Here’s a quick read for you:
Chapter 1, late May:
Kids want a dog.
Parents say “Nope!”
Parents hear about stray dog in neighborhood.
Parents say “Awww.”
Family meets dog.
Kids say “Pleaseeeee?!”
Parents say “Oh….OK.”
Chapter 2, mid-June:
Family and dog are happy.
Family goes on vacation.
Dog stays with friend.
Chapter 3, end of June:
Family returns and picks up dog .
Something is…different about dog.
Larger stomach, larger…sway.
Family takes dog to vet.
Puppies on the way.
Lots of puppies.
Chapter 4, present:
Basically, wide-eyed emoji face: 😳
To be continued…
So, yep. True story.
We took in a stray dog last month. Someone found her on their doorstep in the rain and a neighboring family fostered her and tried tirelessly to find her owners. Their son named her Bella.
Due to her lack of collar, ID and/or chip, the complete lack of response to numerous postings and searches, and lack of “birth control” (she had “lady parts” but we thought she had already had puppies, as the vet at her first check-up did NOT think she was pregnant) we all suspected she was dumped.
Bella was scared, skittish, and sweet the first week in our home. She freaked out when she saw the broom (which, in typical McGahee fashion, did not make an appearance until several days after she arrived). But she was notably gentle with the kids and patient as they excitedly introduced her to friends, which included lots of little hands petting her.
During the next few weeks, Bella relaxed and got more comfortable. She happily greeted us at the door with a wagging tail and would plod upstairs at night and follow me room-to-room as I read the kids books and tucked them into their beds.
After a few weeks, we went on a vacation and left her with the foster family that first housed her. When we came back and picked her up last week she was noticeably bigger. Noticeably. Bigger.
All the weeks we had her, Bella kept a secret. She was a package deal.
We went to a (new) vet right away and they confirmed it – she is expecting lots of puppies. Lots and lots. Like maybe 11 or 12 or possibly more.
So we went from cautiously and thoughtfully having ONE dog to having (soon) a dozen or more.
Oh, sweet Bella.
Well, you can’t whisper “puppies” around the house too many times without the kids catching on and of course just flipping over the stinkin’ moon.
So, after lots of sinking in, here is our silver lining: this is our bit of country in the city. The kids get to experience a dog having puppies, something that NEVER would have happened otherwise. (We wouldn’t be breeders, and we would always have a spayed/neutered dog.) And it’s summer, so we are available to be a part of this hands-on education.
As you can imagine, we have already had SEVERAL thoughtfully-worded biological discussions in response to the kids many questions. (Where is Bella’s husband? Do the babies come out of her nipples? Why don’t boys have babies? Once the puppies come out, can they go back in?). “This is a good thing,” I remind myself as I stall though my initial stuttering responses. Needless to say, the kids have already learned A LOT.
Bella appears to be a yellow lab mix. She has one blue eye and one brown, which the girls say make her look enchanted. She is gentle and loyal and basically would spend her whole life getting a tummy rub if that were a possibility.
We have NO IDEA what kind of dog the dad is, since that whole situation happened before she showed up on a neighbor’s doorstep. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess.
I think the pups are coming soon. If not tonight, then this week. We’ve cleared out a closet and put in a doggy bed and towels to give Bella her own “den.” (Don’t worry, it’s only closed in on the three sides – she always has access out). We’ve talked to the vet and are reading lots of info on “whelping,” a term I did not know before last week.
So, Dallas neighbors, stay tuned – if you would like to come show your children newborn puppies and answer their own set of biological questions in a few weeks, let me know.
Also – and this is the big question – anyone want a new puppy soon?!? We will have a few!