Coco and Her Little Surprises

Not long after our dog Van Dyke had died, the groomer that we used to take Van Dyke to, called my mother about an overweight brown poodle named Coco. Coco’s previous owner had died, and the groomer had helped the family of the previous owner and took care of Coco while searching for a new owner. My mother loved poodles and jumped at the chance to adopt Coco and keep her on a special weight-loss diet.  

We had had Coco for a few weeks, and everything was settling in for her. She fit perfectly into the family as if she were meant to be there. We kept her on the strict diet we were told she needed, though she always wanted to eat more, and her weight never seemed to go down. She was also active and played with me and the other dog we had at the time. 

Then on one Saturday morning, while my sisters and I were watching the Saturday morning cartoons, Coco let out a small but loud yelp. We each turned and looked at her and asked if she was ok. Seeing that she was licking herself very carefully I walked over to where she was lying on the couch. At first, I just thought she was licking her hind leg, but then I saw that there was a small black puppy. Being the young child, I was at the time, I sheepishly yelled, “Mom, Coco just had a puppy!?!” 

My sisters rushed over as my mother yelled back, “What?” in a very shocked voice back. Then Desi, my oldest sister Desi yelled back, “Coco had a puppy!”   

My mother rushed from the back of the house to see what we were talking about. There on the windbreaker jacket that Coco was lying on was her small puppy. My mother told us to get my father who I believe was outside or in the garage. He came in and laughed, “I guess she wasn’t fat after all.”  

Now like most dogs, they have a litter of up to 6 puppies and not one or two. Well, Coco was no different, but what we did not know was that this one puppy was not the first in the litter or the last. In fact, while getting a maternity bed for her to keep the puppy in she had at least one more puppy. However, Others that were born earlier were yet to be found.

Later that morning, after the Saturday cartoons ended and Coco and her puppies were settling down, my father went around the corner of the backyard and heard the yelping of a puppy in the grass. Then a couple of hours later while my father and sister Suzy were working in a dirt section of the backyard when my sister heard the whining of another puppy. This puppy was somehow under a piece of half-inch plywood. Both puppies were cold and a little dirty, but all in all, they were healthy and united with their mother who wagged her cropped tail in excitement.

Now Coco had a couple more puppies and she seemed more comfortable with the newer arrivals. She started to act more like a mother to the puppies as she cleaned them each and nursed them. This was her first and only litter, so it is not wholly uncommon for new mothers like Coco to be confused when she gave birth.  

We talked and laughed at the fact my dad and sister had found those two puppies outside. We of course were glad we found them and that they were healthy. My father said she must have had the first puppies early in the morning when Coco wanted out.  

My father and sister Suzy went back outside to finish the work that they were doing when they found the two puppies. Yet again Suzy started hearing the very faint yelp of a now sixth puppy. This time the poor little puppy was buried up to his neck with just his head showing. The puppy was the only one of the litter that had a light brown coat that matched the color of the dirt that surrounded it. It would also end up being the runt of the littler. This little puppy was very cold, and we were worried it would not make it since it had been over 4 or so hours since the first puppy we knew about was born.  

In the end, Coco was a great mother to each of the puppies. The runt was the favorite one of the litter and we called him Bruiser because he ended up being the biggest and strongest of the litter. My sisters and I begged my parents to let us keep Bruiser, and as children do, we promised the world if we could. Thankfully we gave him a lovely home with friends in the neighborhood. Coco lived many more years and at one point almost became a fat dog in her old age.  

Related Post: Van Dyke, Youthful Till the End

Author: littleslices

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