I was told as a child that I had an “overly active imagination.”
This label may have been assigned after I was pretty sure that Little Green Men from Mars lived in my closet. I slept with the light on in my closet for longer than I care to admit after a tonsillitis-fever induced nightmare convinced me they were there.
Unfortunately, this trait appears to run in the family.
When my older son was in elementary school, he was suffering from an inability to fall asleep. He told me when I turned off the light he saw “scary things.” After a couple of months I convinced him to tell me what he saw in the dark.
“The School Principal,” he said, holding back tears. When I probed further he told me he had broken a school rule by throwing a snowball on the school playground. Since it was by then the month of May and in the mid-sixties every day, I told him that he really didn’t have anything to worry about. That said, he still wanted to sleep with a night-light on.
So it really doesn’t surprise me that my dog Buddy is a victim of these darker imaginings too.
He is afraid of plastic bags.
I try to reassure him and explain to him that in my knowledge no dog has ever been attacked by a plastic bag, but when I talk to him it all sounds like this to him:
On his walk today we encountered a small plastic bag blowing ominously in the wind. Tail curled under, he pulled away on the leash, certain that horrible things would happen to him if he got any closer.
That’s O.K. Buddy, I understand.
Let’s walk in a different direction.