S'Dandi Shih Tzu
All Rights Reserved
2000 - 2008
Sally and Dick Watkeys
8235 Outer Drive South
Traverse City, MI 49684
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S'Dandi Shih Tzu
Just BePaws . . .
This May holiday is a special one for anyone who has given birth or nurtured new lives and helped them on their way. Each year, the holiday has new memories-to be tucked safely in the heart and remembered later. This “Mother’s Day” was not in May, but is a Mother’s story with a canine twist…
Sunshine’s puppies were four months old and ready for their new homes. What fun they had been! Too bad we couldn’t keep them all, but we always knew that from the start. Each deserved its own wonderful home, full of love and being an “only puppy.” And today was “Showtime!”-the Berger’s were coming to look at our beautiful litter!
All four puppies, Mama Sunshine, and Auntie Jessie had all been bathed and fluffed. We wanted to make a good impression with the prospective family. Even my “real” children had helped with last minute fix-ups. Potpourri simmered on the stove and some refreshments were ready. Contracts were in order, pictures, Reporters and reference books displayed. We were all set. I sat down to wait for our visitors, holding my Sunshine. She had been my true partner in all of this. She had given me such beautiful babies. We had “talked” often in the 16 weeks leading up to this day. I promised to find very special places for each one.
It was Sunshine who answered the doorbell. From the beginning, she conducted the interview. She had vested interest in these people-I was there as translator. She greeted them happily and was admired for how sweet she was. While I showed them Nikko’s pedigree, medical record, and family photo album, Sunshine went from one to another, obviously checking them out as only she could. Auntie Jessie helped, too. (She really didn’t care for the little “whipper-snapper” puppies much anyway, and probably hoped that these people would just take the whole bunch!)
We presented little Nikko. He cuddled into the woman’s lap. Sunshine stood gently at her knees to reassure her baby, and, I’m sure to whisper, “Best behavior, please!” in his ear. I noticed her beautiful, dark eyes making contact, as if to say, “What do you think? Isn’t he beautiful?!” The woman was sensitive to her, and asked,” Do you think she knows why we are here?” I was sure she did.
By now, Sunshine had made herself comfortable on the floor just to watch. Nikko became restless and was put on the floor, too. Sunshine knew that idle puppies have a good chance of getting into trouble, so she went out to choose a toy for him. When brother and sister puppies barked to join the fun, Sunshine decided to show these people ALL of her wonderful family. (Believe it or not, while people talked, Sunshine DID go about all of this on her own!)
A real attention getter game is one we nicknamed the “Locomotion.” It is best played with all canines in the house running full-speed in a tight pack all through the house…at least three laps! Such fun!! (And you should have heard those people laugh?) I’d lost control of this adoption procedure, but Sunshine had it all under her control-uhh…”paws”. She was looking for FUN for her baby, and also to see what these people would do with a little puppy play. They seemed to really enjoy it! The puppies soon tired of their game and settled down to rest. Sunshine, too, settled back to watch Nikko react to these people. Was he afraid? Was he happy? Her gentle faced relaxed as she watched him. He would be just fine with them.
The Berger’s decided to take Nikko, of course. And really wanted to take his brother along too. “Wouldn’t it be fun to have two??!”-but he was spoken for already. I glanced at Sunshine. She looked genuinely pleased. I know that some people think that dogs have no emotions-but not me! All I had to do was look at her face… her eyes. The bittersweet happiness was evident.
After all the children, real and canine were settled in their beds for the night, Sunshine and I relaxed for a moment before turning in ourselves. Two moms, different, but with the same responsibility of raising kids and getting them ready for the world. She and I were truly partners, and this night, she did her part with flair. If the “sale” was made, it was Sunshine who did the selling. This adoption interview had been conducted by the Mother herself-and a canine at that! I had only helped with the wonderful people we had found for Nikko. Yes’s he would be missed, but we still had each other. We sat together a little longer, knowing that the right decision had been made.
Sunshine has since passed over the Rainbow Bridge, and little Nikko is seven years old. The Berger’s still keep in touch at Christmas time. Other Shih Tzu puppies have come and gone through our home, each leaving pawprints on our hearts. But this memory of that very special “Mother’s Day” will be treasured for many Mother’s Days (and puppy departures) to come.