You may recall that I mentioned how lucky I got at Saddle Mountain Kennel in my previous post. Well, I did mention the lady’s name, Bonita, which, perhaps, I should not have. But the damage is done – in more ways than one.
Bonita and I met when I was less than four-months-old. She wasn’t at all interested in me due to my age. I wanted to play nonstop, but she brushed me off early in our relationship. Nita, as she is known by those who love her, is a lovely yellow lab and lives in the town next to where we live. She’s one of three companions for two generous people who are acquaintances of James and Ron – you could call us friends.
As I grew older, my friendship with Nita flourished. I will admit she is not easy to get to know, but once she lets you in, you are dedicated friends for life – BFFs. You might remember that I loved going to this particular kennel. G, the owner, gave me free range of her house and yard. Only a select few of us possessed that privilege. Nita was one of the chosen along with me.
It was during April 2014, I’m eleven-months-old, and James and Ron are in New York City visiting friends and going to the theatre and museums. Nita is nine years old, and her companions are also out of town. We two canines are at Saddle Mountain together, hanging out with our friends and having the run of the place without much supervision since we are well trained and sociable with one another.
Nita and I are not what is colloquially referred to as “fixed.” Oh, and she is in heat. I’m approximately fifteen and Nita is north of fifty-five in human years. A randy teenager and a cougar are how James describes us. One thing led to another with the two of us having fun beyond our wildest imaginings.
Jump ahead four weeks and James receives a call from Nita’s female companion. She wants to know two things: 1) was I at Saddle Mountain at the same time as Nita during April, and, if so, 2) am I still “in one piece.” After James affirmatively answers both questions, she tells him Nita is pregnant at an elderly age with her first litter, and she believes I am the culprit – so to speak.
Now James becomes concerned for Nita’s health and asks if she will go full term or the alternative. He is told there is no question but that she will definitely go full term. Within days the entire town in which Nita lives knew about our tête-à-tête. Of course, no one has yet to inform me that I’m going to be a father. James and Ron keep it a secret from me for some unknown reason.
And so the anxious awaiting of the delivery of puppies begins. I say anxious because no one knows if Nita will be able to survive their births. Still, I know nothing about birthing babies.
Speaking of babies, James wrote a poem about baby birds I think is appropriate to share with you. We hope you like it.
While Vermont’s various birds build
their sundry nests, my dog,
Trek, and I welcome the spring
with invigorated prepping of
our yard and garden – me with spade
and Trek with paw.
Three blue-as-the-sky robin’s eggs
crack, the babies grow, and
take an early flight, ending up
hip-a-de-hopping around the yard.
Four days these three go from
place-to-place scattering like
dandelion seeds until there are two:
One last seen on the window
ledge feeding as I watch
engrossed in the love shown by the
parents. The other finally reaches
the top of the picnic table
which is its last spot.
Fly away little robins.
The ducklings count to five as they
swim around the pond, with
some displaying greater independence; ever so
tiny but making waves like speed boats, they
rush to their mother as we approach. From
a distance they are quite brave, gradually
moving further and further afar
with their parents never far afield.
Then one day there are none.
Two baby barn swallows perch on a
spruce limb while their parents circle and
circle, grabbing food, and delivering it to
their waiting mouths. Soon they separate,
yet still close to one another with
each taking a turn. I look away, and when I have
an opportunity to glance back
they are gone.
How sustaining the world we live in. While
Trek and I care for the land, the birds
care and nurture their young until
they fly the coop, and we all renew the cycle.
Such are the pleasures delivered
by Vermont’s baby birds.
While James loves the cycle of life, I no longer enjoy that benefit. Why, you might ask. Because shortly after James received the call from Nita’s female companion, he called the vet and made an appointment for me to be neutered. That is the technical term for having my … masculinity removed.
The next week was a holy hell. James and Ron believed I didn’t know what they had done, but, oh, no. I knew damn well what happened to me. It hurt like hell and damaged my pride. [Okay, this is James. Enough about this. Let’s move away from this topic, shall we?] Well, you get the picture though it’s not a pretty one.
Suffice it to say the anxious waiting continued while I suffered. During the second week after my manhood disappeared, the vet removed the stitches. While we were in the vet’s office, I overheard talk about Nita expecting babies. I knew instantly it was my Nita they were discussing, and the babies were, drum roll please, MINE!
While we are on the topic of babies, come back in two weeks and read about “Puppy Love.” This is truly how I got lucky, thanks to Nita. Believe it or not, James and Ron, in turn, received luck.
Between now and then, feel free to scroll down and leave me a comment. Let me know what you think of my blog and James’ poems. I always like to hear from you, so please leave me a note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.
Until next time,
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)