Is Your Pet Sending You a Message in Your Dream?

In the modern culture we have been exposed to cartoon animals behaving in a way that is completely uncharacteristic of their natural behavior:  the bear wearing a tutu, dancing on a tightrope while holding an umbrella, for example. We’ve heard the words of a spider conducting a marketing campaign from her web. We’ve grown accustomed to talking animals and opinionated trees.

In dreams, we expect the unusual – things often look and behave differently than they do in waking life, even though we still cling to a sense of structure and what is ‘normal.’  It’s when one element of a perfectly normal dream stands out as bizarre that our attention is grabbed. What happens when a waking life animal turns up in our dreams with behavior that is very uncharacteristic – especially if we know the animal well?

Talking Cats

A friend told me she had a dream in which she was walking along a path. At one point in the dream she saw her cat beside the road. It called out to her, ‘Hello.’ She thought she had misheard a noise he made (“since cats don’t talk”) and kept walking.

Farther down the path she came to a fork in the road. Beside the junction was her cat – standing on his hind legs and leaning against a signpost. The cat greeted her again, ‘Hello,’ calling her by name. She was so surprised, certain she had heard him speak, that she answered him, saying, ‘Cats don’t talk.’ The cat replied, ‘Got your attention, though, didn’t I?’

My friend admitted that he had, and went on to listen to his message about a decision she was contemplating. It was the uncharacteristic appearance and manner of her own cat that made it clear to her she was making a decision that would set her life course for years to come.

Deceased Pets Reappearing

A dream visit to a client from her deceased dog let her know that another dog would soon enter her life, with his blessing. In her dream, her dog appeared happy, healthy, in the prime of life, and radiant. He ran up her driveway, accompanied by a small dog. Sure enough, shortly after that dream, she saw the small dog from her dream in a local shelter and adopted it.

My own cat, Tyson, a wise and dignified master teacher, has visited many of my dreams and meditations. One time, when I was trying to stay afloat during a period of significant transition, he showed a surprising side of himself. My elder statesman appeared wearing a Mexican sombrero with little red fluffy balls hanging from its brim – and doing the Hokey-Pokey!

In my dream I burst out laughing at this apparition. ‘Tyson, is that you?’ I asked. ‘Nothing is only as it seems,’ he replied. ‘Pay attention, much is happening. Quit holding on so tight, flow with it. Lighten up!’ And with that he danced off. I realized I was being very rigid and stressed with all the changes that were going on. I woke feeling relieved, and I swear he smiled at me the next morning!

Animals as Messengers

Dream messages, and the guides who bring them, have a way of making themselves known to us, such as by surprise, a bell ringing, or other such signal. Our dream source will figure out a way to get our attention.

Our companion animals are in our lives to provide support on many levels. Yours may bring you a message that you’re missing – or that needs to be reinforced – by paying a visit to your dream in a way that’s sure to get your attention. (We can visit theirs, too, but that’s another article.) The key is to recognize that this is a message from a guide who has gone to great lengths to make sure you get it.

Question: Have you had a dream visit from a companion animal?
Article published by The Dream Tribe (July 2010):

Nancy is an animal intuitive and interfaith minister who specializes in helping people understand and communicate with their animal companions.

41 Responses to “Is Your Pet Sending You a Message in Your Dream?”

  • Bethany Hart:

    Hi Nancy, I recently lost my labrador retreiver named Abby. She had a tumor inside of her stomach that was the size of a volleyball. My parents and I were told about this 3 days before we had to put her down and we all were not mentally prepared for it at all. We grew up together and she was the sweetest thing ever and was truly my bestfriend. Last night I had a dream that I was walking threw my house and I saw her looking it at me threw my sliding glass door, I ran over to the door and let her in and my mother and I played with her and were crying out of happiness to have her back. I noticed that she was young again, was healthy and did not have a wart on her head like she used to when she was alive. It was like she was a puppy again. Later on in my dream, a lady’s voice came on, it sounded like It was coming from up above, it said that they needed Abby back with them. She then dissapeared. Do you think that this means something??

  • Hello Bethany, I am so sorry about your Abby’s death. It sounds like you love her and miss her very much. The death of an animal companion leaves a big hole in the heart and the home, so please do be gentle with yourself. Grieving is a process that takes its own time. I hope you looked at the resources page of my website – there are some books listed that might be helpful.
    Regarding your dream, traditionally doors represent the passage from one state of being to another, and being able to open the door to let Abby in indicates a receptive state of mind (as opposed to not being able to open the door and have Abby stay on the other side). The woman who spoke feels like a guide or guardian who’s helping Abby on the other side. Each being is on his or her own soul journey. If it were my dream, I would feel that Abby had visited to give me a chance to connect with her and remember her as she was when she was young and healthy, and to let me know she’s okay. For each dream, though, it is the dreamer who can best discern the meaning of a dream. A beautiful, touching and encouraging dream. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Jennifer:

    Hi there. I had to give my cats up about six years ago. It broke my heart having to walk away from them knowing I could never see them again. As I wrote this the familiar thoughts of “duos they make it okay? Did they find loving homes?” Play through my mind and I’m crying. I just some up from a strewn finding the first two (I had three) gizmo and Shaundalin happy and excited to see me. Purring and cuddling. When I found Oolah, she was hesitant at first but she let me pick her up abs pet her. They all looked healthy and happy. Then I woke up. I didn’t cry until I stayed typing this. I wonder, is it a message from them that they are okay? Afterlife or otherwise? My heart still hurts and I haven’t had a dream about them in a very long time.

