But what's a billion times worse is dreaming about pets and family members being alive when they're actually dead. That's just shit.
I've had a lot of dreams like that, but with lots of variation.
I am typically aware of the fact that I am dreaming, so I will recognize that the cat is dead (they're always cats) in real life, and I will attempt to stay asleep long enough to find a way to bring them back into reality with me. This can involve mechanical inventions, simply trying to manifest them by focusing on them as I regain consciousness, or by using their avatar in my dream as a means of accessing the afterlife and retrieving them. Gotta love dream logic sometimes.
Those are the terminally "missing" pets, though. The ones I have seen dead I have stranger dreams about. Quite typically, they have managed to reanimate their bodies through sheer force of will, and are still working out the regeneration of living tissue, so they can be a little raggedy. I never find this strange, or particularly remarkable; I usually just think something like "Got bored and decided to come back, huh?"
Last night I had a dream that Buddy was alive (which he is really is) but that I must be dreaming, because I knew he had died several years ago. When I woke up I was still tired and confused, so I had no idea whether he really was still alive or not and it kinda freaked me out. It doesn't help that sometimes I am still not entirely convinced that he really is still here, since the time he vanished for three months in the dead of winter; there is always that strange, lingering feeling that he never came back and I'm just severely schizophrenic. I used to have hallucinations and see things I thought were "ghosts" so I am distrustful of what I see to begin with.