On the road with my dogs, the moment I look forward to the most is going to sleep in my little trailer with a heap of blankets and all of my dogs surrounding me.
It really is a primal thing when you think about it – to not only share a space with others but to sleep in a “pack” or group. So long ago when people and wolves first started working together and slowly began living together, when dogs were truly working dogs, people and their wolves and later their dogs would sleep in the same space.
For safety or due to lack of abundant shelter, people and animals would gather together at night. You really become aware of how comforting it is when you close your eyes to the sounds of others deeply breathing.
So maybe a week ago I was in my trailer with three of my dogs. One was next to me and others were snuggled up in a corner. All were slowly falling asleep and the two boys in the corner were doing major synchronized breathing. I almost recorded it but, as always, when I got the camera out they fell quiet.
Snuggled into each other, they perfectly alternated their breaths – one would breathe in exactly as the other breathed out. Then they breathed in and out at the same time. This went on for a good half an hour or more. They were so synchronized and it had a major relaxing effect on the whole pack, including me.
After some time, they entered REM sleep and began dreaming… My Labradoodle began kicking his legs as he ran through dreamland and right as he did, the other dogs did, too! No joke! And after a while he stopped and continued breathing deeply and calmly. The rest followed his lead – all deep asleep.
This observation really moved me, how in-sync they all were even though they were sleeping. I closed my eyes and had the best nights sleep I’ve had in a long time!