Re: the dreams. Okay, DB, I dreamed last night that I had a nice big puppy bassett hound as a pet (I'm allergic to dogs in real life though I love them). The dog and I were in the lobby of a corporate building and had to go outside but it was raining heavily. He was on two's and my arm was around him as we walked outside and he was able to talk. I said, "We've got to get a cab." We were going to have to run for it in the rain.
I dream a lot too, and keep track daily. The best way I've found to glean understanding from a dream is to play with the images and find my associations to it. Because dreams don't happen in a vacuum, they happen within the context of your life, cookbook approaches to dreams rarely feel satisfactory in doing dreamwork. You always need to connect them to what's happening for you personally, at the time of the dream.
That said, I associate dogs with a friendly and protective instinctive energy--you know "man's best friend." When I dream of a dog companion, it's usually a reminder to me to trust my instincts and take them into account. Our instincts are often in direct opposition to the collective "human programming" we receive from the world--in your case this appears as the "corporate building," which you are leaving. Also the dog is a puppy and a bassett hound--a young energy, maybe new to you, which has a "very good nose," that "knows" how to sniff things out. Bad weather often happens in my dreams, when I'm "under the weather."
So if that was my dream, those are the ides I would play with. Make sense?