I suppose I should start this blog by mentioning that my husband and I have been together for almost 7 years and have no children together, much to his despair. Hence, our pets have become like children to us, whether we'd like to admit it or not.
We have 2 dogs. Meeko, our Pomeranian, has been a part of the family for 3 years now and about a year and a half ago, Lucy, our Miniature Pinscher, was added to the mix. I never thought we could handle 2 dogs, but my husband fell in love with Lucy and he was determined to bring her home. She was one of his friends many dogs and was treated poorly by some of the children in the house. I now can't imagine what it would be like without her.
An American's view on pets can be very different from that of a Mexican's. Growing up, my family's dogs went to the vet, had their shots, slept in our beds and ate Iaam's and the occasional (forbidden by mom) table scrap. My husband's dogs lived outside their front door, didn't know what a collar was, and got a crusty old tortilla or maybe some left over beans if they were lucky. When we adopted Meeko and I promptly made an appointment for him to be neutered, my husband thought I was crazy. When I announced that I was taking him to the dentist to have 2 stubborn baby teeth pulled, he thought I had officially lost my mind. He didn't get it then, and I don't think he gets it now.
So when Lucy came into our lives, he firmly announced that she was HIS dog and no veterinarian would be doing anything with her teeth or her lady bits. Well, I don't think he said lady bits, but you get the drift. I was floored by the idea of not getting her spayed. It wasn't in my realm of understanding. I responded to his demands by going out and purchasing a package of doggie diapers.
"What the hell are these?"
"I think it's obvious babe."
"Seriously? Diapers for a dog?"
"Well, yeah, what do you think we are going to do when she goes into heat?"
"Heat? Oh... ummm... yeah."
See it never really crossed his mind that we weren't in Mexico, and Lucy didn't live on the street out front, and that things really were different. He didn't think about things like her making a mess all over the house every few months, or having to pay 10 times as much to register an un-spayed dog in the State of Arizona because that's just not something he worried about with his dogs growing up in Hidalgo del Parral. Fast forward to the present.
The first night we moved into our new house, we hadn't put screens on the windows yet. Also, this is our first house in Mexico that isn't entirely tiled, so we secluded the dogs to the first floor so they couldn't ruin the pretty beige carpeting that covers the stairway and the upstairs. I expected Lucy to cry that first night, being that she is a hardcore cuddle bug and it was the first night she wasn't sleeping with us. So when I heard to whining and barking I thought nothing of it. I thought I'd implement a little canine version of The Ferber Method and she would calm down eventually.
After a couple of hours I grew restless and asked that Gordo go check on Lucy. When he got downstairs, he realized why she was crying. She was outside! She had shimmied behind the entertainment center and jumped out the cracked window and couldn't figure out how to get back into the house. And yes my friends, Lucy was in heat that night. Of course at the time we just brought her inside, shut the window, felt a little guilty for letting her cry so long, and went back to sleep.
It took about a month for me to realize she was pregnant and Gordo doubted it. Her nips and laziness were what gave it away for me. At 49 days gestation I took her to the vet for x-rays. My biggest fear comes from the fact that we have no idea who she hooked up with (that doesn't sound right) and if it was a larger dog, she could have issues with the birth. The images from the radiografia somewhat calmed me. It appears that she is only having 2 puppies and they are relatively small. But whatever comes out is going to be like a Kinder Sopresa.
I'm as prepared as I can be. I've got 2 whelping boxes set up and a little kit ready with scissors, rubber gloves, a nasal aspirator, alcohol, string, clean towels, etc. I've watched every dog birth video on the internet. I've read the reproduction chapter of Manual Para El Cuidado del Perro to my husband no less than 3 times. The couches are covered with old blankets. Lucy's been licking them like crazy and hell if she thinks she's having these puppies on my pretty couches! Gordo thinks I'm going overboard.
"What's this string for?"
"To tie off the umbilical cord."
It's been 55 days since she jumped out the window and my husband finally believes that she is pregnant. And of course it wasn't the x-rays that changed his mind. Los Cruz don't believe in all that Western medicine crap. Bring on the spells, bring on the brujas! Actually, when I showed him the x-rays, with the clearly defined spinal cords and rib cages of 2 dogs, he said, "I just don't see it." No, the x-ray didn't convince him. He finally believes me because Lucy is enormous. I feel horrible for her. She won't go on a walk anymore and when I took her outside to use the restroom this morning, she did her business, took 2 steps to get away from her business, and then practically collapsed in exhaustion. Poor girl. "This is all your daddy's fault," I tell her.
"Hey baby, if you thought cutting the umbilical cord was gross, wait till you watch Lucy eat a placenta."
"QUE?!" (Oh he's listening now, isn't he?)
"Yeah, you heard me right. Placenta. P-L-A-C-E-N-T-A."
"And make sure she doesn't eat more that one. She'll get diarrhea"
"Gordo, now do you see why we should have had her spayed?! Didn't you ever pay attention to Bob Barker?"