D. E. Larsen, DVM

I had met Midge when she was 2 days old. I was looking at a cow at Ron’s place. I mentioned that we were looking for a dog for the kids.

“We happen to have a new litter of pups. Lab mixes, I would guess,” Ron said.

“The mother is a lab?” I asked.

“No, she is an Australian Shepherd. Well, mostly Australian Shepherd.”

We finished up with the cow, and Ron took me over to the pump house. There was Bessie, curled up in her box with a litter of 8 black puppies. All the pups only had short stubs for a tail, inherited from mom.

“You bring your kids back in 6 weeks, and they can have the pick of the litter,” Ron said with a broad smile.

“You have a deal, I am sure they will enjoy picking out their pup from the bunch. But you had better give away any of the pups you can. The pick of the litter is not that big of a thing for the kids. You wait on us, and you might end up with 7 dogs running around here.”

The kids marked off the weeks on the calendar. They were excited to be getting a new puppy. We all loaded in the car and headed out to Ron’s ranch. It was a warm day in the early summer, and the whole valley was green and growing. It made for a pleasant drive, out Pleasant Valley Road, and over the hill on Berlin Road.

Both Ron and Helen were waiting for us when we pulled into the driveway. The kids were bailing out of the car as soon as it came to a stop. Ron led the parade to the pump house. When he opened the door, the whole litter came tumbling out, falling over one another. They were happy puppies and happy kids. And the black lab mix pups all had legs not much over an inch long.

“These pups are fine, but you know, I don’t think they are black lab crosses,” I said to Helen as we watched the kids. Amy and Dee were on the ground with pups swarming over them, trying to lick the faces. Brenda had made her selection and had scooped her up early. My guess is that would be our pup.

“They have to be labs, there was no other dog around here,” Helen said, looking at Ron for support.

“The only other time there was a dog on the place was when Les came over,” Ron said.

“Yes, but Les’s dog was a Dachshund,” Helen said. “There is no way they could have got together.”

“My guess is when there is a well, there is a way,” I said. “You know the system is made to work. She probably laid down for him.”

Brenda loaded the little female pup into the back seat with the other girls. They had named her Midge before we were out of the driveway. Her legs were never over three inches long, and she conducted herself like a perfect little German Lady.

Published by d.e.larsen.dvm

Country vet for over 40 years in Sweet Home Oregon. I graduated from Colorado State University in 1975. I practiced in Enumclaw Washington for a year and a half before moving to Sweet Home to start a practice.

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