Puppy Surprise!!!!!!!

LeAnn posted this blog on Saturday, December 29th, 2012 at 7:43 pm

It all started last Saturday evening.

Well, actually, it all started last summer.

One summer day, a stray dog showed up at my nephew’s house. He and his wife and children live just around the corner from us on part of the farm where I grew up.

The dog, a black Labrador Retriever type of dog, a female, was a very nice dog who got along well with everyone and really loved my great nephews and played nicely with them. They called her Zoey, and Zoey decided to stay and make her home there. She goes back and forth between my nephew’s house and my brother and sister-in-law’s farmhouse. It’s all one place, really, and Zoey thinks it is all her place, and that my brother and sister-in-law are her people, too.

Last Saturday evening, my sister-in-law asked me to come over for supper. Randy was out of town, but I decided to go anyway. While I was there, she mentioned that my brother had started to suspect that Zoey was going to have puppies. The dog had come to greet me when I arrived, and since it was cold out, she had, in fact, come in the porch of the farmhouse with me and stayed there.

I went out to the porch and felt Zoey’s belly.

Oh, yes, indeed. She was going to have puppies. I wasn’t sure how soon, but I didn’t think it was going to be too long.

The next day, Randy returned early in the afternoon, and then we went to town to pick up a few things. On the way home, I said I wanted to go check on Zoey.

My nephew and his family had gone to Minnesota for Christmas, and while Zoey had a very nice bed in their garage, the garage was not heated, and I was worried that if she had the pups out there, they would freeze to death in short order seeing as it was only about 10 degrees outside and getting down to zero or below zero at night.

The long and short of it is — we installed Zoey in the basement of my brother and sister-in-law’s farmhouse. Randy and I went home and cut two big cardboard boxes apart and duct taped them together, went to get Zoey’s dog bed, and then we made her comfortable.

The basement is not heated, per se, but the furnace is down there, and it is a rather small basement, made out of sandstone blocks quarried from the hill behind the barn. The house was built by my great-grandfather.

When we left, Zoey was happily crawling under shelves and sniffing among the potatoes, thinking that she was hunting for mice.

The next morning at 7:00 — Christmas Eve — my sister-in-law called.

“Guess what?” she said. “The puppies are here!”

I knew Zoey was close to having her puppies, but I never in a million years thought she was that close.

“There are 7!” my sister-in-law said.

I thought an odd number of pups seemed odd, but then you never know.

“We’ll wait until it gets good and light and feed the horses, and then we’ll be over to see how everybody is doing,” I said.

As soon as we got to the farm, we went to the basement. I started counting.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight.

I counted again.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight.

There were eight puppies!

Little black smooth adorable sweet puppies.

And Zoey was very at tentatively taking care of all of them. All of the pups felt warm and seemed to be moving around just fine.

Later on, my sister-in-law said that my nephew wondered if a black Lab at the neighbor’s place, a dog who had been there visiting with one of their children, could have been the daddy. All I know is these puppies are all black. And they were larger than I thought they would have been. But who knows?

In the week since then, we’ve been over to see the pups a bunch of times. My nephew and his family returned home, and my great-nephews (who are 4 and 6) are enchanted with the pups and visit them frequently. Zoey is taking wonderful care of her children, and she seems to enjoy company. When you come down the basement steps, you can hear her tail going whack-whack against the box.

Our beloved Springer Spaniel, Charlie, died in 2008. Our beloved Shetland Sheepdog, Pixie, died in 2011. Randy and I are debating whether we should get one of the pups. And we are definitely leaning in that direction.

I mean, really. How could we not? Surprise puppies. Born on Christmas Eve.

One of Zoey's 8 puppies -- at only an hour or two old -- born on Christmas Eve 2012.


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