For whatever reason, this week my sleep has been riddled with nightmares. Super scary, I feel like crawling into my parents’ bed kind of terrifying. So, while I was sweating it out in the middle of the night, too scared to go back to sleep, I began to wonder: what must babies and animals think when they have nightmares?

Now, I don’t have an actual baby, so I’ve never experienced a baby having a nightmare. But I do have my “babies” – animals – one of which has frequent night terrors. Can you image what’s going through their minds?

Let’s take Sonny. Sonny is the best dog in the entire world. He’s never done anything wrong in his 10 years. But I often see him “chasing rabbits,” as my husband calls it, legs moving, mouth barking, etc. Sometimes he awakens so abruptly that I think the rabbits might be chasing him…with knives. What if this is the case? What if he’s dreaming that the rabbits, squirrels and neighborhood cats are taking revenge on him? They’re so fed up with his antics; they’re at the boiling point and ready to rumble. Does he understand it’s a dream? Does he think, “I promise, I’ll never do it again!”? Is he scared? Does he think it really happened?

These are the things keep me up at night. Which lately, is better than sleeping.