“Sure we’ll take it!” (part 2b)

Escape from Death Row

Life rarely goes as planned for humans, and the same applies to dogs. A small obstacle is put in our path. Weighing about half a kilo, I would guess.

It begins with a phone call from Moonman’s niece.

“There’s a puppy at the vet’s rooms – if they don’t find a home for it by four o’clock, they’ll put it down.”

“Well, I don’t really want a dog right now, I’ve already got a puppy on order.”

“Why don’t you just meet the dog and see?”

We’ve heard these words before, haven’t we…?

And so four week old Lucky is saved from death row.

Lucky puppy or lucky man...?

Moonman arrives at my house with a plastic bowl containing a blanket and a puppy with no teeth. She can’t really walk yet, only waddle. Moonman, previously a firm advocate of the “Dogs Should Live Outdoors” and “No Dogs On Furniture” philosophy, asks me, a touch shyly, “Can she stay inside for the night?”

“Of course. We can put her in the kitchen.”

“Uhmmm, wellll, I was thinking that I could maybe let her sleep in the bedroom.”

“Oh…ok,” I respond, and I’m sure at least one eyebrow must have lifted ever so slightly in surprise.

So the puppy, truly the Luckiest Dog in the World, sleeps under her master’s side of the bed in her bowl. With hot water bottle and ticking clock. Twice during the night, I hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet. The Moonman is snoring soundly. I pat the proud father’s shoulder.

“Your baby is awake. She probably wants to go for a wee.”

(And I continue sleeping blissfully, a little grin on my face, no doubt. I’ve had my turn getting up for babies at night.)

One month later, the puppies arrive. I’m the Dog Doula, being the only other female present who has given birth.

I am....The Dog Doula!

Moonman and Lucky are watching, eagerly awaiting birth of their made-to-order puppy. The first four babies look nothing like Toby, and Moonman begins to voice doubts about their paternity and Mushka’s purity. But, finally and to my great relief, the long awaited heir emerges, tiny and wet. Moonman proudly cups him in his big hands and whispers in awe, “Son of Toby!”

Son of Toby

Five days after the birth, Mushka is going out of her mind. She needs to GET OUT. We load her into the car, and bring the babies along in a basket. Mushie excitedly scampers up the bergpad, hindered only marginally by her swollen teats flapping in the breeze. Moonman carries the puppies to the dam, where Mushie is already paddling after the geese. An old lady is walking her dog. She spots the squirming heap in the basket.

“Oh, how sweet!” she coos.

“We’ve just come to drown them in the dam,” says my Moonman with a straight face.

“Oh no! You mustn’t!” gasps the poor lady, turning pale. I rush to her side to reassure her that Moonman is just kidding, we would NEVER ever do such a thing. The tannie leaves, not amused, looking back over her shoulder several times.

As the seven puppies grow, another little character pushes herself into the spotlight. This is Shia, born as an afterthought, plopped unwittingly onto the floor when her mother was on the way out for a wee after the long labour. Shia is as bright as a button and beyond adorable. Ok, I know, all puppies are adorable by definition. But Shia is too cute, and she, too, resembles Toby Senior.

Toby and Shia: who could say NO?

Envisaging a house filled with mongrel puppies that can’t find homes, when the time is ripe I start giving puppies away left, right and centre. Finally, only Toby Junior and Shi-shi remain. Moonman can’t make up his mind. Son of Toby was the whole purpose of this pregnancy, but Shia is irresistible, and then there is Lucky…

“Can’t you keep them for me?” he pleads.

“You’d have to pay maintenance,” I reply.

In the end, Moonman takes both “monkeys” as they have become known, adopted siblings for the Luckypuppy.

The “No Dogs On Furniture” rule, I notice, fades very fast.

“She’s not actually ON the sofa,” he defends. “She’s on a blanket on the sofa.”

"She's NOT on the sofa"

“Aahh. Well, in that case…”

Pretty soon, the dogs are so entrenched on the sofa, that if we want to watch some TV, we have to ring the doorbell, wait for them to run out barking, and quickly jump onto the sofa before they come back. When we take them along to Langebaan, we imagine Lucky telling the others, “Langebaan is not far: I’d say about one and a half hours, sofa to sofa.”

“I wanted ONE dog. Now I have THREE,” Moonman sighs. “How did this happen?”

And then there were THREE...

***

Erica Neser (c) 2012

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. meladjusted
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 13:42:09

    Suckers!! I’m so glad that you lot are out there taking up all the puppies 😀

    Reply

  2. ericanexpress
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 15:48:54

    You;re right, we’re suckers. As you’ll see in the next chapter, not just dogs, but most other furry things…!

    Reply

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