But no. We are not going down that path strewn with twinkle lights and elfin magic. Far, far from it.
And, before you dare to read on, this is the point where I must give a TMI warning. This post will be filled with too, too much information about animal husbandry. Actually, more appropriately, this post will be filled with information about avoiding animal husbandry.
If you follow along, or if you care to glance back even one post, you realize that Jim and I rescue animals. Yes, bring us your broken, your old, your castaways. At Tails You Win Farm, we love them all the same.
But damn it, don’t bring us your “in season.”
Yes, for today’s slam-my-head-against-a-wall purposes, the word “season” refers to that lovely period (pun intended?) when a female dog is in heat, estrus, oestrus, “a delicate way.” Call it what you will, it means she’s feeling frisky (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, boom-chicka-wow-wow) and any boy dogs within a five mile radius will be feeling even friskier.
The “lady in waiting” is our foster puppy, Hannah. She is now about eight months old and is experiencing her first heat cycle, therefore we are all experiencing her first heat cycle.
Why, you ask, did I allow enough weeks to pass to allow THIS to happen?
Yeah. I messed up.
I had fully planned to have her spayed well before we had to experience the joy of Hannah’s maturing sexuality. It appears I planned it about a week too late.
You know, things got busy. I lost track of how old she was. She’s just a cute, playful little puppy. I had no idea I should be reading the canine version of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret to her.
While we are not in immanent danger of creating little Hannahs – all potential male suitors in our home are neutered – we still have to keep a close eye on our little Lolita in dog’s clothing in the event that her siren scent carries on the wind to any passing stray dogs. Oh yes, they will show up, and they will try to breach our fortress.
To add to that fun, our resident neutered boys seem, well, quite interested. In fact, I’d describe them as willing and apparently able to introduce Hannah to the world of safe sex. Yes boys and girls, neutered male dogs CAN still perform the act of breeding. I found that out the hard way once upon a time.
I’ll give you a quick mental picture of my champion Dalmatian show dog out in the middle of my yard “tied” in a compromising position (Yes, tied. Dogs get stuck for a bit, for lack of a more charming way to explain that.) with our neutered, smiling mutt of a foster dog. This was back when I lived in a neighborhood. With other houses in sight. And families. Did I mention that this is the vision that greeted the neighbor kids as the school bus dropped them off on the corner?
Yeah. I was the popular neighbor. The red-faced one standing out in the yard with my naughty, naughty “we just need a few minutes to calm down” dogs while impressionable, wide-eyed children passed by. You see once they are tied…well…you just have to wait it out. “Ummm…hi kids…the doggies are fine! No, they can’t play right now. Scoot on home!”
(WARNING: Do not Google “tied dogs.” Just don’t.)
Hey, the parents of those kids should have thanked me. I opened that awkward “we need to have a talk” door that so many parents dread. You. Are. Welcome.
The point is that I thought it was safe to let my in-season girl out in the yard for a quick potty break with a neutered boy. He wouldn’t have any interest. He shouldn’t have had any interest. Oh, but he did. And he did. (Boom chicka-wow-wow)
So now, back in the lovely present, we are in the middle of three weeks (yes, THREE weeks…it lasts 1, 2, 3 weeks) of joy, rotating Hannah and our neutered, though quite amorous boys in and out of crates and runs.
Howie, our senior ranking male Dalmatian, has taken the high road. He seems to understand that it’s pointless and is not interested in Hannah. But the younger guys? Oh lord.
Boog the cattle dog, Bernie the pit mix, and Kainan the wolfdog all have a shiny, hopeful gleam in their eyes and big dopey grins on their faces.
Safe or not, my answer to each and every one of them is HELL NO.
The moral of this story is, mark your calendar with a big red X on the date when you plan to have your female puppy spayed. Six months is a great target date. I missed it…learn from my folly.
We have another 10 days, give or take, to go in this less-than-merry season. We will survive. Hannah will have an appointment with our veterinarian as soon as doggedly possible.
The good thing that came out of this was the realization our other teenager, Cupcake (CC for short) was also coming of age, so we rushed to the vet to have that potential train wreck derailed. She now sports a lovely little spay scar (which if you say that fast and out loud sounds like space car and that never fails to make me laugh).
Very soon, we can get Hannah a space car too. Hannah will stop whining and yipping from her temporary confinement. The boys will stop whining and pacing and, in Kainan’s case, howling in mournful lust. Peace will return to the farm.
Everything will be just fine and dandy. Until our current Dalmatian show dog, Brooke, decides to “celebrate the season” again. And let me check my calendar…yeah, that could happen just about any day now.
Hey, Jim, aren’t we done showing her now?
Maybe the lovely Champion Brooke wants a fancy space car too…