  • Hello Jennifer, Thanks for asking. I am sorry for your loss – giving up your cats and not knowing what happened to them is as hard as having them die, especially with the uncertainty of not knowing.
    If this were my dream, I’d take it as a message that they are okay and happy, wherever they are, and they wanted to let you know. That’s a demonstration that love and relationship don’t die, just change form.
    And I hear guilt in your having to give them up. We don’t give up pets randomly, but as the best course of action given the circumstances and information available at the time. If you were in my pet loss group, I’d encourage you to work on forgiving yourself. You might try the ho’oponopono prayer for forgiveness: Picture your cats in your mind, or use a photo, and repeat “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me.” Do it regularly until you feel a lightening of the load you carry. Asking for forgiveness is circular – when we ask it of other beings we also ask it of ourselves.

  • jacqueline:

    i was dreaming for first time since 2000 when i lost my golden retriever lucky in a car hit and run. i was devastated but in may 27 i was dreaming about him he was a perfect dog shinny coat almost white and instead of bark he was talking to me saying it me lucky .you dont recognize me , but i was in shock cause how the heck the dog was talking to me instead of bark..i start crying and i touch him …how i miss him i miss him so much…what that means

  • Janna:

    We put my beloved rottie down in Jamuray 2017. We all believe she had a brain tumor with the way she rapidly declined over the last couple years of her life. She started having seizures and had 1 last one before we put her down that left her completely blind and just not herself. She didnt want my kids or husband to come around her without me by her side. I was afraid she’d bite one of my boys and didnt want to do that to her or them…she loved the boys and would never intentionally harm them. I was also about 14 weeks pregnant at the time and my husband was worried that she’d eventually turn on me as well. We made the decision to put her down but since then I’ve 2nd guessed the decision and have wondered if I did the right thing. I have cried myself to sleep countless times since she passed. Last night, I had a dream about her. She was with me and was healthy and happy but had a male puppy with her. We played for a while (me, her, and the puppy) but I knew she couldn’t stay and then it was time for her to go. Before she left she gave me kisses and then she kissed the puppy and left him with me. We are not planning on getting another dog, expecially since we are going to be having a baby boy within the next 2 weeks. Could that have been her way of telling me she is ok? What should I make of the puppy? I’d also like to say that she was VERY possessive of me and didn’t let my other dog sit by me. She’d also push my boys away if they were near me and it was “interfering” with her snuggle time (we snuggled every night after dinner) so for her to have a puppy with her and ok with me holding and loving on the puppy would’ve been COMPLETELY out of character for her!

  • Hello Jacqueline. I’m sorry about your loss of Lucky, and the suddenness of it. Couple of things from your message – one is that we do dream, even when we feel we don’t. It’s the mind’s way of sorting through accumulated information. We often just don’t remember the dreams, so it feels like we haven’t dreamed. And if this were my dream, I’d feel that Lucky had come to visit. Why after all this time? Who knows. Dream time is a time when different rules apply, and since physical speech isn’t involved, it’s not unusual that Lucky would use a language you understand to communicate with you. In Western culture, white is associated with purity, truth, goodness, hope, and innocence. As to what his visit means, I would look at my life and see if anything has changed recently, to make me more open, or more in need of what he and I shared when he was with me. It occurs to me to ask if you are holding some guilt around his death. He may have been coming to say he’s okay and to see how you’re doing. In any case, a dream visit from a loved pet is a gift.

  • Hello Janna,
    I am so sorry about the death of your Rottie. Making the decision to euthanize is never easy, and it’s something we often question afterwards. The bottom line is, did I make the best decision I could at the time with the information I had? The answer to that is usually yes. And crying is a healthy way to let the grief flow. Please don’t beat up on yourself, though, for making the best decision you could at the time.
    If this were my dream, I feel it’s a visit from my dog letting me know she’s okay, and letting me know she understands why I made the decision I did. In this dream the female dog who was my companion has come to introduce me to a new/young male energy, or soul. This could be a new aspect of myself, but given the pregnancy and imminent birth of a male child, I feel like it’s more of a blessing visit, with my dog visiting to not only let me know she’s okay, but also to give her blessing on the new male pup, my son.
    I’d take her picture, focus on her, and send her feelings of love and gratitude.

