Camila got a second chance at love when she met Isaac and was delighted when she fell pregnant. However, her dog soon started acting strangely. Camila didn’t understand it until it was almost too late.

Camila sat at her husband’s grave with his German Shepherd, Rocky, at her side. Even now, staring at his name carved into the marble headstone, she couldn’t believe Harry was gone.

In a matter of days, her life had turned inside out. A few hundred hours was all it took for an ER diagnosis of cholangitis to turn into sepsis, and then Harry was gone forever.

Rocky whined and pressed against Camila’s leg. She reached down to scratch behind his ears.

“I miss him too, boy,” Camila sobbed. “But you’ll have to settle for playing ‘find the treat’ with me now.”

Camila stayed a few minutes longer before adding the flowers she’d brought to Harry’s grave. She and Rocky went home then, and she distracted herself for a few hours by hiding treats around the house for Rocky to find.

The dog displayed none of his usual excited twirling and barking when he located the biscuits Camila hid among the couch cushions and outside. He may not have understood where his master had gone, but Rocky was clearly mourning too.

A year later, Camila found a reason to smile again. His name was Isaac. They had a whirlwind romance. By the end of the year, Camila and Isaac were married and expecting their first child.

“I never thought I’d ever feel so happy again,” Camila confessed when she and Isaac were cuddled on the sofa one day. “It feels like a dream.”

“That must be because you’re the woman of my dreams.” Isaac leaned closer and kissed Camila’s forehead.

Camila snorted. “That was pretty corny.”

“I know, but I can’t help myself. Being with you has made me realize that all the romantic cliches were once profound and original, beautiful thoughts inspired by amazing women like you.”

Camila hugged Isaac and returned his kiss. The romantic moment might have turned into more if Rocky hadn’t hurtled into the living room then with his leash in his mouth. He barked at Camila and spun in a circle.

“Okay, okay, you’re right, Rocky. It is time for walks.”

Camila rose and clipped the leash to Rocky’s collar. She never noticed the resentful look Isaac gave Rocky as they left the room.

A few months into her pregnancy, Rocky became Camila’s constant companion. Instead of lying outside in the sun or chasing pigeons, he stayed at her side wherever she went. He even crawled up onto the couch to lie with his head close to her swollen belly.

He would be pressed to her thigh with his nose to her belly when she walked around. Every few steps she took, Rocky would bark. He would paw at the door if she shut him out when she was in the restroom and slept on the floor beside her all night.

“This dog is driving me crazy,” Isaac said at dinner one night. “All I’ve heard since I got home is ‘bark, bark, bark.’ Doesn’t he ever stop?”

“I wish I understood you, Rocky. I feel like you’re trying to tell me something.”
“He’s protective of me and the baby,” Camila replied. “I think it’s sweet. It makes me feel like Harry’s spirit is with me, looking out for me. We always wanted children, so maybe he’s using Rocky to voice his jealousy too.”

Camila smiled down at Rocky, who lay near her feet with his head on his paws. She heard the faint clang when Isaac set his fork on his plate and noticed him rise from the table in her peripheral vision.

“You haven’t finished your food,” Camila called after him.

“I’m not hungry anymore,” he replied.

A few days later…

“You did what!?” The toy Camila bought for Rocky squealed as her fist tightened around it.

Isaac sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. “I couldn’t take his incessant barking anymore, Cam. It was driving me crazy. Besides, he’s part of your old life with Harry. I left him right outside the animal shelter, so I’m sure he’s been taken in by now. He might even have been adopted already.”

“I don’t believe this.” Camila turned and put her coat back on.

“Where are you going?” Isaac put his hand on her shoulder.

“I’m going to find my dog!” Camila shrugged him off and glared at him.

“I don’t care how much he barks; you had no right to dump him. Rocky and I are a package deal. I’m not coming back here until I find him, and if you ever do anything to my dog again, Isaac, I’m leaving you.”

Isaac gaped at her in disbelief. “You can’t be serious. You and I can get our own dog.”

“Pets are not replaceable! Rocky is coming home, and if you can’t deal with that, then we’ll make our home somewhere else without you. Don’t force me to make that choice, Isaac.”

Camila drove along the streets surrounding the animal shelter for hours. Now and then, she pulled over to show people pictures of Rocky and asked if they’d seen him. The answer was always negative.

After speaking to a convenience store owner, Camila returned to her car and burst into tears. She was beginning to doubt she’d ever find Rocky.

“Harry, if you can hear me, please help me find him,” she prayed. “Lead me to where he is, and keep our boy safe until I get there.”

Camila sniffed and wiped her eyes. She set her hands on the steering wheel but didn’t know where to go next. She didn’t feel anything that might be Harry guiding her, so she drove around, taking random turns until she was lost.

Rocky’s cold nose pressed against her face as the darkness closed around Camila. He was still barking, but it seemed to come from far away now.
It was dark now. Beyond the orange gleam of the streetlights, a few stars flickered among the clouds. Camila pulled into a twenty-four-hour coffee shop for a cup of decaf and a donut. A familiar bark stopped her in her tracks as she walked back to her car.

“Rocky!” Camila dropped to her knees and threw her arms around her dog. “Who’s my good boy? I’m so sorry, Rocky, but I promise you this will never happen again.”

