oh yes…i have been quiet of late…
and i should try to explain at some point…but first…a few housekeeping items…
- as time permits (and more about that in a minute) work continues on ‘the deep end of your dreams…’ – so don’t despair…
- things had grown so uncomfortable over at literotica that backing off seemed appropriate, then all my log-in credentials over there vanished and any attempt to log on just wouldn’t work. then, a few weeks ago, someone from lit reached out and asked if i was interested in a little series they’re putting together this july, and would i write a story for it. anyway, for some reason i got back on after that and i’m writing a story for their siren’s song event, and as this story is due by 3rd july this has taken on more importance – though i say importance advisedly – as in…urgency? i’ve always resisted writing for a series like this, but here we go…
- and then another one of those life events that comes along from time to time…well…one came along…
- those who’ve been following along here for the past couple of years know of heidi and hopie and goose, and you know what role these springers play in my life (it’s a biggie). well, round about valentine’s day the girls went into heat and goose got lucky, and right around the end of april, just like clockwork, heidi’s water broke and all kinds of puppies popped into the light. two days later hopie’s pups came charging into the world, too, and its right about here that i need to tell you a little story, one that happens to be true.
so, once upon a time…
My dad was going to a breeder one afternoon to look at some bird dogs and as I was just home from school (for good) I tagged along. There were dogs and pups of all ages on the breeder’s farm, and most were in the process of being trained as bird dogs. In no time Dad settled on two…but then…there was this little Springer pup – and I mean little, like seven weeks old, if memory serves – and the little thing kept running into my shoes, then biting my shoe laces – but all-in-all the little guy seemed very klutzy. This kept happening, and several times, too, so I gave in and bent down and picked up the little fella.
Big Mistake. The bond was instant – and strong.
But life is like that, you know?
“What’s with this little one?” I asked the breeder.
“Oh, him,” the breeder said. “He was born blind, bilaterally detached retinas. We just found out an hour ago.”
“So…what happens to him?” I said, looking into the little fella’s eyes.
“As soon as the vet finishes up with another exam we’ll put him down.” Yes, I could see milky refractions when the light hit his eyes just so…and I could see a future in those eyes, too. Mine? His?
Which is how it came to pass that for the next fourteen years I had a blind Springer Spaniel. I named him Odysseus, by the way, and for some odd reason his was one of the most gracious souls I have ever known. Yes, I loved him dearly, and yes, even though he left me almost thirty years ago there’s rarely a day that goes by when I don’t stop and think of him.
Of course there’ve been many Springers in my life since, and many litters of Springers too, but none have hit me the way Odysseus did – until Heidi came along, anyway.
So…Heidi’s water broke and I slipped on my catcher’s mitt, started catching her pups as they shot out, and of course she produced seven pups – all born on my father’s birthday, but you already knew that, didn’t you? Surely I’ve mentioned Heidi and Hopie were born on my mother’s birthday? No? But you know by now, life is like that, the music of life is like that.
So, of course I decided to keep the first little girl that come out because, well, something called out to me when I saw her.
And when Hopie’s water broke two days later I was in the kitchen – and I heard a hideous crying sound, a very human cry, and I ran for my office to see what had happened. Hopie was curled up on my sofa and her water had just flooded the cushions – and down on the floor was what I thought might be a fetus. A tiny little Springer – crying so loudly it hurt my ears.
And when I say tiny, let me lend you some perspective.
Most of these pups were as big as my cupped two hands and weighed about a half pound; this first pup from Hopie’s litter was about the size of my little finger and she didn’t make it to an ounce on my scales. I wrapped her in cloth and held her for two days straight; her mouth was too small to take a nipple so I made one that would fit her tiny mouth and got Hopie’s milk into her. She slept on my chest for her first week and I think her will to live was matched only by my immediate love for her.
As I’ve said time and time again here, life presents you with choices. For me the choice has come down to either live inside love or give in and surround myself with darkness.
And so, of course, I went into over-drive and now the little girl is up and running with the rest of her littermates. A little smaller, true enough, but she made it and when I pick her up now I can see that will to live shining through. I have decided I can’t live without her, too.
Which leads me to one last thing, the firstborn girl from Heidi’s litter.
When she opened her eyes a few weeks ago and looked up into my voice I saw that familiar milky shine, and yes, she’s blind – or soon will be – after her retinas detach completely.
And yes, there’s a remarkable symmetry about all this – at least to me there is. Suzy-Q, my new blind pup, and Sara, my vertically challenged fighter, have, along with Heidi and Hopie and Goose, become my constant companions, yet when I look into all these eyes I see the most amazing things, and I know that when I leave this life I’ll do so surrounded by beautiful girls.
That is, I might add, not a bad thing.
oh, by the way…
two litters = fifteen puppies = sleep deprivation on an epic scale
writing output? really?