The Willie Dream — he’ll always return

I had a dream with a wonderful happy ending just a few minutes ago. It woke me, and I made a cup of coffee, brushed my teeth and began writing while the memory was still fresh on my mind.

I dreamed about my dog named Willie.

I was walking with him as well as my old office mate from the Defender Association of Philadelphia when Willie broke away from us, crossed the street, and joined in a chase of something that a pack of dogs were following at the Philadelphia Art Museum. You know, the one that Rocky Balboa ran up the steps before raising both arms in victory motion in the movie.

I called to him several times, but he was too busy enjoying the chase as I saw him run up one hill and down the other. Boy was he having fun.

But I knew there could be trouble with any traffic should he decided to cross the street or follow the dogs should they chase after the prey they were seeking. I whistled my special whistle but got nada in return.

I couldn’t wait. My office mate and I had to catch a bus. I guess we were going to work near city hall in downtown Philadelphia.

In any case, we had gotten on a bus and I immediately felt pangs of guilt. I also saw Willie running with the dogs in the distance and I waited until getting the bus driver’s attention and asked him to please stop.

My office mate chided me.

 “You never had a dog,” I said to her. “You never experienced true love,” I added, not really knowing what I meant by that, but feeling it kind of meant something like “unconditional love,” the type I got from my dog, Willie.

This was not the first dream I had of him. He appears regularly in my dreams. He’s never on a leash and always seems to be having a great time.

This time, however, I felt I couldn’t rest without “getting him back.”

I got off the bus and somehow got transported to the back of an open dump truck that belonged to one of my brothers, Johnny. There were a few items in the bed of the truck, including a rifle, which I grabbed before leaving on my quest to get Willie.

I had no idea where the bus driver had left me off at. It was somewhere in Philly, but I wasn’t familiar with South Philadelphia and none of the places I saw seemed as if they belonged. Hey, this was a dream, after all!

(Note: This is an excerpt from a book entitled; “Contoveros Sings the Brewerytown Blues” scheduled for publication in late 2015 or early 2016)

I began walking a straight line in the direction back to the art museum. In order to do that, I had to walk into and through houses and offices. I’d say hello and pretend that I worked at the places I breezed through. I had taken any notice of the rifle I was carrying and neither did anyone else.

Too soon, I found my way blocked. I then climbed a roof hoping to get over one of buildings, but couldn’t get any further and I was forced to retreat to where I had just climbed from. All I kept thinking was what someone would say to the police upon seeing my little Greek butt.

“Man on a roof with a rifle.”


The next thing I knew I was inside some factory laboratory. Two men were walking in the same direction away from me and I called out to them. The one fellow turned out to be a really Good Samaritan, agreeing to take me to his house and help me on my search for Willie.

Oh, by the way. Before I had left the bus, the bus driver pulled out a sheet and began writing answers to questions he posed to me about Willie, should someone with SEPTA, the regional transit company. I told him the dog would eat about anything and, yes, he was partial to biscuits!

My newly found friend and I were joined by a few others in his house and we made our way out. We had to pass through one of two gates to get to the street. One gate had been guarded by a fellow who was looking the other way when we departed, safely reaching the street and the avenue outside the compound.

Once there, we had been walking up the street for a few minutes when one of the members of our group started to shout and point. I had no idea what he was referring to until I noticed a small black and white critter come racing in our direction, making a bee-line right towards me.

Willie had found me. He was never lost. Neither was I.

And of course, we lived happily ever after!


“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
— Josh Billings