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.
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.
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