The Dream: I was startled awake by this nightmare. Clark and I are in bed, asleep. Our dog, Toffee, comes bounding in and jumps on the bed between us. He clamps his teeth onto my finger and won't let go. I scream again and again for Clark's help; he doesn't respond. Finally, screaming over and over, “Clark, you aren't paying attention to me!” I awaken, feeling very shaken.
Interpretation: On the surface this dream seems to be saying that I feel neglected by my husband, and that could certainly be one of its meanings. But the level of terror I experienced in the dream hints at another meaning. I've been grabbed by the instinctive (my animal, the dog) and it won't relent. The rational (Clark, my animus) ignores the problem.
The dog in the dream, Toffee, died some years ago, and the terror the dream conjures seems consistent with a primal fear such as that of dying. What might have triggered this nightmare? Last night I was reading George Eliot's “Daniel Deronda.” In the book the character Gwendolyn responds with terror to a painting of a dead face and someone fleeing.