  • Amarissa:

    I’m nine so in my dream my ants cat that died was running to me wile I was in this huge school and I yelled OLIVER he ran to me and jumped in my arms I cuddled him I told him I loved him very very very much then my friend said get the cat and Oliver jumped out of my hands with a really loud angry meow my freinds were trying to kill him I yelled stop but they didn’t I Hurd whispering then he came back at the other end of the schooli ran to him and said I lost you ones I’m not loosing you again then poof he was gone.
    Me and him were best buddies I had another dream that there were 4 of him acting weird and weak looked young though I hugged the 2 infant of me they did nothing what was going on? Normally he would squirm and wiggle trying to get out I just want my Oliver back I would allwase go to my ants house to see him I would go out back and yell Oliver and he try to be sneaky even though I could see him then he would run as fast as he could and tackle my legs but now it’s all gone no more tabby giver cat for me no more silky fur between my finger.😭😭😭😭 I’m Onley nine I don’t deserve this!!!!! 😭😭😭😭😩😩😱😫😫😭😭😭😭😢😂😢

  • Amarissa:

    Why!!!!!!!!!!!! Me!!!why I’m just a little girl that’s nine Oliver come back I miss you fury hair ball

  • Esther:

    Last night i had a dream about my Beagle Ginger who passed away on my birthday 5/11/17. It was the saddest day ever. Last night i had a dream about her. I was cleaning my floors and heard her walking on the hard floors, i said Ginger and she came close to me to hug her with my face. She looked very puffy in the face but i hugged her and then woke up.

  • Hello Amarissa,
    I’m very sorry Oliver died and that you feel so hurt and sad. If it helps any, being sad when someone we love dies is a way of letting ourselves know how much we care.
    In your dream the friend who tried to get Oliver makes me wonder if someone in your life doesn’t understand how sad you are about him and how much you miss him.
    If this were my dream, I’d feel like Oliver visited me to let me know he’s okay and he misses me, too.
    You also asked Why Me? When we have strong feelings about something, sometimes it’s hard to remember that it’s about them, not about us, even though we feel it strongly. Cat bodies don’t last as long as people bodies do, and that can be very sad. Some part of him will always be with you as long as you remember him. He may have died, but the feelings you have for him go on.
    It might help if you talk with your aunt about Oliver, share your memories, maybe make a scrapbook, or make a card for him and put it in a place he used to lie. Each time we love, though, our hearts grow a bit bigger.

  • Michael Sales:

    hi, my cat Rex of 8 years had recently passed away June 13, 2017 unknowingly. He had been healthy all these years except for a few cuts, bruises from being an outdoor cat. When he had an open wound on his leg a few years ago, he had hid from us in a closet for a few days. Although at that time, he visited me in my dreams and spoke to me in english telling me “it hurts, please help”. What did I do? I found him in a closet at 4-5 AM and decided to take him to the animal hospital instantly, from there he had gotten stitches and healed up perfectly fine a few weeks later.
    When he passed away, he gave me no sort of signs/sickness or any visit in my dream whatsoever. Why do you think that was? My mother had recently dreamt of him looking peaceful and happy, Rex spoke to my mother and asked “how come you didn’t tell me I was sick?” My mother replied saying “we didn’t know you were sick”. That same night I saw him in my dreams sleeping peacefully, do you think it was a sign he visited us or tried communicating? He was an awesome brother/pet/friend, I miss him so much.

  • Emma:

    So I recently got a puppy and he was always with me. He was my baby and I loved him with all my heart. He died in an accident, drowned in the pool. I was so shocked and sad. I still am and blame myself. I’ve been miserable since. I’d give it all to have my baby back. I fall asleep almosf every night crying. He passed away 5 days ago, and today I woke up and realized I’d dream about him for the first time.

    So in my dream, my brother was leaving with the car, the front gate was open and someone (idk maybe a robber) was trying to get in, so my brother tries to chase this person. I’m looking outside through the window and notice my puppy is running to the gates so I don’t know whether to go out or not bc of the robber but I do. I go outside and I call my baby and he comes running to me, happy and alive and beautiful. And I kiss him and hug him.

    In my dream I didn’t know he was dead, I was just so happy to be with my dog and it felt so real.

    I don’t know if my dog is trying to tell me something or it’s just me trying to make me feel better.

    Also my birthday is tomorrow, I’m just so sad.

  • Emma:

    Also, I keep seeing dark shadows (I assume my Yorkie) and sometimes I hear noises. I don’t know if it’s just my imagination.

  • Kiara:

    I recently lost my pet Chihuahua, Coco. She was only about 8-9 years old, her passing was very different from “typical” stories I’ve heard (i.e. euthanization). She had a chronic cough that developed about a year before her passing and we took her to the vet and learned she had a small heart murmur which is apparently very common in her breed. Doc said she was very healthy otherwise and the cough is something that either comes with the murmur (bc of the heart being enlarged pressing on respiratory) or it does have something to do with her actual respiratory system, so we gave her various medications to assist and relieve the cough. Besides the cough she was otherwise content, very affectionate, loving, warm and just a wonderful dog.
    The night she died, I was bathing her since she was very smelly (she hates baths) and I remember feeling her heart racing as I held her but I figured she was just nervous or scared of the bath. I rinsed her off and after I put her in the towel, drying her off, she started to yelp; I thought perhaps her claw got stuck in the fiber of the towel but after yelping 3-4 times she slowly started to fall limp still gazing out ahead and then I realized that something was wrong and perhaps she as having a seizure. I started to stimulate her to get her to respond and she twitched a little but but still unresponsive, so I attempted to perform CPR. She quickly started to become completely motionless and her tongue was hanging out, turning blue and I did not want to come to the reality she died so I rushed her to the vet ER and they tried to resuscitate… but they could not save her and that is when it hit me that she was really gone.
    I feel very responsible for her death. I feel traumatized by experiencing this and throughout the day I keep having vivid flashbacks, I cannot stop crying, I want her back, she should not have died the way she did, in pain and scared.
    I had a dream about her last night for the first time and I cannot remember all details but I was on vacation with family (which really did happen) and instead of leaving her with a sitter like we did, we brought her with us and it felt completely normal. I remember picking her up and holding her in my arms and she just stayed nice and calm. A group of people came up and admiring her, wanted to pet her and I said, “Please don’t, she’s a biter.” Does this dream mean something? Is she visiting me? or is this just my subconscious? I miss her so much, I wish she would come and visit me in my dreams :'(

