The Bulldog Puppy-Baby Dream

About a year and some 9 months ago I woke up one morning from an unusual dream.

Jane and I live in a spot that was cozy enough for two, but in the dream our landlord unexpectedly told us that we would be sharing our space with new roommates.

Jane and I were both a little shocked at the news at first but moved past that to our real main concern: How were we going to share our home with someone new?

The new roommates come through the front door, starts shifting our stuff around (without asking) and making themselves at home as if they were marking their territory like some wild animal.  There was no formal introduction or salutation exchanged. It almost felt invasive.  Actually it was the pure definition of it.  But we had no alternative.

The next morning (in the dream) Jane & I woke up to hear some noise from their side of the home and were startled. We were slightly relieved to see them packing their stuff and on their way out the door.

I asked them where they were going?

“this isn’t our home so we can’t stay. Thanks for not making it difficult for us.  But…”

There’s always a “but”

“But we weren’t looking for a home for us, we were trying to find a good home for him.” They reached out behind them and emerged from their arms was a brown English bulldog puppy.  (Jane and I submit that English bulldogs are the cutest)

“He was just born yesterday, Do you think you can take care of him?”

They placed him on our dining table and I sat by him to get a better look at this cute big headed pup.  As I moved my head closer, the bulldog stretched his forehead, rested it on mine and wagged his tail.  I started tearing. Not because the puppy was so cute, but because something felt so familiar with this dog.  Similar to the first time I met Jane, it was as if I’ve known him all along and we’ve been reunited after many years apart.

“Absolutely” I said sobbing gleefully without looking up. “SungJin, they’re gone”.  I look up and they disappeared without even a goodbye as if not to spoil the moment I shared with the pup.

I awoke from the dream that morning and quickly told Jane about it.

“That’s cute”

“maybe you’re pregnant?”

**scoffingly** “I’m not pregnant, it was just a 개꿈 (gaekkum – meaningless dream) cause you like bulldogs so much.”


The following morning my dream was interrupted with some unsuitable/inaudible language coming from the bathroom.

Jane was pregnant.

The dream I had about the arrival of our child is what Korean people affectionally called 태몽 (taemong). Having baby dreams are a rite of passage for Korean parents to be.  When you announce that you’re expecting, without fail, someone will ask you not if  you had one, but will expect you already had it and will want to hear your 태몽.

It’s usually the mother that gets them.  But since I do not biologically have the privilege of being able to carry children, God saw fit to give me the dream to share in the experience of child birth.

Ironically the literal translation for 개꿈(meaningless dream) is-“dog dream”

You were our bulldog, Rockland.  Unexpected for sure, but always with us since the beginning. I’m finding now that in my older age that phrases I thought were so cliche in my youth now carry such emotional weight to them.

You’ve only been with us for a year, but I simply can’t imagine life without you.

Welcome home.


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