Several weeks have passed but there are still about two weeks until the puppies are due. But there is no doubt that Caldas and Emma were absolutely correct to declare themselves pregnant – with the bellies they are showing, there is no question!
Caldas in particular is enormous. She is a bit shorter in body than Emma, and she seems to expand in all directions. At the moment, she looks like she has swallowed a melon whole, and is nearly as broad as she is long. One of the activities that she has decided is suitable to preparing for a family is to squeeze through the bars of the garden fence into the flower bed, where she is no doubt looking for soft enough earth to dig herself a big hole. The problem is that at the moment she can barely get her belly through the bars, and in another week or so, this will certainly be impossible.
Emma is not quite as big, but there is no question there either. She looks like a very well stuffed sausage. Emma, however, has absolutely no interest in digging holes, she wants nice warm beds and blankets.
Both of them spend most of their time sleeping and dreaming of puppies. Sleeping means either on the sofa, under the blanket I keep there for cool evenings, and most preferably cuddled between me and the sofa back. They are not at all concerned that this means that I am half off the sofa and have absolutely no room for my feet. As long as I provide a warm body and periodic petting, that is quite sufficient. There is a lot of jostling for position, each of them preferring to be as close as possible to my head and hands, and they will push and shove each other to try, with their persistent little muzzles and licking tongues, to get the most choice spot, until I intervene and send them down to the foot end.
On the bed, they make themselves a lovely den on the pillows under the blanket. Usually I don’t see dogs on the bed, just little lumps curled up under the bedding.
There have been a lot of changes in their eating behavior. Caldas has always been a very eager eater, and Emma a little lady who eats sparingly. For the first part of their pregnancy, both of them were more picky and each would eat part of their meal and turn up their noses at the rest – but as soon as they were let out of the pens where they were fed, each would sprint to the other’s dish and gobble down the food. Now, Caldas huge belly makes it difficult for her to eat a quantity, so she eats slowly, while Emma is ravenous, gobbles down her food, and waits impatiently to see if Caldas will leave anything that she can also grab.
Of course, the pressure of the puppies inside, and food, means that they have to go out much more often – a good night’s sleep is a thing of the past. I have to get up to open the door for them at 2, 4 and 6 in the morning to keep them comfortable, as well as frequent times during the day.
But if it is raining or the ground is wet…! Self respecting pregnant mothers-to-be can’t possibly go out when it is wet!!! I have to physically push them out the door, and then they stand huddled on the porch, pressed to the glass, pawing to make it clear to me that they have absolutely no desire to be out in these terrible conditions….(Of course, at this time of the year, when there is rain, it is mostly a drizzle…) Caldas will not even come to the door on her own, she curls up in the far corner of her bed, and looks at me in horror – “What? You expect me, in my delicate condition, to go out there???? Impossible!” The only way to tempt her out is to go the refrigerator, take out a little treat, and bribe her to come out. So far, this has worked very well, as the bits of sausage are very desirable, but the last few days I have noticed that her response is a bit slower and her expression is starting to show suspicion – “I know what you are doing, and now I am not sure it is worth it….”
Emma, on the other hand, does always listen when I ask her to do something – but her expression clearly shows me what she is thinking. She has a gremlin face – she narrows her eyes to a slit, curls her mouth up in puckered smile, ears back, and shows the world how totally miserable she feels about being asked to do things, when in her condition she should be pampered. One of her favorite times for the gremlin look is when I tell her to get off of my stomach – a place that, for some unexplainable reason, she has decided is the best sleeping place. “But why? It is so comfortable!” Well, not for me…
Caldas is an obsessive groomer, and has always spent a good deal of time grooming Emma. But now Emma is not interested. In the year and a half that the two girls have been living with me, I have never heard Emma growl at anything. But now, when Caldas starts with the endless grooming, Emma puckers her lip and growls under her breath. “Leave me alone. I am contemplating motherhood.”
In two weeks, the waiting will be over. But I am anticipating that motherhood will bring new challenges…