I don't tend to suffer from bad dreams in general, but last night, I experienced every nightmare my subconscious could throw at me. I dreamt of avalanches and earthquakes, betrayal by those closest to me, being chased by first a faceless stabber then a faced one, falling — both me off a cliff and my teeth out of my mouth, shadows stretching into Babadook hands and "The Ring" lady's hair, my parents being gunned down in an alley by some random robber after I flipped out during an opera, and my dog staring up at me with that "I have to poop NOW and it ain't gonna be an easy cleanup" face, on the fourth floor of a building with no elevator. Nobody can run that fast.

Now, I'm a diagnosed fountain of anxiety and changes around the bend have me feeling extra vigilant at the moment, but this was out of control. I don't think our subconscious minds browse a menu of nightmares each night:

• Being Murdered

• Being the Murderer

• Rocks Fall on Feet

• Rocks Fall on Head

• Witches

• Ghosties

• Something from "American Horror Story"

• No Pants, Big Speech

• No Pants, No Legs


I've been in therapy for quite a while, and I'm pretty sure that's not how it works.


Why would that happen? Why would the inside of my head go on the fritz? As I lay in bed sweating — from fear, the sun baking the room and probably just general morning sexiness — the answer floated from my dog's butt to my nose.

Wally the Big White Dog regularly eschews the expensive orthopedic pet bed on the ground and grumbles and whines until I get up to see if he has to pee, and then he leaps into my bed, often sprawling sideways so his head, shoulders and tail stretch across the pillows

Last night, however, he put his head at my feet and his butt at my head. And last night, that dog was not well. Our evening walk was Satan's chocolate fountain, and he'd been gassing me on and off all night.

There were two ways to look at this: Either my dog is a regular dog, or he's a slightly sadistic genius, forcing me to face my deepest fears for hours at a time, using his unique blend of nightmare-inducing toxins, the same way Ra's al Ghul made Batman go literally batshit using that blue mountain flower.

"Are you training me to be a ninja?" I asked him. "A rich ninja? With a ripped body, a stupidly awesome fleet of vehicles, an English butler/wingman, and serious dark side that benefits others but troubles those closest to me? Because, thanks, dude."

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