  • Ana:

    Hi, my dog got lost a week ago when I left her at my dads house while I was traveling and he forgot to close the gate and a few days after I found out I had this weird dream in which I was in really beautiful house which in the dream was my house with lots of sakura flowers and autumn leaves and as I started dancing with my mom in the garage my dog appeared on the sidewalk of the neighbor’s house and I ran to carry her inside and she was thirsty and hungry and my sister and I gave her food and water, and my poor dog, she seemed so hurt and like she tried to move her eyelids but I never got to know what happened after because I woke up and I’m really upset, because it may be me just wanting her to come home so much, because as she got lost I don’t know where or how she is, a baker close to my dad’s house did said he saw 2 guys taking her away on their car so that increases my feelings of uncertainty about how to interpret the dream.

  • Denise:

    My precious dog died in January 2016, I had to put her to sleep because she had an aggressive cancer and I didnt want her to suffer. She has come to me in dreams over the year and its always similar. I have left her for long periods of time with no food or water (which I would never do) and Im always worried that she wont be alive by the time I get there but she always is, and so happy to see me. I miss her so much and still very heart broken. I feel I will never get over it. I have her ashes and pictures at home and carry her ashes.

  • Denise:

    I also wanted to add I had her from 6 weeks old to 13 years old. She meant the world to me. I cant think about getting another pet, I just want her back.

  • Hello Esther,
    My heart is with you on the death of your Ginger. At any time the loss of a loved animal companion is sad, but especially when it happens on a day that is honored every year as a celebration.
    In dreams, floors are those things that support us, and dreams about cleaning can represent clearing out thoughts, putting our internal house in order. In short, processing feelings.
    Hearing our animals walking on the hard floor after they have crossed is one of the ways they have of reaching out to us. I also heard my dog’s toenails on the hard floor after she crossed. If this were my dream, I would feel that Ginger had come back to let me know she is okay. Very nice that you were able to hug her in your dream.
    I hope that in years to come, when you celebrate your birthday, you also can celebrate the times you and Ginger were together.

  • Derek:

    So last night I had a dream that I was awake and have a sleep paralysis episode. However I was not awake I was dreaming. I thought I was awake and having just another sleep paralysis episode. This happens to me once in a while. But never while I am a sleep. So I calmly wait for it to end but it does not. So I decided to like up at my ceiling because I usually hallucinate when I am having an episode. It is always something dark like black cloud or some creepy stuff. When I look up my dog is standing over me so I can look up all I see is her chest and I feel safe. After that I finally can move and fall off my bed (In dreamland not real life). I run to turn my light on but it won’t work. So anyways my question is did my dog enter my dream to protect me? She was sleeping right up against me when I woke up.

  • Kylie- anne:

    Greetings Rev Nancy,
    This is just a little bit of back story that I think might help in your intuitive process. Yesterday I did some maintenance on one of 2 cats graves in my back yard. They are portable as I cant bare to move house without them. Anyway I was working on my ginger cats (Salem) resting box. General weeding, trimming plants and adding extra soil. Also re adjusting the 2 figurines I have placed to keep him company and a small message headstone
    (basically says how he was my best friend and will always be in me heart). One figurine is playing a flute, the other reading a book … almost like he’s telling a story.
    I did end up touching him ( which may be significant) as I checked if I needed to top the soil, he has only been dead about a year.
    I do harbour a fair bit of guilt regarding his death even though he was an old cat and it was an accident which led to his death.

    ( The Dream )
    That night I had trouble getting to sleep and started thinking about him and feeling guilty all over again as well as sad but tried to make an effort to remember the good times.

    SO eventually I ended up having an unexpected dream if him … just before I saw Salem I had just entered a room which within my dream was my bedroom in a house that I don’t in reality live in.

