A week ago a Harvard expert claimed that dogs might spend their nights dreaming about their human owners and animal lovers everywhere lost it.
Dr. Deirdre Barrett, who is a teacher and a Clinical and Evolutionary Psychologist at Harvard Medical School, was discussing what she has learned about the dreaming habits of animals during her years studying human sleep behaviour.
Dr Barrett was posed the question by PEOPLE about what dogs experience when they dream, and while she can’t give an exact answer, she drew on her wealth of knowledge in a similar field to speculate.
“Humans dream about the same things they’re interested in by day, though more visually and less logically,” Dr Barett said. “There’s no reason to think animals are any different.”
She added: “Since dogs are generally extremely attached to their human owners, it’s likely your dog is dreaming of your face, your smell and of pleasing or annoying you.”
News that people’s pets might be “dreaming of [their] face” while they slept was shared far and wide, and the response was emotional.
One tweet referencing the expert’s comments has so far notched up more than 61 thousand retweets.
And many more were keen to share photos of their dogs, wondering what they were visualising behind their closed puppy eyes...
And for all those cat lovers out there, the expert also offered this titbit of animal trivia:
“We actually know more about cats dreams, because one of the earliest sleep researchers, Michel Jouvet, destroyed the tiny area in cat brains that inhibits movements during REM sleep. Cats lay quietly through the other stages of sleep, and when REM began, they leapt up, stalked, pounced, arched their backs and hissed. They looked like they were hunting mice in their dreams.”