You know how Steiner says that during sleep, the astral body and the I leave the physical body and the ether body behind on earth and journey to the supersensible realms. Apparently it’s advisable not to fall asleep on a moving train, in case the departed higher aspects of you can’t find their way back to a body that doesn’t stay put. I imagine it must be confusing, much like finding one’s way out of IKEA.

Anyway, I have an addition to Rudi’s theory — or perhaps an improvement, if you will. It seems obvious to me that the human being, frail as he is, needs guidance and help, and here’s where I’d like to suggest something about the role of dogs. You see, before I lived with mr Dog, I could never fall asleep, in fact, my entire life before him was dominated by a persistent and annoying sleeplessness; I spent the nights tossing and turning and agonizing. With mr Dog in my life, I went to bed and fell asleep (at least if I hadn’t had coffee in the afternoon). Without him, my previous problems returned almost immediately, with a vengeance. I struggle for hours to fall asleep, and when I finally do, I wake up again and again, often in a state of inexplicable terror, as if I were repeatedly kicked out, violently, at the very entrance to the higher sphere. I’m no longer allowed in.

My hypothesis is that either dogs release some kind of calming and sleep-inducing substance into the air, or dogs have a role as canineosophical travel agents during the nightly journey of the soul to the supersensible worlds. Perhaps they help us depart according to time-table, see to it that we travel safely and that we land softly on our two inadequate feet, not on our heads, when we return. And they help us gain entry to these worlds, because who, even among the guardians of spiritual thresholds, can resist a wagging tail and a precious canine face? And we, mere humans, can slip in unnoticed behind the four-legged friends.

That’s how I figure it works.