“I ain’t the kind believes in ghosts, But some nights I get pretty close” Chris Knight – North Dakota
This happened last spring. It’s happened before. I don’t talk about it. I can tell the story this way though.
Windy was due any time and she was big. She was in a kennel at the end of my bed. Early spring cold and dark outside. Black sky, bright stars and deep quiet. I had a good fire going and the house was nice and warm. Nobody here but me, Buttercup sleeping on the bed, and Windy. I stayed up late with her, got up and checked on her a couple times during the night, but no puppies.
Fell asleep with the light on. I was sleeping hard about 4 AM and then Lisa was there, by the bed. She said “Wake up! Time to get to work!”
“Get up! I delivered the first two puppies for you, but you need to wake up!”
I could hear a puppy crying and crying and I said Where is that puppy?
She said “By your bed. Time to get up!”
I finally got woke up. There was a puppy crying. Windy was in labor. Yep, she had two puppies. One was way at the end of the kennel and was cold and wet and crying. I tucked it in by mom and it quieted right down. Then I had to sit there a minute.
Lisa spent a good share of her life next to the sound of newborn puppies before she left us, right here in this place. The sound of puppies was the sound that called to her. Maybe it still does.
When I brought Ray home from the vets office I bred a female to him before I put the cone back on him and put him away. He chewed the cone off right away. Bred another female to him a couple weeks later.
Friday morning driving up to the farm again with the truck loaded with dogs, a hell of a fight broke out in the back. I had a bunch of females in heat in the cab, all the males were in the dog box. I pulled over on a busy road, dropped the tailgate, opened the box and grabbed Ray by the back legs and managed to pull him out without getting bitten and without any dogs getting out on the highway. Ray was able to get one last good bite on July before the fight ended.
Didn’t have anywhere else to put him so Ray made the rest of the trip sitting up front with me in the driver’s seat, face covered in blood and a happy grin, looking out at all the cars we passed.
I hunted Ray hard this spring, fixing the sound of that loud pretty bawl mouth in my brain, filing it away with all the others than have gone on ahead of him. Once on hard packed old snow he got off by himself and ran the same rabbit for hours without any kind of mistake.
I’ll be looking and sorting through all these puppies for one like him. Ray is buried up on the hill now.