God must love us, because the farm mutt, Hoogie, gave birth to five puppies while Sarah and I were in town.
Another ground breaker: self-described hermits Sue and Richard allowed WWOOFers into their home for the first time. Maybe they wanted to show off the puppies housed inside. Maybe they realized I wouldn’t end my doorstep vigil until they opened the door.
A photo shoot ensued. For all the fanfare I created, with starstruck squeals and a blinding round of camera flash, one think it were Lady Gaga in the shoebox licking the puppies. I would have arranged the newborns at the center of a full-blown barn nativity scene and captured it for the family christmas card, had I thought of it.
Richard dubbed me the Puppy Paparazzi. A solid name for a future business venture or garage band, no?
These farm mutts differed dramatically from the thoroughbred mom-pup duo we stayed with earlier this summer, in Geneva. That puppy was named after the Icelandic volcano that recently shut down European airways – an obvious choice.
Seven-week old Eyjafjallajökull’s celeb-worthy moniker did serve as a reminder: he could erupt at any time. He’s not housebroken. I learned that the wet way. (Jon Stewart comments on pronunciation.)
Eyja was fathered by frozen sperm flown in from America. Apparently, pure Chinook semen is tough to find in Switzerland. This is the only instance in which I’ve met a European who wanted an American product. The product was sperm. Chew on that, GDP analysts.
The foreign sperm raised a few questions: Is the puppy a bastard? His dad is well documented, but the mother doesn’t know him. Also, has purebred come to mean, “hypodermically sealed and inserted via non-animal apparatus”? Finally, does Eyja have dual citizenship, and can I borrow his EU passport if he’s not using it?
Photos and fathers aside, the mutts and purebreds alike showed Sarah and I how much time one can spend with their mother without biting her.
**This Dog Blog is dedicated our own mother, Anne Lowrey Bailey, who has been largely supportive of our dramatic leap out of the shoebox.**