Let sleeping dogs lie (and dream)

The dog lies at my feet. He is upholstered in unruly, charcoal-gray curls, like a pile of macaroni. Gently breathing, his belly oscillates at a steady pulse. And then, suddenly, his body contracts: He has tumbled into a dream.

His short legs twitch and his paws scratch the air. He snorts and softly whines. He is spasming. In his furry head, he’s maybe chasing a surly kitty or gamboling outdoors in an open field, pursuing an unattainable rabbit.

I haven’t the foggiest idea. Could he be getting his wee doggie heart broken by a comely pooch, hence the whine? (Dreams are charming that way.) Then again, he might be reliving his school days: He has forgotten to study for a big exam, or he has to perform onstage but doesn’t know his lines. Maybe he’s flying. Or maybe he’s falling from the sky.

Off he goes: shuddering, kicking and jerking in the unsettling manner of a seizure. “Run, Cubby!” I want to say. “Fly, boy!” He’s stretched on the floor, doing a miniature St. Vitus dance, or some funky popping moves. It’s a lot more interesting than the book I was reading before becoming transfixed by the canine convulsions.

Whatever I do, I don’t dare wake the mutt.

He could be having the time of his life.

Cubby, sprawled on his back, dreaming things we’ll never know.

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