One day when Tina came home after school, her mother had some
exciting news for her. At her Aunt's place there had been a litter of puppies. There were two puppies and they were tiny. Her mother said that they could go and see the puppies. Tina was happy and
excited when they went to her Aunt's place in the evening.
They went to a back room where the spaniel mother was nursing her puppies. Aunt told Tina that she had reserved the two puppies for her as her father had asked to do so some time ago. Tina was told that she had to wait six weeks till the puppies were a little bigger and weaned off the mother's milk and feeding on solids. Almost every evening Tina called her aunt enquiring about the puppies.
Then the great day arrived and Tina went with her mother to bring the two puppies. One was black and the other was black and white. When Tina
cuddled the two puppies, the father spaniel came and barked at Tina but he was gently taken away. Tina knew that the father dog was angry and knew that she was taking his puppies away. She
whispered to the mother dog that she would look after them well and bring them around some time.
Tina's mum had brought a big basket with a towel at the bottom. Aunt put the two puppies inside, put some eau de cologne on their heads and kissed them goodbye. Tina and mum brought the puppies in the back seat of the car and Tina was holding them and talking to them all the way. At home the puppies, of course, whined a little as they couldn't find their mum around. But soon they were lapping up the slightly warm milk that Tina gave them in a
Soon they settled down in a big low basket with a rug in it, snuggled up and slept. Everyone at home made such a fuss over
them as they were cute pups.
Tina named the black one Bingo and the other, Patch. Patch was a little smaller than Bingo. Tina had to call the puppies everyday by their name. She took one at a time
separately and kept on repeating his name till the puppy came running to her when called. The puppies grew bigger and stronger.
In the mornings they found their way out of the basket and ventured a little
farther each day. Tina now had to look for them when she came home from school. She would find them in the kitchen, bathroom, or in one of the bedrooms.
They followed the little girl around the house and waited for her to come home from school. She loved the puppies and they loved her. Tina loved to watch them play. They growled and barked and wrestled with each other. They were clumsy and often lost their balance or ran into furniture. They stole socks, toys and
anything they could carry in their little teeth.
Tina took them to the garden and let them run around. First they were afraid but later with Tina's coaxing they romped around. Later they
spotted the squirrels and the birds and began
barking at them and
Everyone was proud when the pair began
eating real food not just smashed food and teeny pieces. Tina took them to the veterinarian to get them vaccinated and weighed. Medicine was given, for worming. She had two books and two files for them.
The doctor's visits and all the medicines given were recorded in each book as well as their weight. She also kept her class informed of the
puppies' progress and everyone waited
impatiently for her to bring them to class one day.
Later one afternoon, however, Patch began sneezing and his eyes
started to water. He stayed in the basket and slept a lot. The family was very worried about him. The next day, Tina's father took Patch to the veterinarian who gave him antibiotics to take twice a day.
Instead of getting better, the little puppy grew sicker. When Tina's father took him to the vet again, the puppy stayed in the animal
hospital. Everyone was so worried that their smallest puppy wouldn't survive.
Bingo missed his brother very much. He padded around and around the house, searching for
little Patch. It was a happy day for everyone when Patch finally came home. He made steady progress and was soon back to his old mischievous self!
The day finally arrived when Tina took Bingo and Patch to school. It was a half day and her teacher had given her permission to bring the puppies. Her classmates patted, carried and cuddled them in turn. They were fascinated with the puppies and had many questions to ask about them.
Her teacher asked, "It was a lot of work raising those puppies. If you had a chance to do this all over again, would you do it?"
Tina didn't hesitate before answering, "Of course, I would. They're a part of my family!"