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Dreams and Their Interpretations
Dreams Posted at the Dream Forum & Interpreted by Gerard

Dream Title: Childhood Pet

Submitted by Chiara
Age: 27
Location: Toronto
Date Posted: May 1, 2005

The Dream

I was with my dog from childhood. I was so happy to be reunited. It was a feeling of such joy, and I kept thinking that this time I would do better by him, as though I had neglected him in the past. And I would think this each time that I saw his back legs. They were cut off, or rotted off. They were stumps, and it was somehow my fault, my neglect, that they had become like that. His fur was much lighter then it had actually been, almost like this time, I was really seeing him. We were both very excited to see each other in this dream. The overall feeling was a stab of pain and regret about the past, and joy that I was getting another chance.

The Interpretation

I have found that in most circumstances a dream with childhood recollections or experiences are actually speaking to those experiences. The dog in your dream is the central metaphor that needs to be determined and understood. The fact that the dog a 'he' gives me the impression that dream is communicating something about your animus, your masculine qualities. The dream's time imagery also gives me cause to believe that what you lost {and are now being reunited with via the dream} was something lost during your childhood. This lost aspect has been neglected, and it something that you will be better off with by reuniting with it.

One possibility of the dog symbology may be addressing the masculine aspect of aggressiveness, assertiveness, taking charge, being in control. Not having back legs prevents you from having the proper 'legs' to stand on. The legs, part of your masculine aspect were cut off and perhaps you blame yourself for the neglect you have shown toward this aspect of your psyche. There may have been some experience, perhaps involving something or someone other than your dog, that has robbed you of this particular aspect.

The lighter fur and the fact that you were 'really seeing him' may be a reference to the fact you are finally recognizing this important aspect that has been lost and/or neglected. Being reunited with this aspect should be exciting since it is a vital part of a balanced self and life.

Another possibility of the dog symbol may be it represents an actual person. It could even be speaking to an actual experience with your pet dog although I see this as less acceptable. If this is the case there may have an experience as a child where you were too aggressive, too assertive with someone, or perhaps even your own dog, and you still have regrets over your actions. The fur symbology would be the same, you are finally seeing the past experiences. The masculine aspects, even as a child could hold true also, the fact that you may have been to aggressive, disagreeable or even cruel to someone or something.

You state the overall feeling was a stab of pain and regret about the past, and a joy that you were getting another chance. The regret part may fit with the second possibility. The fact that you have another chance may just be the dream providing you with information about past behavior, and by acknowledging it you have reconciled the bad. But also, when such chances are seen in a dream there is a stimulus that 'takes you back', and thus the dream. Has there been any childhood aquaintances that fit in your dream that you have come across just recently?
{Just yesterday I had an old high school mate contact me}. Or has there been an experience with dogs that may be a stimulus?

Look back at your childhood experiences during the time you had your dog and see what may be there. By putting energies into recalling the past you often see things that have been forgotten or even repressed. Let me know what you come up with and perhaps we can better see what the dream message is about.


A couple of more observations about your dream. If in fact you lost a part of your masculine adentity during childhood, it would be reflected today in your behavior as an adult. Do you find yourself lacking some of the masculine aspects I mentioned, not being assertive enough, not taking charge as you wish you could, etc.? This would say a lot about the dream message. Yet, it may not be the only aspect of the dream message.

Also, if there was an experience where the masculine was involved in your childhood, there may be that possibility there was some masculine person, a male, who was repsonsible for it. Mistrust of the masculine could be caused by childhood experiences. Is there a mistrust of men in your life today? Has there been a recent experience where that trust may have been restored in some sense?

If indeed the dream is communicating an experience related to childhood, it is important to resolve that childhood experience. Acknowledging it is the first step but resolving it may take more effort. Taking the time to reflect {something we do naturally when we enter mid-life} will provide you with information that you have long forgotten.

In closing.
Some dreams come across with certain clarity, I am able to see {using Jungian dream techniques} into the dream. The particulars are seldom available, just the framework. I try to point out all the possibilities especially if there is real doubt to the dream message. If you will take what I have said and examine the possibilities I believe you will come up with answers addressing the particulars, on your own. I do hope you will share your conclusions. The Forum is a learning experience for all who drop in and have an interest in dreams.


Response to Interpretation

Hello, and thank you for your response, I think it was quite accurate. Both interpretations seem to apply.

When I was sixteen, my dog was very old and ill. We brought him to the vet to put him down, but my mother waivered, because my dog started looking a bit better, and seemed to be trying to hobble away. I took control of the situation, and said that we should really just do it now, because he was only getting worse, and will suffer more. I thought I was being strong, and doing the right thing at the time. So that is where the regret fits in.

Next, you mentioned reclaiming the masculine side of myself, which also applies. I have recently become more assertive in my life, and even recognize situations that call for more assertiveness, where before I wouldn't even have noticed the need.

I have recently been going over my past experiences, and acknowledging the times where I did not act in the best of ways, although I did not know it at the time. SO in a sense I have revisited with some old friends, at least in my mind.

Life is full of new things for me right now, and is changing very fast. I am in a way looking at my life and myself in a new way, lately. It is as though I was maimed in some way in the past, but now, I have gotten those parts back and I can now move forward, in a more full, and conscious way.

You mentioned a mistrust on the masculine, something I never thought I felt. But recently,I met my father for the first time in my life. He had deserted my mother with four kids. I never knew him, and never felt impacted by this, but after meeting him for the first time, it was as though a piece of myself was acknowledged, and made real somehow.

Also, my mother was pretty agressive, and i found as a child that this kind of behaviour did not work coming from me, so I would disociate instead. I do that less and less these days, and am more present in my life, so I am seeing things as if for the first time,with more clarity, and at times more assertion.

I think it was a very positive dream, one that was sent perhaps as a reminder that, yes that was me in the past, but now I can see myself and my life more clearly. My relationship with my dog simply paralelled my relationship with myself, so the mix of joy and painful regret fit.

Gerard's Response

Thanks for your detailed response. I believe you have come to a good understanding of the emotional impact of your dream. Dreams try to communicate what is often not consciously known. Dreams are indeed direct links to the unconscious. When they are interpreted properly then the energies they possess open up and what was hidden and not understood is suddenly realized and has meaning.

If you have other dreams or comments please post them at the Forum. We appreciate the responses we get that helps us all learn how the dream functions. And it is so good to know that we at the forum can be of some help in the personal understanding of the inner life of our dreamers.
Thanks again,


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