Dog turns prophetic
Derek and Laura were pretty sure they couldn't have kids.
They threw one of the best weddings of 2008. An afternoon of crazy games culminated in a cross-dressing relay that pitted Derek in a wedding dress against Laura in a tuxedo, racing on huge tricycles.
Laura won, which was even funnier because Derek is a competitive cyclist.
They exchanged vows at sunset, beside a lake.
They wanted to have a baby. Months went by, and eventually they consulted a fertility expert.
The news wasn't good.
Laura and Derek faced the developing reality that they probably couldn't conceive a child without big-time medical intervention.
And then, suddenly, Derek's dog died.
A hound named "Hudson," the dog had been Derek's closest companion before he met Laura. One moment Hudson was romping in the yard, the next he was gone.
Derek struggled in the days after his dog's death. Laura was working nights, so he came home to an empty house.
He hardly worked, barely ate, even quit riding his bike. He couldn't bring himself to sleep in the bed without Hudson, who'd been there every night for nine years.
Laura went in for more blood work. Tests indicated that she'd gone yet another month without producing a viable egg. The doctor was leaning toward in vitro fertilization, which Derek and Laura couldn't afford and didn't want.
They were devastated.
They decided to step back from the fertility process. Hudson's death had left them empty and sad, and they didn't want more disappointment.
Derek attempted to race his bike, but he had to pull over after just a few laps. He sat on the side of the road and cried.
The death of his dog, the stress of infertility, they had taken their toll.
That night, Derek had a dream.
Hudson was sitting at the bottom of the bed like always, but this time he was talking. He thanked Derek for caring for him and told his owner how much he loved him.
He told Derek not to be sad, because he would never leave him alone. Derek wouldn't miss him for long, Hudson said, because he had passed his spirit on to the baby in Laura's belly.
The hound said Derek and Laura would have a lanky, adorable, redheaded troublemaker who'd always remind them of him.
Startled, Derek woke Laura and told her about the dream. She started to cry, because she knew that another month had just gone by with nothing but a painful cyst to show for it.
Three days later, they went out for sushi. About four bites into a rather expensive plate of maguro, Laura excused herself and ran to the bathroom.
Puzzled, they went home and rooted around for a pregnancy test.
Turns out Laura had not produced an egg that month for a very good reason. She was already two months pregnant.
You can imagine the phone call to the fertility expert.
Derek has no explanation for his dream. He's not a soothsayer or clairvoyant. He's always dismissed other people's visions.
But there, on the screen, was the fluttering heartbeat of a baby that Hudson the hound first announced in a dream.
Derek and Laura's baby is due in May.
Contact Emily Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org