou because his food is always served to him in a cute bowl.

Was this post a waste of time? Probably. But c’mon, who cares about the words when there are pictures of dogs.