When You Least Expect It
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel lover thought her dream of raising puppies would never come true.
I crave dogs. I make sure that I’m never dog-less for very long, and I’ve even dreamed of watching my own dogs give birth to puppies. I always thought my dream of raising puppies would just be a dream, until Lucy came into my life.
A few years ago at a casual meeting for people who like and own Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue asked for volunteers to foster puppy-mill dogs. I was newly retired and had time, so I thought, sure. After I prepared my home, I drove out to pick up Lucy, a petite, Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I already had two neutered males, and they loved her. At first Lucy was clingy and fearful, but she rapidly warmed up to all of us. We went for walks and had friends over to meet Lucy.
Because Lucy was sick when I picked her up, I rescheduled her spay procedure for the first week after she finished her medication. Right before her vet check, a friend commented that Lucy looked pregnant. “No, that couldn’t be,” I said. However, an ultrasound confirmed that Lucy was pregnant with a litter of two. The spay operation was cancelled, and a delivery date was predicted.
A few days later, Lucy spent all night digging a nest in the sheets. She pushed and delivered a beautiful tricolor girl the next morning. Lucy licked the puppy clean, then settled down for a nap and rested until she pushed again to deliver another tricolor female. She cleaned and cared for both of them diligently. Lucy allowed me to touch and photograph the puppies.
I sat cross legged on the floor and watched Lucy care for her puppies for hours on end. She licked and snuggled and rolled them over. Now was my chance to watch puppies grow from birth to 8 weeks. I named them Sally and Violet because my other dogs are Charlie Brown, Lucy and Snoopy: the whole Peanuts Gang. Another dream had come true.
Sally was the first to leave the whelping box and the first to make noise. Violet seemed calmer and more easy going. They became fuzzy and feisty. We took trips outside and my boys started to play with them. Snoopy decided he didn’t like puppies and sat up on the lawn chairs if they were out. Charlie turned out to be like a fun uncle. He was gentle and playful, and seemed to know just what they liked. Charlie had his little girls jumping with glee.
All dreams must come to an end, and I knew parting with the babies would be hard. Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue helped place them in forever homes. Sally went all the way to Florida. I am e-mail and Facebook buddies with the new owners, so I see Sally’s progress in pictures and video. She has a wonderful home. Violet is living in a nearby suburb, and Lucy and I get to see her at Cavalier meet-ups, where this story began.
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