Growing up, I had few pets. Fish, mostly, because my dad liked them. A hamster, until he caught pneumonia and died. I always wanted a cat, but that was Not an Option, until I moved out and married a fellow cat person. We have had cats almost our entire married lives.
About eight years ago, in a moment of blind insanity, we got a dog. Otis is the bane of my existence. (the short version: he craps everywhere, and there is nothing I can do about it.) But my children LOVE him. We take good care of him. He'll be the happiest carpet-befouling canine on the planet, until such time as Dog calls him home.
But let me tell you something I didn't know about dogs, until this year: dogs can have nightmares.
Sure, sure, we've all watched dogs twitching in their sleep, like they're chasing squirrels or something. It's adorable. But my dog doesn't do that. Most of the time, he just lays there and snores. Barely moves a muscle.
Once in a while, though (like at 2am today) he screams, in his sleep.
It is not a doggy sound. It is almost human.
It is more like a crazed, machete-wielding maniac has leaped into my bedroom, intent upon killing our entire family and stealing our souls. It gets the adrenaline PUMPIN', in old Christine.
After a couple rounds of "OTIS! IT'S OK! WAKE UP! OTIS! OTIS! WAKE UP!" he goes back to sleep, and snoring. He's happy as can be.
I, however, am up for the foreseeable future.