Charlotte Peltz Living with Your Dog "The Miracle of Birth" brought to you by Joy Beckner Artist/ Bronze Sculptor

Living with Your Dog

The Miracle of Birth

by Charlotte Peltz

Great ideas usually require viewing from various angles to arrive at the best possible conclusion. And, so it is with The Miracle of Birth, especially where it concerns dogs. It is admirable to wish for children to see the tiny pups come into the world and begin to get an understanding about the whole process of conception, pregnancy and birth. But, sad to say, it is a much more complex process than this simple statement reveals.

Small children may be very traumatized should the bitch get in trouble and indicate pain. Malformed and dead pups are not uncommon, nor is it uncommon to have to rush the bitch to a vet for a caesarean section that could well result in the loss of the bitch and her pups. Some bitches are not good mothers and reject their pups, some eat them and, all too often, pups are injured are killed simply because the mom crushed them as she lay in her nest. Not the best experience for a young child!

But, even should all go well, there is the problem of all those pups and what to do with them. Every puppy brought into this world deserves a good home, but all too often impulse buying results in lack of understanding of the breed's needs, proper preparation for the pup's care, allowance for the expenses resulting from food, vet bills and, finally, the cost in time and money to train a puppy to be a good canine citizen.

The cuteness of a pup wears off very fast, when favorite toys, shoes, or even furniture is destroyed. Biting and chewing on fingers and pants legs often results in shouting and hitting the pup that had been taught to play those games until the teeth got too sharp and the pup too rambunctious.

So, the child learns another lesson all too often. When the pup gets to be too much bother, just stick it out in the back yard or get rid of it altogether. Some lesson in responsibility there! "Free to a good home." usually means a dog that has had no training, is out of control and has little chance of making a good pet.

When we hear, "Mommy! Mommy! Let's have puppies from Fluffy!" -- it would be best to teach awareness of Fluffy's needs, how important it is to only breed animals free of serious genetic problems, and the need to be responsible for those pups for the rest of their lives should the placement not be successful. That is a big lesson and one that is so important in the struggle to reduce the unwanted dogs in our world.

Read on: "The Miracle of Death," by Robert Douglas Seaborn:

Oh God, forgive this chore of mine,
That I must undertake,
It is a job that must be done,
Although my heart will break,
This little life that I must end
Was born, and now must go
To make room for thousands more --
(God, Can't we stem the flow?)
It is the folks that do not care
How many pups they spawn,
But then they hand the mess to me...
My head it rests upon.
They want their kids to have and see --
The Miracle of Birth.
They'll keep the pups a month or so,
Then find it's lost it's worth.
So send these kids to spend the day
Amid the oven's breath,
And I'll show them how it ends.
The Miracle of Death

"One can measure the size and moral progress of a nation to how she treats her animals." Mahatma Gandhi.

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