Nozomi is an interesting dog. She has all the creature comforts a puppy could ask for and plenty of space to use, yet she confines herself to just part of my home office and sleeps with her head on the hard floor rather than on her much softer bed. Today I caught her dreaming about some sort of food and managed to catch this fuzzy photo. What you can't see is that her tongue is going in and out of her mouth while she eats … something.
The Internet has been around long enough for humanity to amass a lot of videos and anecdotes of dogs having very vivid dreams and it makes me want to learn more about sleep and why it is that mammals dream1. Given that this is a common function across multiple species, it's clear that this is an important element to our mental health, but why is it that a limited subset of motor control continues to be accessible while the mind is asleep? Nozomi can eat, bark, and sometimes appear to walk with just her front paws while unconscious. The boy can eat, throw, and laugh while unconscious. I tend to wake in the very same position I went to sleep in, which has me wondering whether I still roll around while dreaming.
Maybe this is something I can learn more about after retirement, when time avails itself a little more.
I'm not sure if dreaming is limited to mammals. This would be something I'd learn if I actually studied the topic.