I was moving empty cardboard boxes around an empty field with an old friend, Dan Willems and some other people whom I did not know, when these oddly stylized creatures began running past us at the top of the field, right to left.

The creatures appeared to be something like a surrealist animator’s version of a fox, tail flying straight out behind and body and head roughly the same cylindrical shape and diameter as the tail. They were somewhat like stoles and somewhat like pencils or pipecleaners but larger, more like a midsize dog. They were mostly white but pied, with black muzzles and patches of red, brown, gold, peach and black.

Someone asked what the creatures were, and Dan explained that they were the souls of the dead, because the neighboring field was in the land of death. We all went to look over the hedgerow into the neighboring field and someone’s dog noticed one of the stole creatures running over into the field.
There was some consternation but the dog, a big black mixed lab,was playfully running around the field and returned when called.

“Hey,” I told Dan. “I bet Rocket’s over there.” I went up to the gap in the hedge that allowed access and stepped across. As I moved down the field, I heard the fading calls of the people I had been working with, but did not take any meaning from them.

At the bottom of the field there were three dogs, lying on their sides in the grass, backs toward the top of the field, still but breathing, moving their ears. At rest.

As I approached, I could see that the middle one was Rocket. He put his head up when I called him as I approached. He did not get up, or wag his tail in greeting. I put my hand out for him to sniff. Cautiously, he did so.

He reacted with supernatural alarm, leaping high and twisting back and away to land in a seated position several feet away from where he had been and away from the other dogs and where I was. As he did so his black saddle coat changed, flashing in the late afternoon sun, to a shiny labrador red.

I approached him again as he looked at me warily, and once again as I extended my hand to him he shied back. I called to him and held out my hand but he would not come.
Feeling terribly sad, I realized I shouldn’t push it further and said “You don’t want to,” whereupon Viv shook me more awake and told me I was talking in my sleep. I was able to tell her the entire dream, and did so in slightly less detail than I have just written it.