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Jesse, The Dream Waker
by Karen Bump
(Prescott Valley, AZ, USA)
Jesse (actually Jessel) is my beautiful black, 45 pound, tri-color Aussie girl. She was born in 2004 and I bought her in August, so I guess she birthed in July sometime.
Last year, Jesse was in heat and every time that comes around, she and I retreat to “the girl's room,” much to the distress of our 140 pound black male lab-mix, Cap. Oh, we take turns with which of them is in the general living-quarters and which is in my bedroom-office, but mostly Jesse stays with me due to the fact that Cap has figured out how to open my patio door if he is locked in by himself and it only takes him around 20 seconds or so. Before anyone comments on this story with the standard pet advocate advice to get my dogs spayed, let me say that I have wanted to do that for the last couple of years. However, I became unemployed in 2008 and since then have been struggling to pay my mortgage and keep things going around here with every penny earned through any temp jobs that come available. As soon as I can, I will have them spayed… but on with my story…
I was never able to have kids, so believe me, both of these (doggie) treasures are near and dear to my heart. I’d probably throw myself in front of a 2-ton truck to protect them if it came to that. I mean, I know that I am a bit neurotic about my love for them. On normal days we all (Jesse, Cap, and I) gather together on my bed and have a “Love Fest.” It’s happy times. And when Jesse is in heat I pamper her even more with lots of snuggling, sweet talk, and rubbing of the belly. Anyway, we were in the midst of the heat cycle and Jesse was getting her special attention.
One night during this particular cycle, I had a bad dream. I don’t remember what it was about but I do get nightmares once in awhile. Sometimes I remember them, sometimes not, but I have woken up crying, or a few times I have woken myself up talking loud. As I alluded to earlier, the last few years have been pretty rough times, never knowing if there will be enough money to keep things going around here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking for sympathy. I know that many people are having a rough time and what helps me get through is the special gift that poor people over the ages have always known, be grateful for what you do have. I am.
At any rate, this time I guess I was having a wham-doozle of a bad dream and I must have been crying out in my sleep. I woke up abruptly and remember being greatly relieved to be out of it. I could feel that my eyes were wet and at first thought it seemed that I had been crying, except there weren’t any tears. I looked over and there sat Jesse looking at me with those beautiful hazel eyes that she often talks with. I suddenly realized that Jesse had been licking my eyes to wake me up from my bad dream. A rush of emotion hit me, the kind that you feel when it hits you that you are cared for in a deep way by another being. I reached over and pulled her close… and then the tears started to fall softly. They were tears of love and gratitude to have this wonderful little being in my life.
It only happened that once although she has crawled up to comfort me if I am awake and crying. Many dogs wouldn’t even do that because they might not be sure if it was safe, or be confused, or something. But I’m willing to bet that for her to lick my eyes to wake me up from a bad dream was very unique among dogs. Of course, I was always aware how special she is. All of my dogs have been special. In fact, I think all animals, and in my experience, dogs especially, know a lot more than given credit for and can teach humans many things if we pay attention… particularly, about forgiveness, loyalty, friendship and love…
As for me, I continue to give thanks for and learn from Monsieur Cap and my dear little Jesse, the Dream Waker.