Wednesday, February 27, 2013


When I first started thinking about a service dog, one of the things I hoped my dog could do for me was to wake me up at night when I have nightmares.  You can't really train a dog to do that.  Some dogs will do it, but it's usually something they do naturally, not something they are trained to do.  In order to train a dog to do that, someone would have to stay awake all night and watch me for signs that I was having a nightmare, then cue the dog to wake me when that happened.  Someone would have to do that many times, rewarded the dog when he did wake me, in order to train him to do it.  Since I don't know anyone that wants to spend night after night after night watching me sleep, Isaac has not been trained to wake me from nightmares.

I thought he might do it on his own.  I thought maybe if I was restless in my sleep, it would wake him and then he would wake me.  He sometimes sleeps with me, but not always; sometimes he sleeps on the floor or on the loveseat nearby.  I'm sure he sometimes hears me when I have nightmares, if I am really restless or if I yell in my sleep (I used to do that a lot, but don't do it so often anymore, but still do it occasionally).  If I wake up, I can easily summon him, if I need him.  But that's not the same as his waking me from nightmares.

Well, last Sunday morning, about 6:30 am, Isaac woke me up.  I was having a nightmare at the time, but I assumed he was just waking me up because it was 6:30 and he wanted to go out to pee.  I thought it was  just a coincidence that I was having a nightmare at the time.  I was glad he woke me when he did, though.

But yesterday morning, he woke me at 6:10 am.  That's a typical time for him to get up and want to go out.  But I happened to be having a nightmare at that time, too.  Maybe it is just a coincidence.  But maybe he is going to start waking me from nightmares now.  I really wish he would.

1 comment:

  1. He's one heck of a smart fellow. I'm sure he can sense your distress. Hope he can continue to help you in this way.