“Will you ever forgive me, Cam?” Isaac gave her a pleading look from behind a massive bunch of flowers he’d brought her the next day. “It was an impulsive mistake.”

“I can’t do this now.” Camila grimaced as she felt another sharp pain in her lower back.

Rocky whirled in a circle in front of her and barked.

“I’m not playing with you now, boy.” Camila shifted in her seat, but her attempt to find a more comfortable position caused her more pain.

“Isaac, I think something’s wrong.”

Isaac rushed to Camila’s side. He helped her to the car and took her to the doctor.

“Everything appears to be normal,” Camila’s doctor said. “I suggest you rest as much as possible. If you’re still experiencing pain, we can discuss doing some tests.”

“I guess I can do that.” Camila rubbed her lower back with one hand. “I have been feeling pretty tired and weak lately.”

Camila couldn’t get comfortable. No matter how she lay in bed, something disturbed her. If it wasn’t the pains from her lower back, it was the normal discomforts of pregnancy bothering her: a kick to the bladder or shortness of breath.

Rocky crawled up onto the bed with her and refused to get down. He booped her hip and barked at her belly.

“This baby’s going to come out fluent in dog,” Camila muttered. She rubbed Rocky’s soft fur, but he wouldn’t be distracted from his nudging and barking.

“I wish I understood you, Rocky.” Camila rolled onto her side to face the dog. “I feel like you’re trying to tell me something.”

It quickly became apparent that rest was not helping Camila. Friends and family who came to visit remarked on her sallow appearance.

“Maybe I need to give it more time,” Camila replied when her sister urged her to return to the doctor. “Dr. Smith was highly recommended. I’m sure he knows what he’s talking about.”

Her sister shook her head. “Yeah, I’m sure a gray-haired man knows plenty about woman’s bodies. Please, Cam, make an appointment with my gynac. She’s amazing.”

But Camila was reluctant to change doctors at this stage of her pregnancy. She soldiered on until the day she collapsed.

Early one morning, Camila was going to the grocery store for milk when Rocky planted himself in front of her and started barking at her belly. She grabbed his collar to move him aside, but he wouldn’t budge.

“Come on, Rocky. I’m just going to the store.” She pointed toward the sitting room. “Crate, Rocky.”

The dog whined but ignored her command.

“You’ve really become naughty since I fell pregnant,” Camila scolded him. “All this barking and climbing on the furniture.” She pulled on his collar to lead him to his crate, but then pain lanced through her lower back like a hot needle.

Camila fell to her knees. Rocky was there, his body pressed against hers, helping her stay upright. He whined as he licked her face, then broke into staccato barks.

“I guess you were right, Rocky.” Camila slowly folded herself to the floor. Black spots peppered her vision, and her head felt light. “I should’ve trusted you.”

Rocky’s cold nose pressed against her face as the darkness closed around Camila. He was still barking, but it seemed to come from far away now.

“Thank God you’re awake!”

Harry? Camila rubbed her eyes and looked again at the man standing over her. No, it was Isaac. Of course, it was Isaac. Why had she thought it was Harry? She’d been dreaming…she glanced around the room, and all lingering tiredness fled from her brain as she took in her surroundings.

“You fainted, and I rushed you to the hospital.” Isaac took her hand as he answered her question before she could ask it. “The doctors are running tests to figure out what’s wrong.”

“Rocky knew.” Camila tried to sit up but found she didn’t have the strength.

“I think so,” Isaac frowned. “He came and dragged me out of bed. I thought he’d gone mad, but then he led me to you.”

An hour later, Dr. Smith entered the room with the test results.

“You have a kidney infection,” Dr. Smith said. “It didn’t show up in the initial urine sample I took from you, but blood cultures confirm you have high levels of bacteria in your body. We’re going to start you on a course of antibiotics immediately.”

Camila soon recovered from her infection. When the hospital released her and she returned home, Rocky started behaving like his old self again.

“I don’t understand it,” Camila said when she called Harry’s brother, who’d given Rocky to her and Harry as a puppy.

“How could he have known?”

“German Shepherds are scent dogs,” Harry’s brother replied. “Some of them are trained to sniff out bacteria, so maybe he picked something up that the doctors didn’t. It’s not unheard of for dogs to detect illnesses in their owners.”

“I guess it’s possible.” Camila reached down to pat Rocky’s head. “He’s always loved to play hide-and-seek games.”

A month later, Camila gave birth to a healthy baby girl. She was perfect in every way. When Camila and Isaac brought her home from the hospital, the first thing she did was introduce baby Lily to Rocky.

“Did I ever tell you how deeply sorry I am for misjudging Rocky?” Isaac asked as Rocky snuffled the baby. “Without him…well, I might’ve lost both of you.”

“Rocky and I accept your apology,” Camila replied.

What can we learn from this story?

Trust your pets if they start acting strangely. Animals have keener senses than ours and detect things we don’t. Camila might’ve recovered sooner if she’d trusted Rocky and herself.
Never give up your pets because a partner demands it. Pets are a lifelong commitment; like children, they depend on us for care. It’s cruel and unfair to abandon a faithful pet because they inconvenience someone else.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

By admin

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