Karen B. London
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Dreaming of Dogs
What are your nighttime canine visions?

If there was a group called Dog Dreamers Anonymous, you would surely find me at their meetings, standing up to say, “Hi, my name is Karen, and I dream about dogs.” In fact, I dream about them every week, sometimes multiple times. Last week for example, I had three dreams about dogs.

The first dream was about a dog trying to block the waves from ruining a little kid’s sandcastle. The dog ran in between the sand castle and a big wave and blocked most of it so that it did not destroy the castle. The child who had built this particular castle had been bullied and teased by some other competitors in a sandcastle building contest, but ending up winning an award from the judges, thanks in part to the dog’s quick move. In my dream, I was very excited about what the dog’s actions might mean about dog’s cognitive and social abilities since he acted to prevent a future problem and chose to help the child most in need.
In the second dream, I was running slow motion through a field of daisies with many dogs, most of whom belonged to clients. For years, I’ve said that people probably picture the daily life of anyone who works with dogs to be mostly running through a field of wildflowers with piles of puppies, and probably in slow motion. The reality, though still wonderful, isn’t quite so idyllic.
I was running a race in the third dream. A dog joined me after a couple of miles and ran with me the rest of the way, which kept me going over the last few miles when I was feeling bad and wanted to stop. As I crossed the finish line, I turned to give this dog some water, but he was gone. I looked all around, but couldn’t find him. Later, I learned that every struggling runner who finishied the race reported having this dog as company, but that he always disappeared at the finish line.
Do you dream of dogs? What canine thoughts dance in your head as you sleep?


Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.


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Submitted by julesrules | August 17 2010 |

I dream of dogs on a frequent basis. Unfortunately, they are typically bad dreams, because I lived the nightmare of losing my 2 dogs when a clueless dogsitter "lost" them while we were on vacation. My husband found them dead-together, on the side of the road. That was 10 years ago.

Now I have nightmares that my current (and past) dogs are running in traffic or endangered in other ways. I regularly wake up to pet them and make sure they are safe. My life changed forever that day.

Submitted by Karen London | August 17 2010 |

I was saddened to read the nightmare that was your real life tragedy. I will forever hope that all your dogs live long, happy lives and that the horrors in your mind one day cease to haunt you.

Submitted by Jessica Ray, CPDT-KA | August 25 2010 |

I rescue, rehabilitate and rehome dogs. I have 5 dogs at any given time. So in order to spend time with my dogs, I started a daycare/training service. One night soon after I decided to daycare other dogs, I had a dream that I got a bus...like a school bus, to drive the pooches around and take them on walks, hikes & swims. It was so vivid! I remember seeing all the dogs poking their heads out the windows and I laughed. When I awakened, I turned to my husband and told him that I wanted to buy a bus. He thought I was CRAZY. I got the bus and the daycare business really took off. The Bow Wow Bus is an icon of our town now. People call just to have their dog ride on the bus. If the bus doesn't do the daily 'town loop" I get calls from businesses asking why. The dream became a reality and it makes people happy and the dogs love it because the bus it the vehicle to Doggy Disneyland!

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