‘WOW this little guy has one blue eye,’ Ken exclaimed.
Luke took the pup from Ken. ‘”Heterochromia iridis.” It’s rare. It occurs as a result of too much or too little melanin in one eye. Can happen in humans too.’ He studied the pup further before reviewing the eyes again; a torch in hand.
‘So what does that mean?’
‘Well, nothing we can hope. It’s certainly striking. You may have problems selling him but I wouldn’t worry about that just now.’
Ken reach for the pup. ‘What do you think, Faith? Shall we call this little one Blue Eye?’
Faith licked her pup.
‘Thanks for coming around, Luke. Much appreciated.’
I see you built two new kennel yards. Great size.’
Ken led the vet through the rear door. ‘Yes, it seems to be working well. I bring Faith out onto the verandah with two or three pups at a time before bringing Shield out. He’s certainly clumsy. He almost squashed one on of them trying to play with it.’
As if on cue, Shield barked and jumped at the fence.
‘It’s sounds like a plan. Faith’s area is large enough for the next few months if you don’t sell them all by then but let Faith and Shield out together for an hour or two every day. Just watch his behaviour though.’ He looked beyond the enclosed area to the rest of the small acreage and chuckled. ‘A good place to wear them out as they grow, and believe me, they’ll grow.’
The two laughed and shook hands.
‘Call the clinic when their ready for their vaccinations. If its easier, bring Faith in at a different time.’ Luke left by the side gate.
Ken released the catch on the Shield’s cage. ‘Hey, Boof! How about a sprint around the acreage?’ He started the three-wheeled farm buggy and sped off.
Shield leapt out of the enclosure and chased after Ken while Faith and the pups looked on.
On a sunny day five weeks later while the pups were exploring the back yard beyond their enclosure, Ken released Shield for the first time with his whole family.
Ken mounted the buggy and turned the key. The buggy rumbled to life. ‘Let’s go! Shield, Faith.’
Faith turned to her pups and barked a couple of times before chasing after Shield who had already bolted after the buggy.
It wasn’t until Ken sped past the litter on his first lap that the three bigger pups joined the chase. On the second and third laps all but one pup had joined the game.
Faith slowed and plodded over to the little one that just sat staring out at the paddock. Aw…come on little Blue Eye. She nudged the little one but he remained staring. She woofed gently before she turned and ran to follow the last of the slower pups.
Blue Eye leaned forward. His eyes focused only on the buggy.
Again Ken sped past. ‘COME ON BLUE EYE! YOUR’E MISSING ALL THE FUN!’ By the time Ken had passed Blue Eye the pups were spread around the full lap of the paddock.
Still Blue Eye sat and focused on Ken and his buggy. Then…One, two, RUN! With an awkward leap forward, Blue Eye raced directly out across the worn track almost colliding with his youngest sister. With eyes focused straight ahead he ran faster than he thought his little paws could carry him. He crossed the centre of the paddock just as Ken made the bend to take the back straight.
Blue Eye yapped and slid sideways into the dust cloud that had formed behind the buggy. He was now leading the pack ahead of his father. Yap Yap Yap
Ken glanced behind. ‘How’d you do that?’
Ken steered into the final bend toward the start place with Blue Eye yapping close behind. He glanced over his shoulder as he approached the turn to begin a new lap. Blue Eye had slowed and returning to the same spot to sit and stare as he had before.
Ken watched Blue Eye in amazement. ‘You must be kidding me,’ he said out loud to himself when Blue Eye again dived out to cross the paddock. ‘He’s figured this out.’ He laughed. ‘Go Blue Eye!’
Again Blue Eye skidded in behind the buggy and yapped loudly. This time however, the others were slowing, including his father. Ken slowed to let Blue Eye pass but to his surprise the pup came up beside him and slowed to match the speed of the buggy.
The two continued side by side until Ken stopped and turned the engine off. ‘Well I’ll be…we have one smart pup here, Faith.’
The proud mother didn’t need to be told. She was all ready smothering him with licks. Shield however was not so pleased and bared is fangs.
‘Shield! That’s enough!’
At Ken’s pointed finger, Shield returned to his enclosure.
‘Well, Faith,’ Ken said. ‘I think we had better get these pups cleaned and fed.’
While Blue Eye enjoyed a few moments praise from his mother, the rest of the pups headed to the back porch. Ken approached Shield where he had waited at the entry of his enclosure. ‘Ah… Shield. Don’t be jealous. You should be proud of Blue Eye…all of them. You have a great family. Try to get on and don’t be so rough.’ He patted Shield before filling his food and water bowls. Leaving the gate ajar, Ken headed over to feed the rest of the family.
© Chrissy Siggee – 2019