HOW SHERRY CREATED A FALSE ALARM
ANTICS OF MY CANINE DAUGHTER
ANTICS OF MY CANINE DAUGHTER
|Sherry and one of her ardent admirers - Bruno the Pug|
SHERRY and her “BABIES”
“I think Sherry is pregnant...!” my daughter says.
“What...?” my wife screams aghast, in consternation.
We are all comfortably settled for our customary after-dinner lounge in our living room, sitting comfortably in our sofas watching TV, while Sherry sits majestically on her “throne” near the door, where she will soon curl up and go to sleep.
“Look at her belly, it’s swollen, and her teats,” my son says, walking up to her, turning her on her back, exposing her femininity.
|Is she really pregnant?|
“Don’t do that, “ my wife shouts at my son, “It looks disgusting...!”
But I’ve had a look and I am concerned.
Any father will be worried if his ten month old girl gets pregnant...!
Doesn’t matter even if the ten month old girl is my pet Doberman X girl Sherry.
She’s just a baby. So I too walk across, examine her thoroughly, and hope that it is just not possible.
She’s just finished her first heat during which I had guarded her zealously, keeping her under my eagle eye at all times.
“Look, Sherry is digging a hole,” my daughter says next morning.
“So what’s new...?” I say. “She’s been digging away to hide her bones so many times.”
“But she used to cover it up putting soil and mud with long sweeps of her nose once she hid the bone,” my daughter says. “Look at this hole she’s digging – it’s huge, and deep, and she’s going on and on...!”
In the evening I notice that Sherry is still digging vigorously, throwing out mud, cement pieces and soil all over the place, and the hole is so big that she has almost disappeared inside and only her tail is visible.
“See, Sherry is building a nest...!” my daughter says.
“Nest...?” I ask.
“Yes. A nesting site...! I read in the library today. She is getting her den ready to deliver her babies.”
“Sherry is going to deliver...?” my wife panics.
“Please. Hold it. Relax,” I say. “Dogs deliver more than two months after mating... it takes 63 days I think.”
“Sherry’s mated...? So early...? ” My wife’s dog-lover friend, appearing from nowhere asks. She’s already booked Sherry’s pups, whenever they come.
“No. No,” I say. “It’s not possible. We had kept her strictly indoors during her heat. And whenever she went out, I kept her on a tight leash all the time during her chums.”
“Except once, when she disappeared for half an hour,” my daughter says.
“When...?” I ask.
“That day. Remember...? When you were desperately looking around for her all over the place...!”
I glare at my daughter, but it’s too late.
“It’s all your fault. I told you to be careful. Must be that Bruno. Lecherous rascal, I knew he would do mischief, the way he was hovering around desperately,” my wife says.
“Bruno...?” her friend asks.
“The Pug next door,” my wife answers.
“Hey, that's fantastic... A Pug and Doberman cross – just imagine how cute the pups will look... You must give me one,” the dog-lover friend is exultant.
"But how could a pug and a doberman...?" asks my daughter.
"They have their ways," the dog-lover friend says, "maybe she sat down or something."
“Please. Sherry is not pregnant,” I assert firmly, and go inside.
After some time, I call Sherry for her evening walk, but she is nowhere to be seen, so I look around, and then towards the hole she has dug, and there she is, ensconced snugly deep in her “nest”, only her cute black nose and two shiny brown eyes visible...!
She comes out of her “nest” and I look inside – it’s quite huge, and deep, T-shaped, so she can comfortable sit inside.
And Sherry – she’s not behaving like her usual self whenever I call her for her walk, jumping, prancing, cavorting, and vigorously shaking her lead in her mouth. In fact her demeanor is demure.
At night, I’m woken up from my deep sleep by a strange whining sound.
I put on the light.
It is Sherry, holding her favorite yellow crab squeaky toy, looking restless, giving me a loving compassionate beckoning look.
I get up from my bed, and she indicates I follow her, and she leads me to her sleeping place in the living room.
I put on the light.
Oh my God... Sherry has collected all her soft toys and squeaky toys – the green frog, the red porcupine, the blue rabbit, the fluffy ball, and, of course, her favorite yellow crab – and she curls up around them and tries to mother them as if they were indeed her babies...!
It’s amusingly poignant to see Sherry trying to nurse her inanimate “babies”.
The moment I extend my hand towards them she gives me a warning growl, so I just stroke the top of her head, and baby-talk her to sleep.
The moment I try to leave, she whimpers, pleads, moans, and I have no choice but to spend the rest of the night caressing and comforting her as she snugly curls around and protectively mothers her “babies”.
We observe her with amusement as she moves restlessly, searching for her “babies”, collecting new “babies” like my socks, a tennis ball, a sneaker, carrying them to the nest she has built outside, and then back to her sleeping place inside, and to secluded corners of the house, trying to mother them.
Sherry’s changed, become more mature and lovable, acting like a true lady, and I wonder what’s happened to the naughty girl she was once.
No more the playful bow pose of hers, now it’s just an affectionate tender look.
No more the insatiable round-the-clock hunger, but a sophisticated food-faddiness I cannot comprehend – she wants to be pampered, fed lovingly.
And her maternal instincts aroused, like a good mother she’s always protecting her “babies”.
My wife is anxious, “Look, she’s filling up. I think she’s got real pups in her womb. Let’s take her to the vet.”
The vet examines Sherry and says, “She’s not pregnant. It’s a ‘false pregnancy’....Pseudocyesis.... that's the medical term... ”
“False Pregnancy...?” my wife asks.
“Her body and her mind thinks she is pregnant. All the hormones are present... only the puppies are missing.”
“What should we do...?”
“Nothing much. It’s best to let it run its normal course and wear out. But if you want, I’ll give her a hormone injection.”
“No. No,” I say. “Let nature run its course.”
Actually I’m enjoying Sherry’s false pregnancy – it’s been a delightful experience so far, and am curious for more amusing things to happen.
I’ve read somewhere that once a dog has had a false pregnancy she’s likely to have it again.
I’m waiting for her next false pregnancy, and then when she’s had enough “dry runs” we’ll go in for the real thing.
Meanwhile we all are going to enjoy watching the antics of Sherry and her "babies"...
(An excerpt from my forthcoming book about Sherry and Me)