Poetry, musings, reflections, life

I always wanted a puppy

Having reached the ripe old age of 70+ years, I thought I had at least been exposed to about everything possible. Lord, how mistaken I have been. For example, the current fads among the young people, well, let us just say they have changed from “back in the day”. You would have to ask me again tomorrow if I wrote something about fads today. LOL, so they say.

Another situation that has escaped me is in my back yard. Recently, I remarried and besides entering into a tremendous partnership with a wonderful woman, I entered the world of dogs. To be more explicit, Standard Poodles. You see, my bride is in the dog breeding business. Now I have been a dog lover all my life, however, having no more than two at one time. Inside the house, we have living with us one black Standard Poodle named Apollo and one Pembroke Welsh Corgi named BJ. Both have long convoluted names but this is what we call them. Except for BJ, sometimes we call him DB but that is another story.

We have constructed nine kennels, each separate from the other and attached to three buildings with access from each to their own private interior space. They are well constructed with concrete runs, ample areas for feeding and watering and solar covers over the top. In a dog’s world, they have it pretty good.

As I stand before the window staring out at the kennels, I count seven poodles, one Italian Greyhound, and two Cairn Terriers. You may have noticed that we have ten dogs but only nine kennels. Someone has to have a roommate. And this is where it gets interesting.  We tried several different combinations. The IG roomed with the male Cairn Terrier, but the terrier was too aggressive. Luca, the IG gets his own room.

The female Cairn, Gretel, (we call her Munchie, short for Munchkin, because she is so small) moved in with Grindle. Same result. Munchie, gets her own space.

Then we moved Prada and Andi, two female poodles together. Andi was too hyper for Prada.  Prada gets her own space. Andi now rooms with Stella. Stella is the oldest and is our foundation dog. We also call her Momma dog as she has given birth to two litters. Now it appears we have finally hit upon the right combination. It was musical chairs but everyone seems to be happy for now.

Well, that statement was premature. Seems Andi is too hyper for Stella as well. So now, Prada and Stella room together. Andi gets her own space. I hope that this works or I may have to room with one of the dogs, myself.

Each day we allow the dogs to come out from their kennels to roam and run throughout the back acre. They have an opportunity to relieve themselves, chase the ball, wade into the pond, dig holes after the gophers and moles and in general enjoy themselves. We enjoy them as well.

There is however, one caveat about letting them run freely. We must never, never, never let the males run with the females, except by design.

It is by this design we decided to mate the two Cairn Terriers. This meant putting the two together in the same pen. Lo and behold, we nailed it almost to the day. We then separated them again, placed Munchie into her own space and began to wait it out.

Now I am in very unfamiliar territory. I recall when my wife and I were dating; I told her I was sailing in uncharted waters having been out of the dating game for almost fifty years. Well, I am back in uncharted waters, only this time, I am a little more nervous. However, I jumped in with the business of building a nursery and making preparations.  I built a whelping box, arranged a heating source and began anticipating.

Now it is 59 days later and at any moment we could become parents (well, sort of) to a litter of puppies. We discussed a baby monitor but decided the distance from the house to the kennel was too far to have an effective signal. So, we trek out to the kennels about every two hours.

When my own children were born, I was not allowed in the delivery room. So now, you see my predicament. I don’t know what to do! Should I have the water ready to boil and the clean towels available?   What should I do? I don’t have much time left.

Very early in the morning, little Munchie began birthing puppies. We were not around for the first one, however, we made the early morning trip to the kennels just in time to help with the second pup. Well, my wife did, I fainted, not really, but I certainly left the in-nursery-help to her. After all, there are other dogs to take care of.

Well, this long story must eventually arrive at a conclusion. I think I have it. Four puppies later, our kennel has increased to sixteen animals. Just my luck, all I ever wanted was a puppy.

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