    It was early evening and I was just talking to my father (who died in 2008 and sometimes often visits me in my dreams) The room we were in had warm kind of yellowish light. He asked me some kind of question I cant remember but my answer to him seemed to be reassurance that “ill be okay” and a started to walk toward a dark room to my left, which did not bother me because it was my bedroom.
    As I entered the room I noticed there was a large ceiling to floor window to my right with long curtains which were opened. Almost immediately I noticed the sound and sight of the rain outside which was very relaxing. I made my way to the window to peer out at the scene and noticed I was on the second floor facing a street similar to a previous family home I had lived in with my mother after my father died.
    There were very large silhouettes of maple-like trees across the road and a large wooden power pole with a light maybe a 1/2 a meter outside my window (could touch it if I reached). I then notice that the window is open, the upper window pain that is waste high has been slid to the left ( no fly wire ) and opens up about 2 metres worth or window. The smell of rain is there ( clean and fresh ) and the sounds of the rain is louder but still calm.
    I hear slight splashing and notice there is a figure bellow me, mulling about in a puddle under the pearly white street light. The figure is feminine with a long skirt/dress, I see only her back at first but she has a shawl she holds tightly in crossed arms around her shoulders and head. she is drenched and he clothes are dark .. monotone dark blues and greys like everything else outside and within the room. She steps in, around and finally stays within the puddle stepping in a way that almost is like a box step in a waltz.
    Movement to my left draws my attention and there sits a large black crow, it looks at me and makes almost a crow like clucking at me and then looks down at the woman. Then there is a sound to my right and I see a little brown monkey sitting there ( I think he’s eating something like a pear/nashi just judging from the colour of the yellow skin and white flesh ) after glancing at the monkey I peer back down at the women and I start saying to her, ” you should be careful, the crow and monkey are watching you ….” as I am saying this sentence my eyes are drawn to her feet as she continues stepping about and turns to look at then look at me. I notice her feet materialise into bird feet ( chicken I thought in my dream ) and then for some reason in my dream I cam to a conclusion and my statement became , ” you should be careful, the crow and monkey are watching you … witch..” she became still and then peered up at me as soon as I has said “witch” ( the word was a whisper as it seemed to take my breath away) and she almost grinned a crazy kind of smile with bright naturally pink/red lips. A smile that was from ear to ear (no teeth) with glazed over (almost elated), very wide and large (in size) eyes accompanying the expression.
    I then stepped back from the window and went to go sit on a very comfortable and think quilt ( almost like a thin mattress ) and several cushions about the place. Just as I had say down I noticed the movement of a cat enter the room from the right and as I looked at is prance along toward me and in front of the widow I noticed it was my ginger cat Salem and “Salem!”, excitedly I continued my greeting, ” hello! I haven’t seen you in so long…” as I spoke I noticed his colouring became slightly darker as he made his way away from the light of the window and to my left toward me ( in a hook like motion ) His stripes in his fur pulsed black for a second like a tiger and he also had a slight red glint in his eyes that disappeared in an instant. At the same time I noticed his tail ( which was straight up and happy) split into 2 … ” Oh !” I said ” you have 2 tails” , then they split into 4 tails ” oh , you have 4 tails, you must be dead,” I said surprised but still happy as he galloped into my arms ( with what looked like a smile that cats only seem to have ) and purred and pawed at me. He snuggled into me furiously and rolled so I could rub his belly ( which he loved) and I laughed then scooped him up in my arms and hugged him , stroked and patted him and said ” yes I missed you a lot as well! I am so glad to see you too!”…

    Then I woke up very happy but crying as I recall these lasting moments to you..

    Can you please give me some insight??? my curiosity was peaked by the other elements in my dream but in particular the transition Salem had in developing 4 tails which didn’t disappear. Also I have this nagging feeling that my encounter has a bit more significance but obviously I do not have the knowledge as to how it was.

    Thank you very much for your time on this
    kindest Regards

  • Kate:

    Hi I dreamt of my cat Sooty last night. I lost her nearly a year ago. She got run over by a car. I was and still
    am absolutely heartbroken. She was the sweetest cat I’ve ever known. I had a really special connection with her. I miss her so much. I’ve dreamt of her a few times since she passed. The first one she was on the other side of the window meowing for me to let her in and in the dream I wasn’t able to get to her but I was so glad she came back to see me. I was hoping she would as I have had several dreams of loved ones that have passed. This dream last night I was in the bath and she was was walking around it meowing and purring and I was stroking her and so pleased to see her. The next minute she got in the bath but was walking on water so I immediately knew it was a dream. Then I woke up straight away. She didn’t talk to me as such and I didn’t hear a voice but I woke up with a feeling that she was trying to send me a messsge. I’ve recently had some abnormal blood results which I am very worried about. I feel that she was trying to warn me of something but I’m not sure what. As soon as I woke up I started googling what the results could mean and there are several signs it could be cancer. I just wish she could actually speak to me.

  • Hello Michael,
    I’m sorry for your loss of your Rex. Your description of his hiding when he had a wounded leg a few years ago sounds so like a cat – they tend to go inward for healing – but also a testament to your relationship and his trust in you that he reached out for help when he knew he needed more. It’s also pretty typical that he would not show any signs of illness or weakness. Inside every domestic cat is a lion or tiger, and in the wild they can not show signs of weakness lest they become prey. It’s not unusual for our cats to be sick for awhile before we find out, if we do.
    I can’t speak to your mother’s dream, though as to your dream of him sleeping peacefully, I feel it was his way of letting you know he’s okay. That is a gift to cherish, as you do the memory of your friend.

