Percy tells Merci, “I was just trolling the net for pet news and came across an interesting news item I thought you might like to read, you being a girl and all. Here, you’re short. I’ll enlarge the print so you can read it.”
“Oh, what beautiful puppies,” Merci exclaims, her eyes shining. “And they’re red, like me.”
“Yes, but you’re not an Irish Setter,” Cyndi says, squinting slightly at the computer screen from her perch on the printer.
“I know I’m not an Irish Setter, and if they have 15 puppies at a time, I’m glad I’m not one. I can’t imagine trying to feed all those hungry puppies.”
Percy nods. “That’s why I thought this article so interesting. While mama Madyson was giving birth, the family’s English Setter Liliana cleaned up all the puppies and even though she wasn’t pregnant, she began to produce milk to help feed them. Now the two dogs work as a team at feeding time and all the puppies get their proper nourishment.”
“That’s sweet,” Merci sighs. “I never had any puppies but Buddy took over my den when he was 3 or 4 weeks old, and then Samaritan moved in when he was 4 months of age. Those boys always wanted to play tug or wrestle or run over me to fetch the toy first. They wore me out! So I feel I’ve done my part to help raise the younger generation of canines.”
Percy leans over and pats Merci on the top of her head. “I’m sure they appreciate you, Merci. I know I do. You rescued me when I was barely big enough to eat solid food. I can see why you wouldn’t want to have a litter of Buddys and Samaritans but I’m sure you wouldn’t mind having 15 of me running around the house.”
Merci, stunned, stares up at Percy. Cyndi begins to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” Percy asks.
“You are. We’d all go bonkers if there were 15 of you running around the house. You might not be a canine, but you, Buddy and Samaritan are like 3 peas in a pod. I think it has just occurred to Merci she has actually helped raise 3 screwballs, not just 2.”
Percy protests. “I resent being called a screwball! Just because I’m a feline rescued and raised by a canine does not mean I’m a screwball.”
Samaritan enters the living room with a mouth full of dog biscuits
has tossed down to him from where Jan hid them on a porch shelf. He stops at Jan’s typing chair where Percy is seated and opens his mouth. Crystal
Percy reaches out and helps himself to a green one. “Thanks, Samaritan.”
Samaritan bends his neck so Merci can reach up and choose a dark brown biscuit.
Cyndi shakes her head. “Perhaps screwball was the wrong word. An animal psychologist’s windfall would be more accurate.”
To read the news story on Madyson and the puppies’ surrogate mother Liliana, click here.