That fact, borne out by a new set of studies at the University of West Terrier, will likely come as no surprise to anyone who has ever awakened a sleeping Canine.
The results of the studies, which will be published later this month in the prestigious journal, Eureka, are the fruit of five years of intensive labour in the Sleep Laboratory of UWT’s School of Medicine.
The studies, say investigators at the University, are the first of their kind to be performed at an accredited research facility in The Park.
Among their findings, the researchers noted that the most surprising was the extent to which Dogs are likely to embellish their life story while under the influence of sleep.
“Everybody embellishes from time to time,” said researcher Nicholas Antelope. “But this was truly amazing. Mixed breeds would give a thorough account of their purebred history, down to the awards and ribbons their sires and dams had won and Retrievers would claim to be vicious guard Dogs”.
The most common subject of the lies, to no one’s astonishment, was food.
“Humans who live with Dogs notice this all the time,” said one clinical assistant. “When they wake up, they say they haven’t eaten. And if someone else comes home, they tell them the same story. The amazing thing is, the Dogs really believe it, themselves — if they’ve been asleep.”
When asked about the impetus for the study, researchers were quick to credit serendipity.
“The findings themselves were very much a coincidence,” says Simone Gibbon, the study’s chief researcher. “We decided to do a formal study when we noticed a certain pattern emerging among the Dogs we were treating for insomnia in the Sleep Lab.”
While UWT’s team was the first to investigate this phenomenon, it is expected that others will soon follow suit.
“We look forward to seeing our research replicated elsewhere,” Gibbon said.