These puppies have been the perfect way to start 2017. They have already grown so much since this photo. They are actually almost 4 weeks old, and no longer have those bright pink paws or noses.
The puppy breath is like Manna from Heaven.
My 94-year-old Granny came to visit the puppies the other day (she came to visit me too, but let’s be honest, the pups was her main reason for calling). My Granny doesn’t go many places these days, she likes the comfort of her home. Who am I to question if it’s 80 some odd degrees and she still is wearing a cachucha (Mexican for beanie) and flannel shirt? If there is the slightest drop in temps, she will complain it’s too cold. My house is always too cold for her so usually when she does visit, she is constantly talking about my ceiling fans and turning them off and turning up the air conditioner to make it warmer. But, when Granny said she wanted to come visit the puppies, I was like “come on!” I have an aunt in town this week, she is from Oklahoma, she is one of my favorite aunts, mi tia, Hilda. She and another aunt, Aunt Dorothy, brought Granny. Those names, I know, but that’s talk for another time. This is Granny’s birthday week, so lots of family will be in town to celebrate her 95th birthday. And before all the family begins to arrive, Granny and my aunts came to get their dose of puppy breath.
The expression on my Granny’s face blew me away. She squealed when she saw the pups. She speaks Spanish, and to hear her normally little voice, which is normally soft in nature but still sprinkled with bits of distaste and grudge was now a voice of happiness, loud and rowdy glee, real joy. “Ay Reene, mida, que lindo.”
She asked me to bring her a chair. The pups were kept in the laundry room, and she was ready to take a seat and hold puppy after puppy and have them lick her hands and face. Momma dog kept coming up to Granny and jumping on her. I thought it was annoying, and I was worried that Daisy might knock her over. As much as I scolded Daisy for jumping, she wanted to give Granny kisses and wanted her attention also. Granny didn’t mind, she kept saying in Spanish, that Daisy must remember her from other visits.
Those puppies brought back many memories to Granny. Granny was reliving her years of raising Cocker Spaniel puppies. I haven’t seen her so pleased in years, it literally felt like those puppies had added life to her days. I grew up at my Granny’s. Back in my day, Granny was almost a puppy mill, raising litter after litter of cockers to sell. I lived in amongst those puppies back then, laying in their bed, and letting them crawl all over me. I learned too. I watched my Granny care for those babies, milky puppy chow, trips to the vet to dock tails, AKC paperwork, and Clorox. Lots of Clorox. I think that’s where I must have gotten this longing for puppies, from her.
Never mind my aunts being there too. They were the same as Granny, in the same heaven that Granny was in. Aunt Hilda laid across the floor to be at the puppies’ level, and just started cooing over them. Aunt Dorothy standing over the litter, picking up puppy after puppy, smelling all the puppy breath she could, and getting her dose of kisses too. Aunt Hilda had also raised puppies during her younger days. She always had Dobermans, and later Cocker Spaniels. She had a red female Doberman Pinscher, Ma Barker, and a red male, Dillinger. Later, she had a black female cocker, and a champagne colored cocker, Sheba. Sheba was her baby! Hilda was just as crazy about all of those litters as she was when she was laying on that laundry room floor playing with Daisy’s babies.
Granny said in Spanish, that she wanted a puppy. I quickly reminded her about them needing vet appointments, running in the yard, accidents, and cleaning up, and for crying out loud, the simple task of bending over for my Granny. There was no way that she could handle a puppy. It broke a little piece of my heart thinking that she could no longer care for something that would have given her such joy. Secretly I promised that I would take the puppy that we are keeping to see her often. I whispered to her “Granny, I’ll bring the puppy over to see you all the time.”
I went to CrossFit the next day. One of the girls asked me “How are you ever going to give those puppies up?” I had to choke back my voice because I could feel the emotion over the question. I wasn’t worried about the pups (yes I was), but I was thinking more about my Granny. I was thinking of her joy in holding those babies. I thought over and over again how that small bit of morning had brightened my Granny’s day, her week. It had jogged memories of happy times, of younger years, and Granny’s previous abilities. I’m glad I was able to give that to her. I am Granny’s favorite granddaughter; she calls me her Princess. Granny is my favorite; she is my Princess.