I was back at a shelter. There were other dogs and it was loud with their crying. People walked back and forth but no one looked at us... no kind glance or gentle smile. They didn't feed us. I felt so hungry.
Then it became dark. I was still in the shelter but no lights ever came on. The shelter grew quiet... no more barks or whines were reverberating off of the cold concrete floors and unforgiving steel kenneling. The shadows of people seemed to glide by in the darkness but there were no footsteps. The silence was deafening. There I remained cold, hungry and in the blackness... alone.
In my sleep I began crying loud enough to wake both Mom and Dad. They sat up in bed and touched me. Mom cradled my head and woke me with gentle caresses while Dad tuggged my tail in his funny-joke way to tell me that I was okay. It was just a dream. I am at home where I will always and forever be.
When I first was adopted I had nightmares all of the time. Sometimes I would wake the house several times a night in my dream panic. There are some people who say that animals can't think or can't reason. Some people think that we only have rudimentary emotions but it isn't true. I can tell you for a fact that things hurt us and scare us. Even with the best homes and the greatest rehabilitiation these things stay with us. We remember. We know the darkness from whence we came.
If you adopt a pet with an uncertain back ground or one that you know contained cruelty please be gentle. Be patient. We heal but we can still be affected years later.
As for me, I was able to get back to sleep. I made sure that I rested my head on Mom's feet and draped my tail over Dad's legs. With them I am safe from everything. Even the darkness.