I'm Plagued by the Idea of My Dog Dying. Am I the Only One?
Editor's Note: Helena Andrews is a writer for Dogster's sister SAY Media site, xojane.com. This article first ran on xojane.com, but we're rerunning it (with permission!) so Dogster readers can weigh in.
Miles, my Pug, is a lifesaver. No matter how annoyed, bitchy, overheated, or drenched from inclement weather I am when I walk through the door, as soon as Miles busts into his "I'm so freakin' hyped you're back!" tailspin, there is nothing anyone can do but be happy.
Two weeks ago, Miles turned 5 and I gave myself a congratulatory pat on the back for keeping him alive and healthy for this long. If they could talk, all manner of plants would call my place the kill zone, but this dog calls it home.
So when I had this horrendous dream in which my beloved Pug died, it very understandably shook me to my core.
Here's what went down in my nightmare. Stay with me. It gets über weird:
My boyfriend goes on a business trip, leaving me alone in the apartment with Miles. In the middle of the living room, I notice a pair of my man's stinky sneakers, a folded up newspaper, and an Academy Award. Instead of putting these random things where they belong, I slide them out of the way with my foot and walk out of the room.
When I get back the sneakers, newspaper, and the Oscar are all back in the middle of the room. Miles sniffs the pile warily, then trots away.
Once again I shift the stuff with my foot -- but this time, instead of leaving, I wait and watch to see what happens. Seconds later the sneaker slides across the floor on its own, followed by a floating newspaper and the Oscar, all settling down again in the same place. In my dream logic, there's obviously a ghost living in my house.
But I don't run out screaming, "Bloody Mary!" Instead, I calmly open a pair of French doors to a wrought-iron balcony and let Miles out so that the ghost won't touch him. The ghost "touching" the dog is my chief concern.
Once Miles is safe, I turn around to face the ghost. There is now a broom in my hand. I hear a loud noise behind me and suddenly remember that the iron bars of the balcony are Miles-sized. He's slipped through them onto the balcony below and then slipped again.
Looking down I can see his tiny paws clinging to the edge for life. I yell, "Hold on!" just as he can't any longer and he falls several stories to the concrete sidewalk.
I'm screaming like a woman possessed, crashing through the house looking for my iPhone to call 911 and my keys so that I can get Miles back into the house as quickly as possible once I've picked him up off the sidewalk. I haven't stopped screaming. I can hear my own howling echo in my head.
That's when I woke up to the real life sounds of Miles snoring. The nightmare felt so real that for a minute the relief of waking to find Miles alive seemed like the dream.
It was horrible. All day I couldn't get the image of a hopeless Miles on the brink of disaster out of my head. The nightmare shook me up so bad I've been periodically poking him (not hard) to make sure he's still alive. And I avoided the major streets walking him this morning lest that nightmare be a premonition and Miles wrestles off his leash and rushes headlong into traffic.
I'm not super superstitious, but I consider it more than a little hubristic not to be. I can't shake this feeling of dread, and all because of a dumb (petrifying) dream.
Has this ever happened to you? A nightmare that just won't quit you? Let us know in the comments!
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