They lie there : soaking their aged joints in the warm sunlight : quiet for the most part; but-from time to time, their paws will move; and sometimes the movement will spread to their upper legs.
They breathe hard at such times, and sometimes they whine softly, or emit a little bark.
"Look !", we say. " The dog is dreaming."
Ah, but what is he dreaming of ?
Does he race with the ancient pack he descends from , and whine as it closes in on the caribou they have wounded and brought to bay ?
Is it something from his own time ? When he was a puppy, did he race this way against his littermates, and engage them in noisy-but-harmless bite fights ?
Does he flee the old master, who mistreated him so cruelly before he was sent to the pound to die ?
I don't know....and, still pondering, I slip off into my own world of dreams.
My dreams are so close at hand these days ----and I wonder where they come from.
Who are these people ? Where is this place - and why am I so familiar with it ? Why am I dreaming about things I never did - and who is this all-new, greatly-improved "ME" in some of my dreams ?
Is he what I could have been ? Should have been ??
Not likely !
The deck of the carrier rises and falls-pitches and yaws as I come in to re-arm and re-fuel my dark blue Grumman Wildcat. One of the deck crew salutes as I climb down. I return his salute, but tell him to belay that Officers' Country crap, and get me flying again.
Behind us I see Mount Suribachi - where my fellow Marines are fighting and dying in the black volcanic sand; but the ordnance we are are dropping on the Japanese is finally taking effect.
I watch as they fill my gas tanks, reload my guns,and put bombs under the wings-and catch a quick glimpse of myself in a reflecting surface.
Red-headed, dressed in Marine jungle green fatigues; wearing a yellow Mae West flotation jacket, and a comforting-but-probably-useless sidearm in a shoulder holster...
Red-headed ? Me ?? A combat pilot ?? Where in hell did that come from, and why was the roar of battle so loud, and the stench of fire and fuel and death so pungent ??
Do we just sort out our mental baseball cards when we dream---or do we cross paths with another, parallel lifeline ?
I wonder if the old dog knows ????