I had a dream last night that I was lying in bed, tossing crackers to Bandit (which isn’t too far from reality, since not long before we’d been snacking on goldfish crackers in bed) when all of the sudden Scout jumped up to get some treats. I said, “Hey, wait, you’re not supposed to be here!” And Scout replied, “I don’t wanna go yet.”
The thing was, in my dream Scout looked terrible. Sick and thin and really rough. It was horrible. I tried and tried to scream – you know how it can be in a dream. Except I apparently started screaming out loud, because I woke to David standing over me trying to rouse me, and Bandit lying across my legs trying to help him. It must have sounded bad for David to get up, because he will occasionally tell me in the morning, “You were yelling in your sleep last night,” but he doesn’t check on me. He says if he hears me and also hears the dogs making a fuss, he’ll know something’s wrong.
When I woke last night, I was gasping for breath and crying hysterically. My God, it was horrible. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Poor Scout. It was this weird mix of wanting him to stay and wanting him to go – stay, because I love him so much, but go, because … well, he’s dead and the Scout that wanted to stay was not my Scout. (This morning it made me think of that movie, “An American Werewolf in London,” where the one guy keeps coming back a little more gruesome than the last time. I don’t want Scout to visit me like that.)
I told David, “I am so not going back to sleep. I’m not ever going to close my eyes again.”
It was really late so I sent him back to bed and Bandit crawled up to lie next to me. I felt really compelled for some reason to pull out my devotional Bible (every couple of years I read through the entire Bible); the Psalm for yesterday reads in part, “…O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled; my soul is also greatly troubled …” (Psalm 6: 2,3)
I pulled out a book of crosswords and I did puzzles until I guess I fell asleep with the light on. During the night I must have woken up enough to shut the light off and crawl under the covers. I woke this morning completely exhausted, groggy, and with a splitting headache.
To be honest, I would have been really freaked out by the thought that Scout’s spirit was haunting me – hence the dream – except that Bandit was pretty much unfazed. He clearly wanted to comfort me, but he wasn’t anxious or upset. I know it sounds crazy, but I believe that animals are much more in tune to the spiritual world than we are sometimes. (Remember that time I took Bailey to walk in the cemetery and all she wanted to do was hang around Kali Poulton’s grave?) If Bandit had been acting weird last night – whining or barking or in any other way disturbed – I would have packed up and moved to a hotel.
I don’t know what brought on the dream. I was feeling pretty good yesterday, although I did talk about Scout a few times. But that’s no different than the last few days. All I know is that I DO NOT want to ever have that dream again. In fact, I don’t really want to close my eyes again for a while. I want to think about Scout happy and healthy in heaven, not sick and wasting away as a spirit not ready to leave.