December 22nd, 2015
In just a few days, Christmas will finally have arrived. Our house began looking more seasonal on the 14th of December when the cut, live tree was brought inside and placed into the stand. This activity is a much anticipated event for us as it is the first of many holiday decorations that will adorn the main floor. The house is transformed with each passing day until the night before the big day. We spent a considerable amount of time speculating how Bailey would react to the new seasonal décor and more importantly, the tree. Now looking back, putting up the tree was a non-event compared to past years. Why? Bailey joined in the spirit of giving. For on that first day of our holiday decorating, she gave a surprise us by coming into “season”.
I cannot say it was unexpected after all an average Newfoundland female puppy typically gets her first heat between 9 and 14 months – though some of them can be earlier and others later. We understood that this situation is not an exact science. I knew it would be coming but had not anticipated it arriving during the holiday season. I had taken measures to ensure that her first heat would not go by unnoticed. Since bringing her home, Bailey starts and ends each day with a face wash followed by a wipe of her privates. This task is accomplished with a slightly damp, white coloured facecloth. Sure enough, Monday morning’s wipe revealed her surprise.
It was not the tree that captured our attention. Our girl is sporting a new outfit but not the one that I had envisioned. For I had pictured, Bailey decked out in a Santa hat or reindeer antlers while posing for her holiday photo by the tree. Instead, my husband re-fashioned one of his old pairs of underpants to accommodate Bailey’s bushy tail and a feminine hygiene pad was added to complete the look. At first, Bailey was not sure about this new attire. My husband and I failed at not bursting out into laughter which did not help. However, it did not take her long to grasp the concept that no panties, no home. Bailey was determined be with her family in the house. By the time our sons returned home from school, Bailey was an old pro at getting her panties on and off as she moved between outdoors and indoors. The boys, once they got over their initial shock of Bailey wearing their father’s underwear, succumbed to fits of laughter. Bailey strutted around the living room with her new holiday outfit in typical Newf fashion – tail wagging, tongue hanging out on one side and eyes sparkling with merriment. Our boys were relieved to hear that her “special panties” would only be worn in the house. The ridicule of their friends was too much for them to bear if Bailey had shown up at the bus stop or school with them on. I must admit that threatening to do it was fun given their reactions.
Living with Bailey in heat has been a learning experience for our male-oriented household. My oldest son had mentioned the previous week that Bailey had a particular smell to her and I should consider bathing her. Now, he knows the why and that she will not be bathed every day. The youngest son has asked a multitude of questions (e.g. Is Bailey in pain?). We have used Bailey’s heat to explain what he can expect for the females that come into his life. As a family, we are managing this surprise of Bailey’s with humour and keeping unwanted suitors at bay. One Newfoundland puppy is more than enough to keep us busy. Thanks to Bailey, this “season” will be remembered by our family for years to come.
P.S. At 47 weeks, Bailey is now 48.9 kg or 107 pounds 13 ounces.