“Sure we’ll take it!” (part 2a)

The Virgin Bride

“My friend Jax has a dog that needs a home,” Moonman announces over a cup of tea.

“We’ll take it! We’ll take it!” shrieks my daughter Angel.

“I don’t know if we should get another dog. What about Jenna?”

“Dogs also need friends…” says Moonman, wise as ever. “Why don’t you just meet the dog and see?”

So we set up a little adoption evaluation meeting. Mushka is an English speaking black dog with the smoothest hair in history, a cross between a Dachshund, a beagle, a spaniel and a Cape otter. It’s love at first sight. There is no question whether we’ll take her. We take her home. She refuses to sleep in her basket and repeatedly sneaks into Angel’s bed, lying on her back, head on the pillow, little front paws folded neatly over the blanket. The two of them become inseparable immediately.

Mushie

Mushie is ecstatically happy to be alive every single day. She should really have been a circus dog. She can dribble, pass, bounce, catch, kick and fetch a ball like a pro.

Mushie is also a bit of a loose cannon, and has bitten at least twelve people, three chickens and one cat.

Mushka thinks she is Moonman’s wife (which makes Angel his mother-in-law). She adores him feverishly, obsessively – then again, most animals do. But the Moonman has other plans for her. He has recognised Mushie as the Chosen One, the virgin who will provide him with an heir. Or, more accurately, an heir for old Toby Senior, his sons’ dog. Toby must have a (legitimate) son. Mushka shall be the mother.

We wait for the planets to align correctly and the moon to be full. At last, the happy day dawns. We arrange a conjugal visit for the not-so-immaculate conception on neutral ground: the stables where we go horse riding. Everyone is in eager attendance: Moonman, me, Dynamo Boy and Surfer Dude, and of course, Angel, the anxious mother of the bride.

Toby is an experienced lover, having been around the block several times. Mushie, on the other hand, is a virgin bride, understandably nervous. We hover at a respectful distance and hold our breaths.

Suddenly, the star-crossed lovers start howling piteously. Oh dear.

Perhaps Mushka has suddenly realised that she is to bear Toby’s children, not the Moonman’s.

Or…

Oh no. I know what’s happened.

“Dad, dad, check, check! They’re STUCK!” crows Dynamo Boy, eyes wide.

“Whoa…” says Surfer Dude.

“My baby!” sobs Angel, fleeing to the tack room.

“Hold on,” says Moonman, stepping up to the entwined pair. He grabs both by the scruffs of their necks, and carries them off, like Siamese twins, joined at the… well… NOT at the hip. He dumps them rather unceremoniously into the water trough.

With one hand, Moonman keeps the pair still, and with the other he dials his friend the vet.

“What should we do?” he shouts over the howling of the wretched dogs.

“Oh, it’s very common for dogs to get stuck,” she replies non-chalantly. “It’s a sign of a good mating. Congratulations! You’ll have puppies in two months!”

Some mothers have water births. Others have water conceptions. A miracle to witness, either way.

Finally, Romeo and Juliet come unstuck.

“Geez, Dad, look at Toby’s – ”

“Whoa, it’s almost as big as – ”  exclaim the boys.

“Whaaaaaaaaaa!!!!” wails the mother of the bride.

I’ll spare you further graphic post-coital details. Some things are better left unsaid. Toby struts off, albeit slightly (ahem) stiffly. Angel eventually dries her tears and loads the panting and wet mother-to-be into the car.

We mark the big day on the calendar and settle into the confinement with Mushie.

“She’s so emotional,” observes Angel towards the end of the pregnancy.

"She's so emotional"

(to be continued…)

Erica Neser (c) 2012

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