Thursday, April 7, 2016

In Praise of Puppies

Joseph Herrin (04-07-2016)

(Click on any Photo to View Larger)

What is better than puppies in Springtime? Spring is often associated with new life, and my household has recently been blessed with an abundance of it. Girlfriend, acquired this past year as a companion for my dog Champ, had her first litter the night of April 5th.

Girlfriend a Week Before Giving Birth

The Happy Couple

I had been watching Girlfriend closely as she drew nearer to delivering her pups. She stayed very close to her kennel on April 3rd and 4th. On the 5th she would not come out of her dog house. She laid in it and was panting heavily. She had no interest in eating, so I knew her time was close. I checked on her regularly throughout the day. Finally, just before I went to bed at 11 P.M. I peeked in on her and saw that she had delivered one puppy.

Girlfriend With First Pup Under Her Chin

She was still panting, but there was no sign of any other puppies coming forth at the time, so I retired to bed. I awoke around 3 A.M. and went to check on her again. I found her surrounded by a group of puppies. Her “labor” was accomplished and now her “work” would begin. In the morning I was able to take a closer look at all of the puppies and found that she had given birth to nine. She will be kept busy nursing that many pups.

I was surprised to find that she has two puppies which are almost completely white. There are also one or two mostly black puppies, but the majority of them are brown. I am excited to watch them all develop. Girlfriend does not mind me picking up her puppies and handling them, but she is a very attentive mother. She had all the puppies bathed and looking new and shiny for their debut to the world.

Mama and Puppy

Fresh as a New Day

A Handful of Life

I will be getting plenty of oxytocin in upcoming days. That should help my sense of well-being. If you are not familiar with what I am referring to, I would point you to the following article which I posted in 2012 soon after I acquired Champ.

It has been reported that having a dog increases oxytocin levels in the brain, acting as a type of tranquilizer, giving a sense of peace and calmness. I can attest that holding a puppy, or petting a dog, can be a stress reliever. It seems my options have now greatly increased in this regard. If you need to de-stress sometime during the next few months, come on over and hold one of these stress relievers in your hands. Their mama will be glad to let you share her care-taking duties.

I do admit to showering my dogs with attention. I find that doing so is good for me as well as for them. It makes sense that it would be this way since Yahweh made all creatures. In fashioning man in His own image, He placed within the human soul an innate compassion for living things.

Proverbs 12:10
The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel.

Jacob was a righteous man and he had regard for the animals in his care.

Genesis 33:13-14
“My lord knows that the children are frail and that the flocks and herds which are nursing are a care to me. And if they are driven hard one day, all the flocks will die. Please let my lord pass on before his servant; and I will proceed at my leisure, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children...”

I look forward to that time when Yahshua establishes His rule upon this Earth. Compassion for all living creatures will be the order of the day, and all will abide together in peace.

Isaiah 11:5-9
Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea.

Every now and then Yahweh gives us a glimpse of how things will be in a kingdom of righteousness where His character is manifested every day. We can see it in the care of a mother dog for her puppies. We can experience it in our own heart as we demonstrate compassion for the creatures Yahweh has made.

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

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Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063


Gavin Thomas said...

Congratulations Grandad and we are sure you will be the best. We have 2 girl dogs, Indy 11yrs and Georgie Girl 11 months and they are like our own children, well disciplined and loved.

John Cole said...

Wow those are some gorgeous pups. Is Champ the daddy? Are you planning on keeping any of them? You are going to be having alot of fun for the next six weeks or so. In 2007 my Maggie had a litter of six pups. I sure had fun with them. I was planning on giving away all six but got attached to them and wound up keeping two. Here are a few pics.

These are the two I kept.

I cant believe they are nine years old now. Time Flies!

Momma dog looks pretty good at 12 years old.

Sojourner said...

Awwww.... What a heart warming blog entry. Made me smile! Looking forward to watching them grow up. I wish I could have one when they are ready for their new home, but I live too far away.

Joseph Herrin said...

Hello John,

Those were some great pictures of your dogs. I was thinking they were recent until you mentioned the dogs are now 9 years old. You are right, time does pass quickly. Well, that is 9 years of oxytocin benefits for you, 12 years with the mother.



Joseph Herrin said...

P.S. John, you asked if Champ sired these pups. He either did, or a neighbor's pit bull did. I am leaning toward it being Champ, but I cannot be certain. Champ also has some pit bull in him, though he is also partially a hound dog as well.

At this point I am not planning on keeping any of the pups. Two dogs are quite a handful as it is, but I may also have a change of heart like you.

Carina de Méndez said...

Those pups are so sweet! Your post has given me a bittersweet feeling since around a month ago we lost our dearest cat Matu (short for Matusalen, Spanish for Methuselah). I chose that name as a kind of prayer for a long life for him, but unfortunately he only lived 12 years and not 21 as I would have expected. Saddest thing, we had to put him down because his chronic kidney disease had so worsened that in the last four days, his body was basically poisoned and he was suffering. Anyway, I got 12 years of oxytocin non-stop, since that cat was more of a dog than a cat. Surviving Matu, we have one young and playful female dog and an old female cat who's lost her lifetime partner and cries for attention all day long. Both are lovable in their own way.
We get to enjoy our pets while they're with us. To an outsider such love may seem excessive (and it may be, yes) but I find that they are one of the ways God shows us His love and comfort. How many times have you been sad or upset about something, and your beloved pet was totally aware of your feelings and showered you with pure affection? Though we have to be aware of the dangers of unhealthy attachments, I find that the benefits of having one greatly outweigh the costs and discomfort they cause (and even the heartache when you lose them). Long life to Champ, Girlfriend and the puppies!