Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dog Dreams

Dogs do dream, of course. Nicki vocalizes in her sleep. Sometimes her noises sound so human that I awake startled and ready to confront a human intruder! She sighs. She groans. She harrumphs! Pointedly!

So it's probably no surprise that I had a dream in which Nicki spoke. Words. In English. Clearly. In my dream, we were very excited about Nicki's speech, not because she spoke, but rather because of her extensive vocabulary. In my dream, dogs spoke. All of them. Quite naturally. Nicki's particular adeptness was what made this event noteworthy. Ah, what a lovely world I dream!

Then, my dream became a bit darker.

In real life, Nicki doesn't like people leaning over either her or me. She will growl, if it's someone with whom she's not very familiar, or she will whine or cry if it's my husband. She doesn't like anyone leaning over my shoulder at the computer, leaning over to kiss me, or leaning over either of us at all. I can stand toe-to-toe with the Hubby for a smootch and there's no problem. I can lean down as he sits in his chair to give a kiss, and she watches, but doesn't react much. We puzzled about this for a bit. I have a theory: most males, when trying to intimidate or threaten, will attempt to appear larger. One way to do that, which people do instinctively, is to lean over or toward the person intended for intimidation. In Nicki's previous life, there must have been a man who used that tactic, most likely toward a female in the household. Probably the same man who inspired Nicki to cower and urinate in fear simply from being in the presence of a male human. Musta been a real sweetheart.

But back to my dream.

In my dream, Nicki was curled up at my side as I lingered in bed with a cup of tea before starting my day. The Hubby was preparing to leave for work. We were enjoying Nicki's patter. Lots of "I love you!" and "I'm a good girl." Then, with coffee cup in hand, the Hubby came over and leaned down for a goodbye kiss. Nicki watched the movement, looked at his hand and said "Weapon?" We stopped and looked at her, remarking to each other that "weapon" was an unexpected word, even for such a sharp linguist as Nicki! She must have taken the coffee cup in his hand for a potential weapon! But Hubby had to get going, so we put the conversation aside as he tried again for a goodbye kiss. Nicki reacted the same way, but inched closer to me and said in a more alarmed and urgent way "WEAPON?!"

And I woke up.

To me, the significance of the dream was clear. That sweetheart of a guy who taught her to fear men so deeply was capable of such things. Not just intimidating a woman, but actually hurting her. Maybe even using a weapon.

We speak passionately about things in this house. When we talk about how angry a person or situation made us, we sound angry. And Nicki looks uncertain, hugging her body to the floor, watching to see if she should flee or leap to my defense. She defends me all the time. Even though the Hubby and I rarely even verbally disagree, she is always in close proximity to me if he is near me. If she's elsewhere and he approaches me, Nicki will appear out of nowhere, at my side, in my lap, at my feet, at the ready.

Nicki has been with us for seven months now. She stopped peeing in submission several months ago, but she clearly still doesn't completely trust the Hubby, even though he is absolutely her indulging "Daddy".  Maybe soon her fears will fade more quickly. Every interaction with men now shows her that the men she knew were not representative.

Maybe in a bit more time, her dreams will be sweeter.

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