on pins and needles

Charlotte is due to deliver any day now.

Yesterday morning she went on a nest-making rampage, digging a hole under the bridal wreath bush, biting out the pointy roots, piling up the dirt and leaves to make a soft floor. Today she was even more frenzied—six nests, total. She built one under the porch stairs and then tried to climb out through the stairs (instead of via the opening at the end) and got stuck a la Pooh after his honey binge.

My daughter built a whelping box (with my husband’s help) . Even though the one side is low enough to jump over, it’s a struggle for Charlotte and her sagging belly. Charlotte is now spending her nights on the floor of the downstairs bedroom, beside the box, my daughter within arm’s reach on the sofa above her.

I am surprised by how affected I am by the impending delivery. I keep one ear cocked for the jingle of Charlotte’s tags. I tiptoe behind her, scrutinizing her every move. Is she panting? Was that a whimper? Is she walking somewhere with purpose, or is she pacing in discomfort? I lift her tail and peer at her nether regions. I look at the concrete floor after she sits on it: is that spot of moisture from discharge or wet feet?

I feel frozen with all the waiting. Yesterday I spent the day moping, actually moping. After supper, I laid down on the couch and didn’t get back up, so exhausted was I from the suspense. It’s ridiculous.

Anyway, this is how I’m frittering my days.

In the meantime, how many pups are in there? Want to place bets?

This same time, years previous: meat market: life in the raw and the best chocolate ice cream ever.

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