I am four days away from a deadline, working through line edits on a novel coming out in December. At the moment, I wish I could pull this particular heroine to life. You see, she’s a veterinarian. Okay, so now you’re wondering: “Why one earth does she need a veterinarian to help with line edits?”
It’s not the line edits, it’s the surprise I got yesterday while I was working on those line edits.
“Mom?” my teenage son calls as he skids around the corner of my bedroom to my office. “You have to come quick. Bramble has puppies in the dog lot.”
Trying to wrap my mind around the fact the dog was still bouncing up and down off furniture just the evening before when she was brought in for dinner and play…trying to wrap my mind around the fact that my husband had checked her and felt nothing…I came back with the classic parental response. “Are you sure?”
“Yes! Three. Come ooonnnnn.” That’s teenager speak for: “Get your fingers off the keyboard and back away from the computer.” (I might add he’s actually said something close to that in his best future police officer voice.)
So, out to the dog lot I go. Yes, indeed. Three little spotted puppies. Two dogs and one bitch. Two that will be tri-colored and one that’s black and white…unfortunately, that’s not the bitch. But they are very cute—what puppies aren’t?—and our first time mother is doing a wonderful job. Mama and puppies are now in a towel-lined box inside the house.
So, while this wasn’t a total surprise—i.e. yes, we had her in with our male—here’s what led up to it. I have seen Bramble do nothing but snarl and snap at Digger. I checked her every day when we fed for signs of her coming into heat. Nada. But obviously, at some point, she was—and Digger, the sneaky weasel, managed to do what males do very well. Two weeks ago, I looked at my husband who has lots of experience with dog breeding and said, “Take a look at Bramble. Do you think she’s pregnant or just fat?”
Still, I had my suspicions. So when he got home Thursday, I mentioned it again. He checked her and couldn’t feel a thing. Now, over the years, my spouse has bred Dobermans and terriers. He worked for a vet at one point in his life. My experience is much more limited, but I do remember Bramble’s mother. She waddled like a duck, looked like those little statues of Buddha, and would never have been able to bounce up and down off all the furniture less than 12 hours before giving birth.
So where’s Digger, the dad, in all this? Well, like a lot of new mothers, Bramble snarls at him anytime he gets close. I remember that feeling. So, at the moment, Diggy is confined to outside. And don’t tell him now, but it looks like separate living quarters from now on.
And I still have four days to finish line edits. Dr. Barlow, where are you when I could use a good vet, even if it's just for moral support?