Well, I thought I’d be away from the topic of “projects” for a while, seeing how I provided an update last week. My plate is full, and I don’t need more to fuss about. Or do I?
When we returned home from our vacation in the States, we found something slightly different. Our three dogs – one male and two females – were most happy to see us. The slightly different part was that the two females had turned into each other’s nemesis. No more walking three dogs together in the morning. No more letting three dogs wander the property at will. At any chance they had, both females were at each other’s throats.
Within in the next few weeks, the reason started to be apparent – the younger of the females, “Babe,” was pregnant. She was no longer the playful pup we left behind. She was now a very protective mother-to-be. She had already picked out an area where she’d give birth and defended that area like a Spartan.
All we had to do was wait and nature would have its way. Taking on projects was one way to use up all of this waiting time. Hoe here, till there, plant this, weed-out that–nothing like passing time in the garden. It seems that the only important project I failed to engage in was getting ready for whelping.
I didn’t know that much about whelping puppies, and my grasp of how nature handles things was the only grasp I was relying on. I knew dogs did this and dogs did that when it came puppy time, but having never experienced it first-hand meant that I was in for a lesson or two. Until that moment arrived, it was just “getting by” day by day.
The other day, when our good friends Mike and Virgie were over for a visit and chat, our houseboy Ren hurried over to me with the words, “Sir, the dog.” It could have meant only one thing. I excused myself for the moment and went back to the “whelping area” to see what was happening. I arrived midway during the first puppy’s arrival. It was not an appetising sight, so I’ll leave it to your imaginations, dear readers, to fill in the blanks.
From then on, it was a combination of chat with friends, make a “doggie check,” chat some more, check some more, and on into the late morning. When our friends said their farewell and drove off down the road, we were up to number three on the whelping count. I thought three was a nice number, but “Babe” thought differently.
About a half an hour after number three arrived, number four showed up. “Babe” was through – four was the number. Two male and two female puppies entered our lives.
Now the fun begins! It’s a new project and it’s all about puppies. We’ve promised three of the four to our friends and decided that we’d keep one male for ourselves. Taking care of them whenever “Babe” needs a break is the project. The puppies are about a week old now, and even though their eyes are still closed, they manage to get into things and places they shouldn’t. Mother “Babe” is using me, I believe. I’ve turned into the chief corral keeper. She only trusts me with handling her puppies, though I try to do so minimally.