Scientists believe that dogs do, in fact, experience dreams. This is something dog owners have known all along. One glance at a sleeping puppy, with his legs moving in a running motion will tell you he’s on a spectacular adventure, if only in his dreams. Researchers using an electroencephalogram (EEG) have tested canine brain wave activity during sleep. They’ve found that dogs are similar to humans when it comes to sleep patterns and brain wave activity. Like humans, dogs enter a deep sleep stage during which their breathing becomes more irregular and they have rapid eye movements (REM). It is during REM sleep that actual dreaming and, often, involuntary movements take place.
Interestingly, not all dog dreams are alike. Research suggests that small dogs dream more than larger dogs. A Toy Poodle may dream once every ten minutes while a Golden Retriever may only dream once every 90 minutes. Dreaming also seems to occur more frequently in puppies. This may be because they are processing huge quantities of newly acquired experiences.
So, what do dogs dream about? Since no dog has ever told anyone about a dream he’s had (at least not our dogs), we can only guess. It’s likely that dogs dream in a similar fashion to humans, replaying the everyday activities that make up their existence, like chasing, playing, and eating.
Write a poem about a dream your favorite four-legged friend had. What kind of adventure? Write from the dog’s perspective and craft your dog’s “voice.”
Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. Here is a poem from Andrew we enjoyed:
There lie some worlds we cannot see
Within our thoughts and in our minds
That hold – unseen – such folk as strange
As any that a sleeping dreamer finds.
And here I wandered long of old, was told
That I was vague or far, my name was mist
Upon a wind of thought. But how I sang
Within the chains of thought, just like the stars
As they bed down for day. Sometimes I look
Into the heaven’s vault that hides such wonders
And I think of tales our fathers knew, of love for
Sweeping rain, soft mist and mighty thunder.
Within some eldritch mystic wood the people walk
For nothing but to cry that they exist unto the sky –
And there I walked, and there I flew and sang
Without regard to how the minutes swept me by.
And I was happy, ’til the rolling years
Locked gates I’d never known to be.
But shush, as Thomas cried of time
I’ll sing despite the chains, and my voice
Will be as the sea.
Photo by Richard Walker. Creative Commons via Flickr.
How to Write a Poem uses images like the buzz, the switch, the wave—from the Billy Collins poem “Introduction to Poetry”—to guide writers into new ways of writing poems. Excellent teaching tool. Anthology and prompts included.
“How to Write a Poem is a classroom must-have.”
—Callie Feyen, English Teacher, Maryland