Doggie Dreaming

Last night Dudley was snoozing in front of the couch and he started yipping and twitching, obviously in the throes of some dream. He always looks like he’s “chasing rabbits” when he dreams, but he was particularly animated in this dream. I muted the television so I could listen to him make “yip” noises and tried to imagine what he was seeing. His tail thumped and judging by his leg twitches, he was running like the wind; a canine Paul Revere warning of some impending invasion. Or more likely, the village idiot barking as he chases a rabbit or a squirrel.

Actually, dogs dream pretty much the same type of things humans dream about. I can’t speak for all humans, but my dreams are generally a mishmash of what I did that day and evidence suggest that dogs dream about their own mundane daily canine activities. I discovered the Canine Corner column written by Stanley Coren in Psychology Today. Just as humans experience Rapid Eye Movement (REM) when they dream, I can see Dudley’s eyes moving as he dreams. Dr. Coren says dogs are literally looking at what they see in their dream as they look at something when they are awake.

Dudley was dreaming when I came home from work this afternoon,  not as vividly as last night, but I tried to video him because he is still pretty funny. Alas, he woke up before I could get the video. In the words of Deborah Harry, “dreaming is free.”

There will be no video of me sleeping!

Dudley is also a tail wagger. If someone comes to the house, Dudley wags his tail until they leave. Even when he would lie down, he would thump his tail on the floor or against the wall if I talked to him. Since he has lost most of his hearing, he doesn’t thump his tail like he used to and I really miss that. If I go over and and start rubbing on him, he’ll thump it for me, so I haven’t lost the sound completely. Dr. Coren had a great article about what the tail wag can tell us about our dog.  Dogs wagging their tail does not always indicate happiness. It can indicate timidity, dominance or submissiveness in addition to, “I’m so glad to see you!” most of us think it means. Dr. Coren talks about the science behind this, but basically a dog whose tail wags more to his right side is feeling positive about the situation and a tail wagging to the dog’s left side indicates the dog is in a negative emotional state. I’ve watched Dudley and he does wag his tail more to the left when a stranger approaches him and to the right when I toss him a carrot.

Happily eating a bone, Dudley’s tail started immediately back to his right once this picture was snapped.

The Kerasal seems to be helping the hyperkeratosis on Dudley’s nose. I know it’s done wonders for my feet!

There is still time to get your name into the drawing for a $25 gift card to Target or Amazon (winner’s choice). Just comment on this post, Gnarly Nose or What’s in a Name? about your pet’s name and how your pet came to have that name. The drawing will be held on Friday, August 31, 2012.

“A dog can express more with his tail in minutes than an owner can express with his tongue in hours.” ~ Karen Davison

About Shoeful of Drool

I lived with a golden retriever/German shepherd mix named Dudley. Dudley was a rescue from Hurricane Floyd and he lived with me from October 1999 until he passed away in December 2012. In January 2001, Zoe a black & tan hound mix came to live with us until she died in June 2011. I truly believe having dogs has made me a better person. Every single day these dogs still give me something to laugh about and I hope by sharing these stories you can laugh, too.
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3 Responses to Doggie Dreaming

  1. Pat Trempus says:

    A cat’s tail is interesting also; amazing how something as mundane as shaking your tail can be so fascinating; cats stalking, cats pissed off, cats happy all can be told from a twitch or tow; love it.

  2. Rose says:

    Did you know that dog’s can suffer from a limp dog tail? Well, a few weeks ago, our dog Lexi had a busy day swimming, running and barking at the visiting dog’s next door. Sunday morning, I noticed she was not moving her tail. Even when Steve (who see adores) called her over, she ran up to him but her tail never moved! It turns out that medium to large dogs can get a condition where their tail is limp or only moves slightly. Vets believe that it is due to being very active or being crated too long. In Lexi’s case, she just had too much fun on Saturday. Cure – plenty of rest and her tail was back to normal in 2 days!

    • My sister mentioned that one of the kids went to a party where the dog greeted everyone by happily wagging her tail but by the end of the party the tail was “broken, limp and not moving”. Sounds like she had too much fun at the party, too. I’m glad to learn it is only a temporary condition!

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