As I Lay Me Down to Sleep…

The first feeling that registered as I broke the surface of consciousness was irritation. There are few sounds in this world I hate as much as a dog whining, and this was the intense, “the house is on fire and you need to wake up” kind of whine.

The house wasn’t on fire. But my poor dog was whining his head off. I couldn’t figure out why until I woke up just a little bit more and registered a second feeling: pain. The nightmare keeping me under must have been a doozy, because my bottom lip is chewed so raw that it resembles a manhandled package of ground beef. There’s blood all over my pillow, and my neck and chest are a maze of scratches from my perpetually-bitten nails.

I don’t remember any details of the dream that held me prisoner, but it must have been intense. Nightmares go hand in hand with my depressive phases, but as often as I have them, I generally stop short of maiming myself. Thank goodness for my doggy alarm clock. This isn’t the first time he’s gone to extremes to rescue me from dreamed danger.

We took a starry walk to clear our heads, and now we’re cuddled back in bed. And by “cuddled,” I mean that he’s stretched out over 98% of my bed’s surface area, and I’m huddled in a corner. I don’t mind– at least I know I’ll be safe, from threats both real and imagined. I’m not sure how I slept at all before my Woz came along.

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Ozzie, Protector of the Dreaming
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