I had a dream recently about animals. That isn’t unusual. This dream was based on the legend that animals can talk, once a year, at midnight on Christmas. The variation on this that my subconscious created was that for one minute, once a year or once a lifetime (it wasn’t clear), we and our pets could sit together, communicate in the same language, and understand each other.
What would we say? Would it be expressions of love? Requests to please not claw the furniture? Demands for better food?
In the dream, I was using my minute to say my last goodbye to Maggie. “I hope we see each other again, but I know We probably won’t.” I told her, stroking her head as she twitched her tail stump a bit, too weak to do anything else. All she could do was rest and love.
This is what I said in real life, too. And she may have licked my nose and gazed at me adoringly.
In the dream, when I explained how she was the best friend I had ever had and that Zoe was not her replacement, she understood every word I was saying. In real life, to Maggie it was all white noise in a soft voice while that girl who visited every once in a while stroked her fur. She died the next day, after I left.
I have shared my life with animals, wondering whether they understand me beyond words, or whether we’ve managed to communicate at all.