For many people, crawling into bed at night is the best part of their entire day, and dreams can only help make rest time sweeter. Yet our dreams don’t always make sense to us, and curiosity drives us to try to dig deeper to find out what they may mean. Many say that dreams are a way of working out things that are on our minds or even troubling us. But it’s quite perplexing if a dog seems to play a starring role in your nightly dreams, and it’s not your dog…or worse, you don’t even own one!
If a dog keeps showing up in your dreams, what could it possibly mean?
Important Considerations about Dream Interpretation
Experts agree that though we can come to a general consensus as to what the presence of a dog in a dream may mean, it is a highly subjective process at best. It’s important to realize that context will greatly affect the potential interpretation.
Animals who feature prominently in dreams typically represent any number of things including our emotions and actions. But dogs can also symbolize the characteristic we have come to most closely associate with them: loyalty. However, this is not always the case. Ancient histories have also recorded dogs as symbols of guardianship, guiding forces, and even foreshadowers of impending death.
The Dog as a Protector
If Fido’s role in your dream is typically of a dog who comfortably rests by your feet, this may be representative that you are feeling secure in yourself. A dog at peace can be indicative that emotionally you are also feeling calm and content. This can simply be an outworking of a highly satisfied mind.
However, dogs often bark to alert their owners to the presence of dangers. This too is part of the role as your guardian and protector. If the dog in your dream is barking, it may be your mind’s way of telling you to be alert as something is coming your way that you are not prepared for.
The Dog as a Guiding Force
Many dogs possess the gift of being able to detect the presence of disease in humans and other animals. Others are born with the innate ability to provide comfort and support to humans suffering from medical or emotional ailments in the capacity of a service dog. But dogs can also help to fulfill this same role in the dream world, enabling the “dreamer” to be led in a direction he might not otherwise have considered. Perhaps you have a hidden talent you were completely unaware of, or you are engaging in behaviors that are interfering with the goals you have for your life. Your dream dog can help direct your mind to actions that need to change in order for you to grow and progress.
The Dog as a Foreshadower of Death
Color plays an important role in dream interpretation. While a white dog typically symbolizes innocence and purity and a dirty dog is evidence that areas in your life could benefit from a “cleaning,” a black dog is generally a sign of something sinister to come. Greek mythology focuses heavily on the use of dogs as symbols of loss and death. Yet, it is not just in ancient lore that black dogs have taken on this role. Many stories of British origin also prominently feature black dogs as omens of impending doom.
But the color black does not always symbolize death. Throughout history, those who have lost loved ones have donned black clothing as a sign of grieving. The presence of a black dog in a dream could be indicative of grief or even a depressed emotional state. This feeling may draw its inspiration from many sources including the loss of an important relationship or a deep hurt evidenced at the hands of a friend.
A black can dog can act as a symbol of death; however, it is important to note that death does not always equate to the loss of life. It can point to a dramatic turn of events about to take place, and it can even symbolize a journey into uncharted waters and the fear associated with it.
The Dog as a Faithful Friend
Of course, the most common connection we make to dogs in our dreams is that of our most faithful sidekick and friend, the one who is always with us and on our side. Again, context is key to understanding how the loyalty of the dog in our dream relates to our frame of mind and life. If a dog appears to be suffering from ill health or an injury in our dream, this is often typical of a broken relationship or trust that has been misplaced in another. It can also be a powerful reminder to check to make sure that we are being true to ourselves. A faithful friend would encourage us to view ourselves honestly and not engage in behaviors that sabotage the path to achieving our dreams.
The truth is there are many variables that go into the act of dream interpretation. It is an art rather than a science, and as such, it is susceptible to the dreamer’s frame of mind and life experiences which dramatically shape the perceived meaning of any symbol in a dream.
Do our dreams having meaning? They most certainly do, but no two experts will agree on what a dream may mean in its entirety. Next time Fido makes a nocturnal appearance in your dreams, take a careful look at the context to help you best discern just what message he might have for you.