The aroma of fresh coffee brewing and the sound of country music playing announced the new day before Faith even opened her eyes. Squinting against the brightness that burst through the kitchen window to the laundry, where she had slept the past week, she stretched out her front legs.
Ken came over with her breakfast bowl. ‘Hey, Girl. How’d you sleep? You were restless last night. Uncomfortable?’ He returned to the kitchen and poured a coffee.
Faith ate her breakfast hungrily without rising, lapped some water and rested her head on her paws. She woofed but it sounded more like a grunt.
‘I’ll be here all day; in fact I have a few weeks off. It’s going to get busy for all of us. Shield will be back later today. He’s at yet another training session.’ He paused to take a sip of his steamy brew. ‘I’ve missed you the past few months. Don’t get me wrong. Shield’s been a good help on patrols but he’s not my Faith.’
Turning awkwardly in a circle on the bed she settled back into the same position. If only I could get comfortable. I hope the doctor is right. This time tomorrow I’ll be quite a few kilos lighter. Well, except near feed times.
‘You know, I called him “Boof” at the end of last night’s shift.’ Ken chuckled when Faith lifted her head. ‘Yeah, I know. He’s OK and he’ll make a great dad. I’m just not sure he’ll ever be a great security dog.’
With her head resting again on her paws she closed her eyes. Maybe you’re right…on both accounts and yes, I think Boof suits him.
It was just after she had eaten a few nibbles of lunch when the first puppy arrived, quickly followed by six siblings.
‘Well done,’ Ken exclaimed while checking the last puppy for signs of stress. I’ve called Luke – your favourite vet. He’ll drop by on his way home from the clinic. I can’t believe you’re a mother of seven.’ He watched the puppies feed and noticed that she had eight nipples. ‘Well, at least there’s plenty to spare.’ He patted Faith before leaving her to nurse her family.
Shield was delivered safely home shortly before the vet arrived. He danced around the kitchen just outside the laundry door until the knock on the door.
‘All right Shield’ Ken warned. ‘That’s enough.’ He grabbed his collar and led him out the glass sliding door that led to the rear verandah and closed it before Shield could push his way back in.
‘Ah,’ Luke sighed as he entered the kitchen. ‘The over-protective father. He’s a bit clumsy too if I recall correctly. You may have to be here when he’s around Faith and the pups.’
‘I will. No problems about that.’
Luke checked Faith first then each pup one at a time making sure they had good suction. ‘A nice litter you have here. Don’t forget I have first choice,’ he said with a grin and a wink. He stood to wash his hands in the laundry tub. ‘OK. That’s about it.’
‘When do you want to see them again?’
‘I’ll drop by in a few weeks to check when their eyes are open. Bring them into the clinic say in eight week after that for their vaccinations. Call me any time if Faith has any issues with her health or feeding.’
It was when Luke moved past the back door to head up the hallway that Shield barked and jumped at the glass.
‘That’s enough, Shield!’ Ken pointed and directed him to sit. ‘I’ll limit his visiting times or he’ll be stressing Faith out.’
‘It’s probably a good idea and if he get’s rough with them, you may have to ban him from any close contact.’ Luke paused before opening the front door. ‘You will need a bigger area for the pups anyway. Perhaps a divided area where Shield can oversee without you having to watch him every minute.‘
‘Sounds like a good idea. It will give me something to do while I’m off work. Thanks again for stopping by.’
Back in the kitchen Ken stood watching Faith and the pups to his left and then Shield licking the glass to his right. ‘Ah Boof, what an interesting few weeks we have ahead.’
© Chrissy Siggee – 2019