And then begin the bad dreams, including the moment of waking up which provides yet another nightmare: we were walking by the rim of a lake on a winter day, the air cold and crisp in the pale sunlight, the temperature dropping to -26 degrees Celsius, I know this because in the dream I told him (he didn’t seem interested in numbers), and suddenly he went into the water and began to swim, but then, overtaken by the cold, to sink, and struggling for his life he sank under the surface, in water that was very clear, like a clean pane of glass, he sank further, and I had to wade into it to fish him out, it wasn’t deep and strangely not frozen over, and I had no difficulty seeing him and to catch him and I lifted him up, and put him inside my layers of sweaters, put my parka coat on and closed it around us, and he was cold and shivering, but he was alive, he was going to make it, and be alive.

Confirming to myself that he was going to live, I woke up.

For the collectors of Steiner facts out there, I think somewhere he says that those we dream of are those we are karmically connected to — thus, have met before in another incarnation. I wish I could find where he says it, but it seems only blindingly apparent that I have too many silly books in my bookshelves.

When this occurred, in the dream, when mr Dog was sinking into the cold lake, an insufferably cheerful man turned up, arriving from the opposite shore — oddly lined with green willow trees — riding on a giant water buffalo, as though we had been out walking by a watering hole or a river in Africa rather than in a snowy and frozen landscape in the north, and this is obviously the part of the dream truly in need of some serious interpretation. The dog part of it is almost self-evident — but how did the water buffalo get there?