Sunday, July 19, 2009
Dog Days of Summer
For two months, every other night, Richard stood on the scale holding Maggie. It was my job to determine if they had gained any weight. Indeed they had. The reason for this ritual...a suspected canine pregnancy.
A few weeks earlier Richard was able to track down a stud sheepdog here in Boise. Within days, a large, Old English Sheepdog named Napoleon was roaming around my backyard. He however, seemed completely uninterested in little Miss Magpie May (our dog Maggie). She didn't seem to care too much for him either. We did our best to help them form a relationship; taking them on doggy dates and giving them treats to share. Then we kept our fingers crossed. For 2 and 1/2 weeks these two were left to nature's mating devices, and some helpful encouragement from Richard and I. By the time Napoleon went back home, we were hopeful Maggie was pregnant. Nonetheless, we were completely unsure if our match making had been successful.
June 3rd, we decided that Richard needed to lay off the potato chips and ice cream because all the weight gain had been his. According to our calculations, if we were going to be grandparents to some puppy loving, it would have occurred by now. Two days later, while cruising the Costco, I got a frantic call from Richard. Maggie was having puppies. I had been out running errands when Maggie had started giving birth. By the time Rich arrived home for work, she had birthed three puppies in the backyard. By two o'clock in the morning, Maggie was the mama to three females and five male puppies. It was quite the event, and Richard and I were up all night warming the pups, cutting umbilical cords, helping Maggie nurse, and cleaning up the mess of having puppies. I loved every minute of it. It was really quite amazing.
Our largest pup weighed 11 ounces. The smallest was only about 6. They were no bigger than a can of soda. All of them have steadily increased in size, and are now well over five pounds each. Rex has already picked out his favorite, a little boy with a black eye patch he calls Roscoe. The plan, however, is to sell them and get some bills paid before my baby arrives.
I look like I am ready to deliver any minute, which is what I tell people when the ask how much longer I have. The conversations are much easier and less painful then hearing them tell me I look like I will never make it 6 more weeks, or if I am sure there is only one in there. However, the heat of the dog days of summer our killing me. Maybe they are right...I might not make it six more weeks.
In the meantime, Richard has created a little puppy blog. You can see all sorts of darling puppy pictures at http://oldenglishsheepdogpuppies.blogspot.com. If you, or anyone else you know is interested in puppies, I know some that are available for purchase.