By Nichole Giles
This blog has nothing whatsoever to do with writing, except for the fact that I am writing it.
The other day I witnessed a miracle. No mountains were moved, no bodies of water were parted, but it was a miracle nonetheless. My dog had her first litter of puppies.
I was worried. I know it sounds silly, some might even wonder if I’ve finally lost my marbles. Dogs have puppies, cats have kittens, and women have babies every day. But Tika is a part of our family, and I was worried about her, and for her. I was also worried about the puppies. What if she had them on the ground outside in the cold and they froze to death? What if she tried to bury them in the sandbox like she does all her toys? What if she went into distress and we weren’t there to help her and then she died?
There are lots of things to worry about when it comes to bringing life into the world.
We knew she was due, so I paid close attention to her all weekend. I even went so far as to leave my window open as I was writing so I could hear her if she started whining. I did hear her whine, and my daughter saw her squatting, and I spent Sunday evening playing midwife to a dog.
Now, here’s the part I found miraculous (well, besides the whole giving birth thing as a whole). Giving birth to all four of my children, I had a doctor attending my needs, as well as several nurses. And I admit to having drugs, lots of them. I know women have been giving birth since the beginning of time, I do. But I am one of those people who would most likely have died the first time through if it weren’t for modern medicine. If I had survived, I would not have had the slightest idea what to do once the baby was out.
But, Tika and I do not have that in common. She really didn’t need my help at all. Even though I am not positive she knew what was happening to her days before, even hours before, when her time came, she knew exactly what to do. Even as I sat helplessly in the kennel, petting her head and whispering to her, she did everything herself.
Okay, I did help her put the first puppy in the doghouse. She seemed a little dazed at that point, but I didn’t have to clean the puppy, or cut her cord, or help her latch on to her mother. Tika already knew how to do it. To me, that was amazing. One of nature’s true miracles.
Incidentally, I am the proud new owner of 8 healthy and strong, newborn Golden Retriever puppies. I was wondering. If Tika has been like one of my daughters, does that make me a grandma?