Do all dogs dream? This one sure does. Sometimes it wonders if its dreams are real or if they’re things that have happened to it in the past. Every night she wishes tonight would be the night she has one of her good dreams.
In some dreams she's with her best friend; Her master. She sleeps tucked underneath his armpit, they go to the park often, and even sit together calmly while watching the duck families float across the pond.
In other dreams, it’s darker. Much fear. She recalls being taken into the air by bright lights and seeing tiny humans with gray skin and big eyes. She can remember smelling but not seeing; hearing but not feeling.
The good thing about living in Tokyo was that she never found enough peace and quiet to get much unbroken sleep. Between the car horns, trains, buses, construction workers working at all hours of the day, and thousands of conversations happening all at once, good sleep was a luxury our furry friend did not get to have.
You see, this particular puppy had been living in a small alleyway, underneath a stack of old restaurant crates the landlord never bothered to move elsewhere. She can’t quite remember how she arrived there or where she even came from.
The bustling energy of the city slowly but surely washes the residual memories of the dream away, but one thing continues to resonate within the young pup each and every day. She can hear a human voice telling her her favorite words. Every time her human would say the words, she remembered how fast her heart would beat, and how wildly her tail would wag. “Do only good, always,” her master would say. “Even when the world tells you otherwise, do only good always.”
So good, the dog would do.
Each morning the pup would begin her patrol around the city. Though young and frail with very little to eat, the dog’s spirit was not to be taken lightly. Tales are told today of those early days, when powerless Doga would save others time and time again.
About the time she saw an injured bird lying behind the dumpster. Doga stayed cuddled next to that bird for 6 days, fending off anything and anyone that even got close during its recovery.
Or perhaps the time a crying child was lost in a park, and Doga came over to calm the child down. After spending a few moments building trust, the dog slowly walked the child back to the trail, where the parents were desperately searching high and low to find their son.
And who can forget when she saw a young woman walking home in the rain late at night. She sensed a dark figure with evil intent following close behind. Doga bit the man’s hand the moment he moved to attack the woman. It sank its teeth into the man’s fingers before leaping for his face, gnawing at whatever it could latch onto. The young woman ran away safely.
She found that doing good felt good. That it gave her purpose and a sense of connection with others. But she also found that mankind was full of darkness. Each act of goodness introduced into Doga’s life an act of evil. When she saved the injured bird, it was because she saw a young human violently swatting the bird down as it got too close to their food. The child who had been crying in the park was also being followed by an old man with a pocket full of sweets. The hand she bit to save the young woman ended up beating young Doga with pent-up rage.
Doing only good always seemed to be something not everyone else agreed to follow. The night she saved that woman, she limped home and crawled into her hiding spot.
She gets her favorite bone. The one that’s always been by her side. She walks back out into the pouring rain, and suddenly barks, shocked at another dog she just noticed nearby!
She stares at the other dog for a minute and starts to wag her tail. The other dog returns the kindness with its own tail wag sent back. Thinking she’s made a friend, she smiles wide and walks closer to smell the new dog.
Alas, it was merely its own reflection in the puddle below. She saunters back under the crates and whimpers softly. Tears hidden among the raindrops, she whispers to herself, “I hope tonight I will get to have one of my good dreams.”