Dear Paws to Talk,
For the past week or so, I haven’t been able to sleep. I settle into my bed near my humans and my eyes close. Then soon after, I wake up in a panic and begin to pant.
I have had a couple of different nightmares but there is a recurring one that has me shaking. In this nightmare, I am in my family’s house all alone with no toys, kibble, water or treats. Then I manage to get outside but no one is there. My perfectly manicured yard is all weeds and all of my neighbors are gone. Lastly, a cat walks up to me and starts hissing.
I try to fall back to sleep after this ghastly experience but I usually just lay in bed and keep a lookout. I get so tired but am too afraid to sleep. How do I make my nightmares stop?
-Abby the Dalmatian
I am sorry you are having nightmares. My family calls me a “professional sleeper” so given that title I should be able to help you.
The first thing I recommend, is to create a calm environment before you settle into your bed for the night. Pick up a toy that you love and hold it. Do some light laps back and forth in your hallway. Maybe you can have a nightcap with your humans? Whatever calms you down, do it.
When you get into your bed, take a deep breath. Look at your humans in their bed. Know that they are with you. You might also wonder why they get a more luxurious bed which is higher off the ground. That is okay. Let your thoughts flow. Don’t worry if some scary thoughts run through your mind. Keep focusing on the humans in that comfy bed.
Only when you are ready, should you close your eyes. Don’t worry about nightmares. If you have one, just remember that nightmares are not reality. Your perfectly manicured yard is not all weeds. You are not alone. As far as the hissing cat goes, we all experience that every now and then. It is nothing to lose sleep over.
I hope you have sweet dreams. Those dark furry things under your eyes should disappear soon.
© Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.