Monday, 11 April 2022

To Everything There is a Season

 And is had come to that time in a certain lady dog's life when she was in season.

    Tallulah was (we hoped) ready for mating (again)! So we were going to visit Angela at Wicani Collies to see if this time we might end up having some puppies.

    Of course this kind of thing always happens at the wrong time.

    Angela was really busy as her current litter of puppies was just at the point of being ready to leave for their new homes, so Angela had visitors arriving all week to collect their special puppies and take them off on their new adventures, but she made time for us to visit twice, to be sure that Tallulah was well and truly mated.

    We visited first on Thursday, then went back on Saturday afternoon for the second mating.

    Graham had told out butcher that we were visiting our collie breeder friend and the butcher had immediately gone to his freezer and presented Graham with a sack of bones, 'Oh' said Graham a bit surprised by the quantity, 'I was just hoping for a carrier bag or two.' 

    'I haven't finished yet ...' said the butcher vanishing out freezerwards again.

    So we went to Angela's this time with a sack and a half of good butcher's bones.

    Angela had warned us that she might have a visitor from Northern Ireland picking up a puppy, so we weren't that surprised to be greeted with a kitchen heaving with activity when we got there.

    As we opened the door a puppy tried to escape and had to be gently propelled backwards. We made it inside to find two puppies, their mum, Angela, the visitor, us and Tallulah (on a lead) all milling about. Keith greeted us from behind the door into the next room (staying out of the bedlam while he could, I think.)

    As soon as possible, Angela, Graham and Tallulah vanished outside for the mating, but Angela was soon back as she had brought Sigil, Tallulah's boyfriend, for me to see. Sigil is absolutely beautiful (well, all Angela's dogs are beautiful!). He is a dark sable colour, with a lovely, friendly personality. He came for a cuddle and a kiss, then off he went with Angela to go and do his duty.

    When Angela had gone, and there were just me, Keith the dogs and the visitor, in my head (as I didn't know her name) the visitor immediately became 'Talky Woman'.

    She needed no help to make conversation, well it wasn't exactly conversation, as you only had a chance to get a word in when she paused for breath - Keith tried a few times, as did I. But Talky Woman needed no help filling in any silence either talking to herself, to her phone or to her puppy (a pretty little tricolour girl).

    Talky Woman went on for some time. It appeared that she was hoping to say 'Goodbye.' to Angela before she left, but whatever was going on in the mating area, was going on a looooong time.

    This was a mating of epic proportions.

    Poor Keith kept desperately saying, 'I'm sure Angela won't be long.' and gazing hopefully out of the kitchen window.

    Oh then mother dog decided to be noisily sick. This is the way wolves feed their weaned puppies, and she felt her weaned babies needed dinner.

    Keith looked at me, as he knows I can't do sick - I would just join in - but I was carefully examining a photo collage of lots of lovely Wicani collies on the wall away from the sick. Keith was trying to keep the puppies away from the sick, while looking for something to clean it up with, until mum dog got fed up and decided to re-eat it herself.

    Those photos were really good, so many lovely dogs, none of which are here, la la la la la, I sang in my head.

    Keith fastened mum dog into the puppy cage, to try and avoid a re-run of the sick scenario, and said 'I'll just see what's going on.' and made a break for the freedom of the outdoors.

    Talky woman seemed to dry up without a full audience and started playing with her phone, while the little tricolour girl played with my fingers.

    Keith came back with instructions that the carrier bag on the table was full of the paperwork and puppy accoutrements that Talky Woman needed and Talky Woman announced that wherever she had left her husband it was now snowing, so maybe she ought to get off and pick him up.

    It was around then that Angela, Graham and Tallulah came back, and Talky Woman and her puppy,  eventually went so she could get back to wherever she had to catch the ferry to Northern Ireland from.

    Keith said afterwards that often the husbands don't like to be involved in any of the doggy stuff and especially any mating, they will go off for a walk or stay in the car, or in this case be dropped off miles away to wait in the snow!

    We promised Angela that any questions or worries we had, we were to ring her - so I suspect she may well regret that as this is a brand new adventure for us all - before we went off to the car.

    Then Graham quickly ran back just to ask how long a dog is pregnant for. Angela told us it is around 60 days, but her dogs are often a few days early.

    So I have counted the weeks on the calendar, and a possible due date is marked in.