Terrors in the Night

No, this post isn't going to be about more mice in our attic.  From what we can tell, we've gotten all of the mice.  At least for now...

No, this post is about Dave.  You see, Dave has nightmares, which are particularly intense when he's under a great deal of stress, like he is right now with teaching, coaching, advising, rental properties, money, etc.  But before I get into the dream itself, some background information is important.

On Tuesday night we took Murphy to the vet.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, Murphy isn't a very friendly dog towards other dogs.  As we were walking into the vet, I noticed that there were 3 particularly large dogs in the waiting room (English Mastiffs, I later learned) so Dave stood outside with Murphy while I checked in.  After one of the mastiff's went into an exam room, we decided to bring Murphy inside.  I held him, and Dave blocked his view of the other dogs.  This is usually the best way to keep him from being a total jerk, and for the most part, it worked.

We were amazed at these dogs.  I watched one of them as she was being weighed, and she weighed 169.8 pounds.  This dog weighed way more than me, and a lot more than many other humans we well.  And this particular owner had TWO of these enormous dogs on one conjoined leash. 

The picture above shows the face and color of the two dogs that we spent time with in the waiting room. One was male, one was female (and surprisingly, the female was the heavier of the 2.)  But to give you a sense of just how enormous Mastiff's are, here are a few pictures you should consider. 


In case you need further explanation of that picture above, that's a horse, next to two people, next to a mastiff... which is nearly as large as the horse.  

Now, I will say that the dogs that we saw were not as big as the horse-dog above.  But anyway, you get the picture - Mastiffs are BIG dogs.  Back to Dave.

So, we went to bed around 9:40 p.m. or so on that same night as the vet appointment.   I woke up with a start precisely at 10:00 p.m. because Dave was yelling.  He was thrashing into the air in front of him saying, "Get them away from me, get them away from me!"  I was like, "Get WHAT away from you???"  "The dogs! Get the dogs off of me!" he responds, starting to sound calmer.  I thought he was finally waking up - he usually does once I start talking to him.  I was wide awake at this point, and I calmly said, "There are no dogs on you."

Then I noticed what he was doing.  He was half sitting up, clutching our electric blanket in one hand and frantically pulling at the fuz on the blanket with his other hand.  Plucking, picking, pulling "dog hair"... who knows.  But after hearing and processing my telling him that there were no dogs on him, he firmly said, "NO - there's a dog RIGHT HERE!"  Meaning the blanket.

I stared at him, wide-eyed - I am always so amazed at these sleep-talking experiences that he has, and am never quite sure what to say or do.

So, I say, "No, that's not a dog.... the dog is over here," pointing to Murphy, who is probably wondering what all of this commotion is about.  Dave looks at Murphy, and relaxation suddenly poors over him - he plops back down onto his pillow.  "Oh," he said, and I can see in his face that he's still trying to fully wake himself up and understand what was going on.

The next morning Dave tells me that in his dream the dogs were big and on top of him, and although they weren't mastiffs, he's sure that the dream was inspired by the enormous dogs that we saw at the vet's office.  This is the first time that dogs were involved in one of his "night terrors" - usually it's bugs or spiders or ceiling fans falling onto him while he sleeps that causes him to jump out of bed or yell or swat the air.  I wish it was more feasible to keep a video camera besides my bed to record all of these moments, since it's difficult to really convey to you just how ridiculous these episodes are.

So, you'll just have to trust me when I say that they are absolutely hilarious - it's unfortunate that I usually fall asleep right afterwards, which really affects my ability to recall the details!


jbforster said...

Hi Lisa,
I know how freaky it can be when someone has nightmares. My son has night terrors and at it's worst would just scream and cry. I couldn't wake him up or console him, so I know how you feel when you have to talk him down out of it, so to speak. But I do have to appologise, because I laughed through most of your post. The picture in my head was priceless and all I could see is that big dog sitting over the bed drooling everywhere. Anyway, I hope your nights are uneventful from now on!

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