The Love Life Of Fluffy The Lab
Wednesday - February 16, 2011
Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love in its many forms. Love for a parent, sibling or child is just as important as romantic feelings for your significant other. What about love for a pet? Do pets feel love also?
I believe so. Sometimes their love can be complicated and ... well ... misunderstood. This was the case when Mrs. Chadwick walked in with Fluffy and a litter of puppies. The scene was reminiscent of a talk show gone terribly wrong. Allow me to explain.
It was a breezy summer’s day and all was well in the hospital. Looking at the appointment schedule, I noticed a new litter of puppies in for their first visit and deworming. We often recommend that puppies be given medication to eliminate intestinal worms starting from 2 weeks of age. Mrs. Chadwick was more than happy to comply, and we were excited to play with a handful of adorable Labrador pups.
Upon entering the exam room, Mrs. Chadwick had a worried expression on her face. She grimaced as she gazed into the laundry basket containing eight sleeping puppies. At first I didn’t understand her concern, as the puppies appeared to be healthy. Soon however, the plot unfolded.
“Dr. Kaya, I’m a bit confused. I think something is wrong with the puppies,” Mrs. Chadwick began. “As you know, Fluffy has great lineage from pedigree lines. Her great-grandfather won best in show on the Mainland. We took great effort to find her a suitable mate and he was quite the stud. I don’t know what went wrong.”
As I peered into the laundry basket I soon became aware of why Mrs. Chadwick was dismayed. The puppies were undoubtedly cute, but not all of them looked like a Labrador puppy should. In fact, only four of them appeared to be purebred Labradors. The other four had a longer muzzle and the markings of a German shepherd.
I turned to Mrs. Chadwick and asked, “Do you ever leave Fluffy alone in the yard unsupervised?”
After some thought, she replied that Fluffy remained at home while the family was at work or school. She stayed indoors most of the time, but did have a doggy door so that she could go out when nature called. She assured me that the yard was fenced in, but Fluffy has been known to escape every so often.
I carefully explained the reproductive cycle of female dogs and how Fluffy could become pregnant over a twoto three-day period. If she was left alone at home and nature called in a different sort of way, Fluffy could have multiple sires for her puppies. As all this information started to sink in, Mrs. Chadwick’s eyes widened and she muttered, “Buster.”
I assumed that Buster was a neighboring German shepherd but with that angry gleam in her eyes, I wasn’t about to ask.
It was at this point that I thought if dogs could talk, what would Fluffy have said? I imagined the ruckus it would have caused if we were guests on a live talk show. It would have made for good ratings.
Well, do pets understand love? Sure they do, but not in the same way as humans. Animals have their own way of expressing amour.
So join The Wild Side and, as you gaze into your loved one’s eyes, howl at the moon in jubilation.
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