An essay about my dog, on Medium.
I’m in my car, driving on a narrow grassy plain, when another car approaches. There’s no way we can get by each other without crashing, so I turn the wheel and move off to the right as far as possible. But this leaves my car in an untenable position, to the right of a gulley, which I never saw before. The farther I drive, the closer I come to the edge; basically, my car is going to fall in if I keep going.
So I get out of the car. And there’s some kind of a wild animal who bites my finger, not enough to draw blood but enough to make an indentation into my skin. I hurl a piece of fruit, and the animal chases after it. But I know it’ll be back.
I must make it to the other side of the ditch. I have to climb (don’t ask — it’s a dream, after all). So I climb, on my hands and knees, and my fingers grab onto what feels like tight plastic grocery bags, stretched because inside contains coils upon coils of Christmas tree lights.
I cross over. And I look across the divide, and instead of my car, it’s Ginny, my German shepherd dog. She’s pacing back and forth, agitated that she’s over there and I’m over here. And before I can scream, “No, you’re too old!” Ginny leaps — and somehow she makes it. I catch her. I feel her weight as her body collides into mine, but then I don’t, as if I’ve absorbed her somehow.
And then I wake up.
Commentary: Yesterday my wife and I were driving on Lincoln Road, and a car was indeed coming down and there’s a part where it can be kind of tight. Later on, we saw a big dog sticking its head out of another car, enjoying the winter air. Last night we saw the Taylor Swift documentary on Netflix (highly recommended) and she’s got cats; the bite from the dream animal was very much a cat bite, playfully painful. It’s been a few weeks since I put them all away, but I do indeed store Christmas lights in plastic grocery bags. And it’s been almost a month since our dog of almost fifteen years died.
The last part of the dream is a bit on the nose, isn’t it? What I find most fascinating about Ginny’s leap is that I had no clue she was going to do that. Even though it’s my dream and I thought it up, it was a complete surprise. What a gift. Thank you, dream.