Love Story – a dream of fur and loss

Herbie is our Oliver Barrett IV – his love means never having to say you’re sorry. Even when you dress him up like a fool.

Sleeping is great. Dreaming is even better. Sometimes, however, you wake from your dreams so rattled and upset it takes a minute to breathe and realise that reality is not the place you’ve just come from, but the place you’re blinking into.

Last night my beloved Herbie died. It was an intense, mad, running around to places everywhere kind of dream. In the midst of it, Herbie was there, and something was wrong.

This is my second mate, looking like he’s about to walk the plank.

He was lying down, and losing consciousness. Someone told me he was dying, and I gave him water from my water bottle which he lapped up, and then stopped breathing. I cried and cried, and continued to cry any time I had to tell people what had happened. Then, for some reason, I started delivering meals to homeless people, cooking chicken kebabs for a wedding (that stubbornly stayed raw), and tried to work in an office (all at the same time). Oh, I also snuck in a bottle of champagne in a cafe in Greece, where That Man and I were trying to dodge whinging kids at all the surrounding tables since we were alone. Totally normal dream behaviour.  Shut up, Freud.

That Man always jokes about Herbie being decrepit or washed up, and mentions his death fairly flippantly. I feel a pang of panic when he does. Why the attachment? It’s his constancy, and unconditional brand of love. I’m not invisible to this dog. While the kids ignore what I’m saying ten times over, until I ponder the kind of dramatic action I’ll be forced to take to be noticed (fake anger – always a good look. RESIST THE BOTOX PEOPLE – or your kids will NEVER respond); this dog? He is watching, waiting, itching for me to speak to him. When That Man is stressed and tired and distracted, unable to hear me calling from another room or asking a fairly simple (but yes, boring) question, this dog has his supersonic hearing attuned to the tones and nuances of my voice, ready to come trotting to my aid if he perceives he could help out. Hell, he’d grow thumbs if he could. He already talks. He even eats cucumber. He’s a special dog.

Deck the dog with festive antlers, fa-la-la-la-la…

When I’m sick, he sits and watches me worriedly, beside my bed, and licks bits of me that protrude beyond the covers. Sweet and gross. As I type this he’s behind my chair, dreaming of rabbits. I can’t watch any movies with dogs in them, since Herbie wants to take them on and is convinced they’re in his living room. He’s huge, and in my way, and barks at the door constantly, and drives me crazy when I trip over him since he’s behind me most of the time, but I would miss his presence like a limb.

So when I woke this morning, tears on my pillow, panic in my chest, the sound of his snuffly snore beside me on the carpet was the most reassuring thing I’ve heard since the sound of my girls sighing in their sleep. Herbie? Can we do a Dolly the Sheep and clone you honey?

11 thoughts on “Love Story – a dream of fur and loss

  1. I lost my beautiful Nancy nearly a year ago, she was 15. She slept under my window or at my door or next to my bed for all those years and I miss her so much. Treasure every day with your big hound, you are his life. Kiss the top of his head for me x
    lydiamissmoffat recently posted…A perfect morningMy Profile

    • Oh Lydia – 15! That’s a lot of years. So sad for you she’s gone. I planted a big sloppy one on Herbie’s head and he smiled. x

  2. Oh what a horrible dream! My husband and I left our dog with my parents when we moved overseas (for 6 months which became 4 years) and I regularly dreamed that the dog was pining for us. It was so upsetting! But it was more about my own fears/missing home etc than the dog’s emotions. Yeah – piss off Freud! In our case the dog was being spoiled like a grandchild back home and probably couldn’t have been happier! I can certainly understand your attachment and depth of feeling :(
    Lara @ This Charming Mum recently posted…Review: The Vogue Factor by Kirstie ClementsMy Profile

    • Clearly we are not medicating ourselves enough before we go to sleep! I’m picturing you ringing your mum and asking to talk to the dog… ;) x

  3. Herbie will dwarf any small child and his bark will scare any door knocker off but he is such a sook and so good with the kids who give him extra special hugs around his neck. He would be missed.
    Here is to some sweet dreams tonight. Glad to see someone else has a recurring Year 12 dream….I thought it was just me!

  4. That’s awful Kim. I thought it was bad having recurring dreams about being forced to repeat Year 12 despite being 42 with two kids. I’m sure Herbie will spend many more happy years with your family.
    Mumabulous recently posted…The SchmoozeMy Profile

    • You funny year 12 girls! Ugh. Glad I don’t have that one in any case. Good riddance. Much sweeter, dreamless sleep the next night, with my snoring big lump safely beside me.

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