Bitch in Heat

I’ve never been comfortable with that word. It jars my ears every time I hear it on the lips of otherwise polite people. But, in doggy speak I’m learning it’s quite appropriate.

We’ve got a bitch in heat right now and she’s gone a bit wild.

I let her out in the back garden (back yard) on Saturday morning around 7 AM, then promptly forgot I’d done so. When the fog cleared in my head it was 9 AM. The kids were up.

I couldn’t see the dog outside the window and hoped she was happily curled up in the corner somewhere. But, when I went outside there was no sign of her. You can’t hide a dog of that size and I quickly realized that she’d escaped somehow.

The gate was shut, I hadn’t been so careless. And the fence was still in tact.

She must have jumped it, remarkable.

Then I remembered the advice I’d read on the internet. “Keep a new dog on a chain or on the lead (leash) for the first three months as they’re liable to stray.” I was a believer now.

I raised the alarm and was pleasantly surprised by the level of interest. Elisabeth had a little friend who spent the night and the two of them slipped on their shoes and jumpers (sweaters) and were soon out the door. (Yes, my fellow Texans, we need a sweater in the morning over here!)

I got on my bike, resolved that I would find the dog or come home with my tail between my legs.

All kinds of thoughts go through your mind when you’re riding through the park looking for a dog.

That stupid dog! Why didn’t I tie her up? Why didn’t I pay attention to the advice? Why do I always think I know everything? Where is that stupid dog?

I rode for over an hour and covered all the likely spots in the local parks. I talked to other dog owners, “Have you seen a tan Lurcher, sort of like a greyhound?”

“No.”

Another, ugly thought was encroaching my already disturbed mind.

Someone stole my neighbour’s shovel this week. Why anyone could be so hard up as to steal a shovel is beyond me. He’d been lifting fill-dirt off the pavement (sidewalk) for a project in the back yard and left the shovel stuck in the dirt.

When he came back it was gone, “jaked” as the kids say.

I began to wonder, Has somebody jaked my dog?

I was in communication with the other kids via mobile (cell phone) and they’d turned up nothing. We were all dog tired back at the house.

I contacted the SSPCA and learned that people in Scotland take stray dogs to the police. I called, doubtful.

“Yes, we’ve got a dog of that description in the kennel.”

A miracle, an answered prayer. Blessings on the kind soul who brought her in!

I took the girls with me down to the station and sure enough, there she was, quite dejected in her jail cell, but very happy to see me. I put on the lead and triumphantly walked her home.

I must say, not counting a nice, medium-rare steak, I’ve never been so happy to see an animal. We’ve been lucky with this dog; she’s a good one and the kids would be devastated if she were lost.

The next morning I was outside with the dog again, watching her like a hawk. She wasn’t leashed and I watched in amazement as she happily leapt over the fence, off for another dating adventure.

However, this time, with me shouting at her like a protective father, she came right back.

Later that morning I was relating the story to my eldest son Isaac and he wisely said to me.

“Well Dad, she is a bitch in heat.”

Can’t we just call her a girl-dog?

Her next date is with the vet for a little surgery.

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