I was startled from a nightmare in which I had forgotten about Bowdu.
In this dream, I was petting Bowdu and marveling at what a wonderful Shiba he was, when suddenly I realized that this wasn’t actually Bowdu. We had given up the “real” Bowdu three years ago when we enlisted him in a space dog program (which is total lunacy, as Bowdu would have made a terrible recruit had such a program even existed). Though we replaced him with an adopted Shiba that was exactly the same age, gave him the same name, and absorbed him into our life as if nothing had changed, the dog inside that fur was not the same.
Panic triggered the nightmare switch when I realized my memories of someone so central to my life could have been so easily written over, as if he’d been nothing more than a bad relationship. How could my mind have forgotten someone who’d been so close for so many years? It was terrifying to be confronted with the idea that my own consciousness was capable of such betrayal. If I cannot trust my own mind and its feelings, what else remains?
My memory — or lack thereof — frightens me these days. My mind races and loses itself and resurfaces to spook me in the hours that I try to hide from worry. I’ve got a pretty good idea of where my anxieties stem from, I just didn’t realize they’d manifest in nightmares about my dog.