This was the last litter of puppies we were going to
Cocker Spaniel to have.It had been a very long night for me. Precious, our only black Cocker
was having a very difficult time with the delivery of her puppies.
I laid on the floor beside her large four-foot square
cage watching her every movement.I was
watching and waiting just in case we had to rush her to the veterinarian.
After six hours the puppies started to appear.The first born was a black and white party
dog.The second and third puppies were
tan and brown in color.
The fourth and fifth were also spotted black and
two, three, four, five," I
counted to myself as I walked down the hallway to wake up Judy and tell her
that everything was fine.As we walked
back down the hallway and into the spare bedroom, I noticed a sixth puppy had
been born and was now lying all by itself over to the side of the cage.
I picked up the small puppy and laid it on top of the
large pile of puppies, which were whining and trying to nurse on the
pushed the small puppy away from rest of the group and refused to recognize it
as a member of her family.
"Something's wrong," said Judy.I reached over and picked up the puppy.My heart sank inside my chest when I saw the
little puppy was hare-lipped and could not close its little mouth.
We had gone through this once before last year with
another one of our cockers.That experience like to have killed me when the puppy died
and I had to bury it.If there was any
way to save this animal I was going to give it my best shot.
All the puppies born that night, with the exception of
hare-lipped pup, were very valuable because
of their unusual coloring.Most would
bring between five to seven hundred dollars each.
The next day I took the puppy to the vet.I was told nothing could be done unless we
were willing to spend about a thousand dollars to try and correct the
defect.He told us that the
puppy would die mainly because it
could not suckle.
After returning home Judy and I decided that we could not
afford to spend that kind of money without getting some type of assurances from
the vet that the puppy had a chance to live. However, that did not stop me from
purchasing a syringe and feeding the puppy by hand, which I did every day and
every two hours, for more than ten
The fifth week I placed an ad in the newspaper, and
within a week we had taken deposits on all of the pups, except the one
with the deformity.
The little guy had learned to eat on his own as long as
it was soft canned food.
Late that afternoon I had gone to the store to pick up a
few groceries.Upon returning I happened
to see the old retired
school teacher, who lived across the
street from us, waving at me.She had
read in the paper that we had puppies for sale and
was wondering if she might buy one
from us for her grandson.
I told her all the puppies had been sold, but I would
eyes open for anyone else who might
have a cocker spaniel for
sale.I also mentioned we never kept a deposit should someone change their mind, and if so I would
let her know.
Within days all but one of the puppies had been picked up
their new owners.
This left me with one brown and tan cocker, as well as
the smaller hare-lipped puppy.
Two days passed without me hearing anything from the
gentleman who had placed a deposit on the tan and brown pup.So I telephoned the school teacher and told
her I had one puppy left and that she was welcome to come and look at it.
She advised me that she was going to pick up her grandson
and would come over about that evening.Judy and I were eating supper when we heard a
knock on the front door.
When I opened the door, the man who had placed a $100
deposit on the dog was standing there.We walked inside where I filled out the paperwork, he paid me the
balance of the money, and I handed him the puppy.
Judy and I did not know what to do or say if the teacher
showed up with her grandson.Sure enough
at exactly the doorbell rang.I opened the door and there was the school
teacher with her grandson standing behind her.I explained to her the man had come for the puppy just an hour before
and there were no puppies left.
"I'm sorry, Jeffery.They sold all the puppies," she told her grandson.
Just at that moment, the small puppy left in the bedroom
began to yelp.
"My puppy!My puppy!" yelled the little boy as he ran out from
behind his grandmother.
I just about fell over when I saw
that the small child was hare-lipped.The boy ran past
me as fast as he could down the hallway to where the puppy was still
yelping.When the three of us made it to
the bedroom, the small boy was holding the puppy in his arms.He looked up at his grandmother and said,
"Look Grandma.They sold all the
puppies except the pretty one, and he looks just like me."
Well, old Grandma wasn't the only one with tears in her
that day.Judy and I stood there, not knowing what to
"Is this puppy for sale?" asked the school
"My grandma told me these kind
of puppies are real expensive and that I have to take real good care of
it," said the little boy who was now hugging the puppy.
"Yes, ma'am.This puppy is for sale."
The lady opened her purse, and I could see several
dollar bills sticking out of her
wallet.I reached over and pushed her
hand back down into her purse so that she would not pull her wallet out.
"How much do you think this puppy is worth?"I asked the boy.
"About a dollar?" He replied.
puppy is very, very expensive; more than a dollar."
I told him.
"I'm afraid so." said
The boy stood there pressing the small puppy against his
"We could not possibly take less than two dollars
for this puppy," Judy said squeezing my hand."Like you said, 'It's
the pretty one'".She continued.
The school teacher took out two dollars and handed it to
"It's your dog now, Jeffery.You pay the man."
I think it must be a wonderful feeling for any young
look at themselves in the mirror and
see nothing, except "The pretty one."
There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth,
beyond the highest, the very highest heavens.This is the light that shines in your heart.
by Roger Dean Kiser from The Life
and Times of Roger Dean Kiser