Once I knew Bonita—I call her Nita—was expecting, it made my unfortunate predicament more painful. This would be my last litter, so to speak. Of course, you might be asking why I’m only thinking of myself. Well, that’s because James and Ron were busy worrying themselves sick over what might happen to Nita when her time came to deliver. I figured she’d be fine, but given her age, the human contingent was not so sure.
As I healed, Nita grew larger. X-rays showed there were at least seven puppies to be expected. No one, and I mean not a single solitary soul, shared any of this with me. There was nowhere James went I didn’t go during these weeks, but never did he provide an update. I will admit James did disappear from time-to-time, during which—or so I have found out—he kept in contact with Nita’s human family.
Somewhere between eight and ten weeks after Nita and I became intimately acquainted, the painful delivery of puppies began. James had been anxiously waiting for the call which finally came. He offered to help, but someone else was already pitching in as a midwife. Too many people at the deliveries would not be healthy for Nita. Still, James received a call after every successful puppy was gingerly brought into this world.
James has asked me not to go into details about what happened, but to give a view from thirty thousand feet. I’ve never been that high, but I’ll try. Nita delivered four healthy babies. She was rushed to the animal hospital in Rutland where she was operated on to remove three little ones that didn’t make it. James, Ron, and I cried; they for Nita and her human family, me for my sweetheart and lost offspring.
After many tense hours, we were relieved to hear that Nita was fine, as were the four puppies who survived. I got a new chew toy that looked like a cigar, and James and Ron had a drink. It was a proud feeling, knowing I had four babies. I couldn’t wait to see them.
However, they wouldn’t let me see them for weeks. I don’t know why that is, but while James, Ron, and friends were allowed to cuddle with the babies, they required me to stay home, alone. Such is the fate for an unexpected Sire.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I can’t think of anything more truthful. As I pined away to see my offspring, my heart enlarged to the point of bursting. So much love flowed through the ventricles, pumping a grander amount each beat. Although I had yet to lay eyes on my little ones, I was madly in love with them.
Speaking of love, James wrote a poem about butterflies being in love. It has a message we might all find appealing. I hope you enjoy reading it.
BUTTERFLIES IN LOVE
My dog, Trek, sleeps soundly and I work
away diligently in my study
while outside a vibrantly sunny,
blue-bird day lengthens along.
As a couple I know breeze into my mind it
causes me to reflect on their
recent erratic behavior.
Distracting me as I look out my window
are two Monarch butterflies in love,
mounting as one upon an updraft
—fluttering, rotating, spinning, gyrating—
like an uncontrollable miniature
hot air balloon, then
they are out of sight.
While trying to remember where I
misplaced my reflection, these same two butterflies
suddenly reappear, one chasing the other
as they descend in circles back to the ground,
only to again disappear from view
into the grasses for, I would suspect, a restful repast.
Yes, these butterflies, like the couple who diverted
my thoughts, have their ups and downs
all the while dazzlingly inspiring one another.
Oh, many are the pleasures of Vermont.
That poem is special—at least to me it is. How James can think about love and the ups and downs of relationships—and I’ve had my share, believe me—while watching butterflies flit around out his window is amazing. He’s so creative. (Score! A treat.)
Back to my little ones, I waited patiently until I could welcome them into the world. Okay, so there were days I forgot about them as the weeks became months. Besides, I didn’t get to meet all of them at once.
Come back in two weeks and find out which one I met first. Or, I might talk about the one I met second, or third. I’ll decide between now and then.
Until then, please scroll down and leave me a comment, letting me know what you think of my blog and James’ poems. I always like to hear from you, so please jot me a quick note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.
Until next time,
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)