  • Hello Emma,
    I’m so sorry about your loss of your puppy. Such a loss is hard, especially when it’s sudden and due to an accident. Blaming ourselves is the first place many of us go after the initial shock. Dreaming of him 5 days after his death aligns with the belief in some faith traditions (notably Buddhism) that it takes a number of days for the soul to transition from the body to the other side.
    All dreams come in service of the dreamer. In our dreams we’re honest with ourselves, and dreams encourage us and point out what we’re working on, but don’t try to make us feel better unless that’s the truth. If this were my dream, I’d feel the setting you describe (open gate, possible robber) as relating to the circumstances of the puppy’s death. That he came running to me in the dream, appearing happy and alive, would tell me he wants me to know he’s okay and he loves me.
    As to seeing shadows and hearing noises, it may well be your Yorkie coming to visit.
    I do suggest sitting with his picture, or a toy or collar of his, and talking to him. Tell him what you’re feeling, ask his forgiveness for what you feel you did wrong, and tell him you love him. When we can’t go back and fix something we feel we did wrong, we can only ask forgiveness and commit to doing it differently the next time around.

  • Sara Bethwaite-Anderson:

    Hello Nancy,
    I wonder if you can help me understand the dreams I am having about my beloved dog that passed away a few months ago. The first dream I had was that I felt him jump onto my bed and i started to play with him, my other dog also then jumped up and started to play with us both, it was a nice dream. My second dream was a little more disturbing as i seen him upset. There was a child that I have never seen before hurting him, I called to him and he ran to me and we cuddled each other. He then let me know that he had a painful spot on his inside leg and when I touched it he jumped. I was upset and told him that I no longer had the power to help him. I woke up with a strong smell of him, but I found the dream confusing because I was so happy to cuddle him and see him again, but upsetting because he seemed destressed.
    I understand that i am struggling with his death, but really just want to understand these dreams.
    Many Thanks sara

  • Hello Kiara,
    I’m very sorry about Coco’s death, and that you feel so responsible for it. Please do talk with your vet about the progression of her symptoms and what your vet feels contributed to them and led to Coco’s death. We as humans are quick to blame ourselves.
    When the death is traumatic, as you experienced with Coco, our tendency is to focus on and replay those days/hours/moments over and over. When you find yourself doing that, please also think of times when you were happy and playing or being together. Let the bad memory be balanced by the good ones.
    Hold her picture or something of hers and talk to her. Ask her forgiveness. In doing so you’ll also be asking it of yourself. Our animals love us unconditionally; it is we who want to punish ourselves for things we feel we did wrong.
    As to your dream, I’m glad you did dream about her. If it were my dream, I’d feel Coco is letting me know she is always with me and comforting me. In dreamwork tradition, all parts of the dream are parts of the dreamer. I feel the warning others [parts of me] that the Coco part of me is a “biter” reflects the blame and punishment I’m inflicting on myself.
    Please be gentle with yourself.

  • Hello Ana,
    I’m very sorry your dog got out and was lost. I hope by now you have some resolution. It’s hard for us to come to terms with a lost animal, because unless they’re found or return we never know for sure. I hope you have taken the actions to publicize a lost dog (see the Resources page of my website for a list).
    I looked up the symbolism of sakura flowers: “the sakura reminds viewers that life is short and beautiful” []. Autumn leaves remind us of the end of growing cycle, when the earth prepares for rest.
    If this were my dream, I’d feel that my dog came to me for comfort, to let me know she wants to come home but probably isn’t able to. With the sakura flowers and autumn leaves, it also feels like a goodbye.
    Whatever your spiritual tradition, I suggest that you pray or meditate with her, let her know that you love her, send her blessings and love. And give thanks for the time you were able to spend together.

  • Hello Derek,
    Dreaming of paralysis can reflect a feeling of helplessness, or facing some kind of conflict or emotional crisis – unable to move forward and feeling pinned down or paralyzed in some aspect of waking life. In this dream the dog served as protector and broke the spell, allowing dreamer to move. Dreamer wants to shed more light on it (understand it), but can’t.
    There are a several ways to look at it, and all are valid. Dogs in dreams can represent the part of self that is unrestrained; with their loyalty, dogs can represent the dreamer’s soul; and yes, dreamer’s own dog can enter the dream to protect and help the dreamer feel safe. Only the dreamer can tell which if any of these resonates best with the feelings at the time. It may help to remember how you felt when wakening.

  • Kerryanne:

    We had to put our nearly 14 yr old dog down on the 1st July. I grew up with him and loved him very much, his death did really affect me. I just recently had another baby and I had a dream that my new baby was my dog and I had to put him down. In this dream it really did feel like my baby was my dog rusty, only I had to give him 2 tablets so I mushed them up in a stew, and fed it too him – I was watching him closely waiting for him to die in the dream and hugging him, but it was seeming as if it wasn’t working. He kept rolling his eyes and falling asleep but kept waking up again. I didn’t get to see any more as I woke up. Could my dog be trying to tell me something through my child?

