Night Dog Dreams (#WeekendCoffeeShare)

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that many of my days for many, many days have been filled with research on service dogs and whether one might be right for our family. I would share that knowing the answer is “yes” is daunting. And that the the necessary fundraising is a particularly painful task for a family of introverts, but worth the trouble. I would sip and tell you I have been chewing on progress, trying to get its taste. I have been planning and puzzling and hoping. Those are the days, but there are also the nights.

Last night I dreamt of our dog. He hasn’t been born yet, but I dreamt in my deepest sleep of what this dog means. Our dog changed us. We changed for our dog.

Our doodle may be related to this handsome guy. This is Luke. Image via

Our doodle may be related to this handsome guy. This is Luke. Image via

This dream was like the many dreams I had while pregnant. My mind was conceiving as I slept. My heart was growing the space to love a new child.

I dreamt and knew I was dreaming. I made our dog a promise of safety, even as the dog offered me the same. I said, “No, it is my job to take care of you. I work first.” And I did. I rearranged the house and the lives inside it. The dog watched me clear and clear and clear the rough spaces. When I was done, the inside of our home felt like an open field. There was an unexpected freedom. An unburdening.

The dream continued and this family evolved. I walked through the dreamscape to see what had moved, what was switched off, what shells had cracked open. What was moving out and what was moving in. Pain sifted off me with each step. Quiet took its place, and I became stronger. And Noah, the child for whom we need this dog, became happier. And our dog found a space in the middle of it all to place his head onto his paws and observe with gentle, confident satisfaction.

The soul stuff of the dog was like the curls of its fur. It was bright and warm and I was soothed despite the enormity of gestation and birth set forth by the dream. My body cramped with growing pains. I woke for a moment. I shifted my legs in the darkness, flexing my feet to ease the knots in my calves. Just as I did in my pregnancies. Then I turned to the side and settled. I found our dog’s head under my hand. I ran my palm along his fur, the warmth of the dream cloaking me until morning.

*WeekendCoffeeShare is hosted by Part-Time Monster.

Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

6 Discussion to this post

  1. Diana says:

    This is beautiful. Dogs are so wonderful, and service dogs especially so. There’s something very beautiful about the relationship between a service dog and his owner. I hope that if Noah needs the pup that you’re able to start working toward that—what a journey it must be!

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