Excerpts from Chapter Six – ‘A Little Honey called Candy’ – in
Poor little mother Candy—she was hardly past her own puppyhood. Far too young for this painful experience. It’s the one bit of Mother Nature’s plan that I don’t ‘get’. Maybe to ensure ‘only the fittest survive’? Hmmm…
At last the first black head appeared, but she had no idea what was happening—except something was hurting her and it was unbearable. She twisted sharply around, ready to punish the cause of all this angst. She would have bitten her first-born I’m sure, if I hadn’t quickly lifted it out of reach. But then she became too preoccupied with giving birth to the next… and the next.
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“Eight beautiful black babies.” My eyes still mist over, though my mental picture is clear.
From day one, they seemed to have two speeds. Full ahead, pushing and shoving their way into the squirming tangle of tiny bodies, each trying to latch tightly onto a teat. And full-stop—as they slept, finally resting their pink bellies, swollen impossibly large with Candy’s milk. In sleep, their tiny mouths and noses still twitched; no doubt dreaming of milk—the focus of their tiny world, whether awake or in dreamland. Their preoccupation with teats and mouths even found them sucking furiously on the paw or ear of the puppy alongside. Other times, one mouth would make a sloppy connection with another and suction continue until both realised their efforts produced nothing even vaguely like mother’s milk.
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Young mother Candy would have battled to survive without a little help from her best friend, and would gratefully accept any time out and R&R I could provide. It was no chore to share play and nuzzle time with those babies, and smell their delicious baby puppy breath. I close my eyes, and that sweet scent fills me with love and tenderness once again. Better than the most expensive perfume money can buy.
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