  • Katie:

    3 weeks ago today we had to put our Marley to sleep 2 days after finding out she had a HUGE tumor in her belly. The vet gave her a month but sadly she decreased very fast so we had to make the decision to let her rest once she started the panting. Marley was a yellow lab that we took in when she was about 5 or 6 and had her for 7 years. She was MY baby. She favored me and would cry every single time I walked in the door. The best dog and best friend I could ever ask for. Well this morning (on her 3 week anniversary) I had a dream about her. She walked into the room and found me. Ran to me crying like she always did and buried her head into me like she always did. I hugged her and pet her and told her how much I missed and loved her. The weirdest part is that I was really crying in my sleep. It was an amazing experience that ive never had anything like. I woke up. Dried my tears and called my husband. What could that have been about? Was she telling me that she’s ok?

  • Sherriann:

    Hi there,

    I recently had a dream about my 6 year old orange tabby cat named Chester who passed away suddenly on March 19 2017 due to a heart issue the vets believe. This was very hard on me, it was sudden and unexpected. He had emotionally helped me through a lot of pain in the 6 years we were together. The dream I had was of me being outside, in parents yard on a sunny afternoon and I called his name, he was hiding behind a tree and came out running towards me. He turned and started heading towards the field, right behind a young girl with the grass taller than him and her, the sun was beaming on them. They looked happy although when I called Chesters name he did not listen but kept following this young girl. I often do not remember dreams but since his passing I have not had any of him. This one sat with me, I’m not sure if this is him telling me goodbye and that he’s ok and happy. I do not know who the young girl could have been. I’m hoping this was a happy encounter since I can’t remember any other part of the dream… any input would be great. Thank you.

  • Hello Denise,
    I’m very sorry about your dog’s cancer and death. I’ve come back to your dream several times before answering, and always get the same feeling about it.
    If this were my dream, it’s showing me that I feel I neglected or abandoned my dog (leaving her with no food or water). This could be a reflection of my feelings that I could have done more to save her, and/or questioning my decision to euthanize her – did I do it too soon or too late? Yet in the dream she’s alive and happy to see me. This feels to me like my dog wants me to know she’s okay, and loves me still. She wants me to feel better. Even after death, the relationship lives on in love and memory.
    Guilt is a normal response that accompanies grief. And grieving shows that we care deeply. It’s hard sometimes to remember that it is the disease that killed her, and the decision to euthanize is the hardest choice made out of the greatest love.
    I do hope you will consider attending a pet loss group to talk about your feelings in the company of others who have had similar losses. It can help us get unstuck from focusing on the final moments/actions and put that in the context of the whole life together. Focus on the love your dog is showing you in your dreams.

  • Hello Kylie-anne
    Yes a significant dream. I don’t want to go into the whole dream in this public space, but if you would like to schedule a consultation to go into it more deeply, please email me ( I also can refer you to a couple of other dream workers if you prefer.
    Here, my comments focus on the appearance of your cat, Salem. Notice that he approached you from the left side, which is our receptive side. Cats in dreams tend to mirror our feminine aspects as well as the independent, enigmatic, mysterious parts of ourselves. With the nature of this dream, it feels that Salem is both himself and the parts of me a cat represents. A cat uses its tail to communicate, among other things. The number 2 represents partnership, duality, dialogue. The number 4 represents stability, responsibility, and the essence of the material world – directions, seasons, elements. In Tarot, the #2 card is the High Priestess, the card of feminine intuition and insight. The #4 card is the Emperor, a symbol of masculine strength and resolve. Given all that, if this were my dream I’d feel Salem was reminding me of the capabilities and parts within myself (encouraging), and also, as himself, showing me that he has magic, too. So as well as receiving an encouraging touch-in from my loved cat, I have an ally in the dreamtime realm.

  • Hello Kate,
    I hope your test results are back and you have a clear path of action.
    And I’m sorry about your loss of Sooty – sudden death can be hard to adjust to. Her coming back to visit in dreams sounds very comforting. The first dream of her being on the other side of the window feels like she also was adjusting to her sudden death, wanting but unable to be with you. With the other dreams and the recent one you wrote about, it feels like she’s found a way to check back in with you and let you know she’s okay, and that your relationship continues.
    For the recent dream, if it were my dream, I’d feel it is indeed a message. I don’t know your faith tradition, but walking on water is one of Jesus’ miracles, which would lead me to feel she’s saying all things are possible with faith. From a more metaphysical viewpoint, water represents emotion. Bathing in a tub is being submerged in a controlled body of emotion, and may also indicate the need for cleansing and self care. My cat walks on the water, carrying herself on top of the pool of emotion without getting submerged in it. Given that I’m worried about abnormal blood test results, it feels to me that she’s reminding me to have faith, to cleanse myself (internally and externally), and to stay above the emotions, not get soaked in them.

