This afternoon Sam's preschool class is going on a field trip to the park. His teacher asked if I'd come along as a parent volunteer and of course I jumped at the opportunity to work with my middle child and get to know his friends from school a little better. Chris and Jake made arrangements to go visit Grandma and Grandpa Anderson and there was talk of pop drinking and candy eating. It was going to be a glorious day!
About 11:10 we started getting ready to go. The kids found their shoes. They put on their brand new socks (purchased yesterday). I kept hearing whining. The kids were in the living room fixing their shoes... nope.... none of them looked unhappy. I started looking for Goofball (the new kitten). Nope... she and Jazz (Sam's black dog) were not at loggerheads. Then I heard it again.
Wouldn't you know it!?! There she was... on my bedroom carpet... whelping puppies! We've been watching since last Tuesday (when she a had a bit of false labor) wondering when the puppies would make an appearance. Everything I've read tells you that your bitch will go off her feed before she whelps. Zowie ate everything in sight this morning, and yet... there she was... in all her glory... on my bedroom carpet.
Chris and I got the 4 puppies we found in my room moved to their pool in the shop. Zowie eagerly followed us out. I called Sam's grandparents and school to let them know we would not be there today. Then we waited. In the shop my children have a setup that looks like a pool party going on. The swimming pool (where Zowie whelps and we keep the puppies the first two weeks) is in the center of the floor. There's a door behind her and shelves to one side. Ranged around the rest of the pool are lawn chairs, blankets, water bottles, a huge bowl of dogfood, 5 or 6 rawhide retriever rolls, newspapers, old beach towels, and a large mug of tea.
Sam brought the tea. He very assuredly tells me that, "Mommies need tea," At this point Chris and Jake returned to the house to watch cartoons (Yea! No school! Mom's busy! Quick, get the potato chips before she comes to check on us!!!). Sam spent all afternoon in the shop, sitting in the pool, patting Zowie's head, saying, "It's ok Zo, good Zo, look at your puppies Zo," He calmly places clean towels over the cold, wet towels. He helps struggling puppies find teats. He watches to make sure each puppy born gets cleaned and dried. When Zo starts pushing and I'm not there he calls out to let me know she's having more babies. What an amazing 4 year old Sam is! I absolutely love that he would rather stay with his whelping dog than watch cartoons! It's amazing that he calmly, gently, quietly supports the dog (when others might run around making noise and stealing puppies). No day at school would have taught him more. No teacher or classmate would have presented him with an opportunity to really care for a living creature today! Life's lessons frequently are not learned in a classroom and we are so blessed that today we had the option to choose which environment we'd spend our school day in. It is a glorious day!
**10 puppies and counting.
**11 puppies at 3:45pm