Puppy Comforts Older Dog Having a Nightmare

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Ariel Goodman has two golden retrievers: a puppy and an old dog. One day, they were napping together when the older dog had a bad dream. This woke up the puppy, who comforted his packmate until the dream subsided.

-via VA Viper

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Nobody can tell if the dog is dreaming: "Then he told me, very tenderly, that it can be dangerous to believe things just because you want them to be true. You can get tricked if you don’t question yourself and others, especially people in a position of authority. He told me that anything that’s truly real can stand up to scrutiny."
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How does Ariel know the dog was having a nightmare? My four-year-old Schnauzer was behaving the same way yesterday while he snoozed. I thought he's probably dreaming of some dog passing his house and he's defending his turf even in his sleep, by giving that dream intruder a good sublingual woofing at. When he's awake, woofing at passers-by is some the best parts of his day. Why would that change with age?
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