  • Hello Sara,
    Your first dream of your loved dog sounds like a lovely visit from him, a touching-in from him to connect with you.
    In the second dream, if it were my dream, I’d feel it was more about me. In dream tradition, there can be visits, and otherwise all parts of the dream are parts of the dreamer. A dog – even one who looks like my own dog – can represent my own soul, my loyalty, my natural feelings and devotion. The child I haven’t seen before can be a part of me I don’t recognize, such as a part of me that is somehow angry or resentful that he died and left me, or is pushing him away because the grief is too strong, or some part of me that feels getting past the grief is somehow disloyal?
    Legs are how I move through the world under my own power. By ‘inside his leg’ it feels like the thigh, the strongest, largest muscle in my body. There’s a sore spot in this large, strong part of me. In my dream, smelling my loved dog on waking up makes me feel my loved dog did come to visit, to show me that I am hurting and it affects how I move through the world.
    Even though in my dream I told him I no longer had the power to help him, I do have the power to help me and that part of me. It feels like my dog wants me to remember him as my loved companion, and that our relationship lives on even if he’s no longer physically with me. If I do have another dog, to let that dog help me through the grief. If the other dog in the first dream was a dream dog, it may be an indication that my dog wants me to have another companion.
    It may help to talk to someone, such as a pet loss group or a counselor, or write out my feelings in a journal, or sit quietly and talk to my dog about how I feel. Grieving is something that takes its own way and its own time.

  • Ella:

    Nacy please help me out. Our dogs is missing for 2 weeks now.I left my dogs in my mom house beause of work but sadly my parents didnt notice that my dogs was on the street and my dogs was captured in the dog shelter. My parents told me that they can get my dog back after a few days. Days past and the people at the dog shelter told us that our dog is escaped from the shelter. They search for my dogs even my parents but unfortunately no sign of my dog has found.
    Last night i had a dream that my dog was came house and they were happy because he go home and he was clean and healthy. Please i want to know if we can still find our missing dog. It was 3weeks already the last time I saw him. Thank you so much I will appreciate your help.

  • Hello Ella,
    I’m so sorry about your dog being lost. I usually answer comments/questions in the order received, but given that time is of the essence in finding lost animals, I hope you’re doing all the things needed to locate him. I have a list of things to do on the Resources page of my website. I hope your dog was microchipped. I also suggest you Google map dowsing for lost dogs. There are some talented map dowsers out there who have a pretty good success rate at helping locate missing animals.

    As to your dream, I don’t get a clear sense of whether your dog is alive or in spirit, but whichever it is, he’s showing you that he loves you and wants to be with you.

    Please keep looking and keep faith that he’s okay. It can take awhile for him to find his way back home. Good luck.

  • Hello Kerryanne,
    I’m so sorry about the death of your dog Rusty. I think of euthanasia as the hardest choice made out of the deepest love, for we wouldn’t do it unless we felt it was the best, most merciful decision at the time.
    If this were my dream, I’d feel it reinforced my feelings that Rusty was like another child to me, as well as a sibling since we grew up together. He’s been part of my life for a long time. Losing him is like losing the connection to that part of my childhood. I feel Rusty is showing me that, like my child, he will always be part of me – sometimes not conscious (asleep), but always there.
    It feels to me like you and your baby now have him watching over you from the other side.

  • Hello Katie,
    I’m so sorry about the death of your dog Marley. I think of euthanasia as the hardest choice made out of the deepest love, for we wouldn’t do it unless we felt it was the best, most merciful decision at the time. It sounds like you had a very loving relationship.
    If this were my dream, I’d feel Marley did come to visit me, to let me know she’s okay, and wants me to remember those touching things about her. (Too often we focus on the illness, the last days.)
    Crying is a release of emotion, and is very healing. It shows the depth of caring. It feels like Marley wants me to be okay, too. Remember that relationships continue even after the death, for the heart still loves and the memories remain.

  • Hello Sherriann,
    I’m really sorry about your Chester’s passing. Loss can be difficult under any circumstances, and often is more difficult when the death is sudden and we don’t have time to prepare.
    A question for you to think about: about how old was the young girl in your dream, and what experiences did you have when you were that age? That may have a part to play in this dream, for in dream work, all parts of the dream are parts of the dreamer. If this were my dream, then, the little girl is me. Only the dreamer knows why I show up as that age. And only the dreamer will know which of the possibilities that came to me feel the closest.
    The setting in this dream is open and sunny, unrestricted, in nature. I’m in my parents’ yard, a place where I should feel safe. Feels like summer. Sun itself represents creative energy, light and insight. Chester comes out from behind a tree, which symbolizes the connection between earth (grounding) and sky (spirituality). Cats also can represent our feminine nature, our independence. Grass can represent renewal and new growth. This is tall grass, mature. If this were my dream, these things together feel that Chester, who has helped me through some difficult times, wants me to go back and connect with this little girl who is me. If that time in my life was good, perhaps it’s to reconnect with the joy and innocence of that period; if it was not so good, it could be to help heal her. Another possibility is that the young girl is an undeveloped part of me that Chester wants me to get to know. In any case, he’s going to help me connect with the creative, natural parts of the young me.
    Keep in mind that relationships don’t end with death, they shift into another form.

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"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms." - George Eliot
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Gandhi
"There is little that separates humans from other sentient beings – we all feel pain, we all feel joy, we all deeply crave to be alive and live freely, and we all share this planet together." - attributed to Gandhi
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