The Pretty One
It had been a very long night. Our black Cocker
Spaniel, Precious, was having a difficult deliv-
ery. I lied on the floor beside her large four-foot
square cage watching her every movement -
watching and waiting, just in case I had to rush
her to the veterinarian.
After six hours, the puppies started to appear.
The firstborn was black and white. The second
and third puppies were tan and brown in color.
The fourth and fifth were also spotted black and
white. ¡°One, two, three, four, five,¡± I counted to
myself. I walked down the hallway to wake my
wife, Judy, and tell her that everything was fine.
As we walked back down the hallway and into
the spare bedroom, I noticed a sixth puppy had
been born but was lying all by itself over to the
side of the cage. I picked it up and laid it on top
of the large pile of puppies, which were whin-
ing and trying to nurse on the mother. Precious
immediately pushed the small puppy away from
rest of the group. She refused to recognize it as
a member of her family.
¡°Something¡¯s wrong,¡± said Judy.
I reached over and picked up the puppy. My
heart sank inside my chest when I saw it had a
The Reading Room
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
Treasures From The Inbox
If you get email, you
get stuff. Sometimes
it is spam, sometimes
it is a true gem.
Here is one of those
gems worth sharing:
door, and there was the schoolteacher with
her grandson standing behind her. I explained
to her the man had come for the puppy after
all and there were no puppies left. ¡°I¡¯m sorry,
Jeffery. They found homes for all the pup-
pies,¡± she told her grandson.
Just at that moment, the small puppy left in
the bedroom began to yelp.
¡°My puppy! My puppy!¡± yelled the little boy as
he ran out from behind his grandmother.
I just about fell over as I noticed that small
child also had a cleft lip and palate. The boy
ran past me as fast as he could, down the
hallway to where the puppy was still yelping.
When the three of us made it to the bedroom,
the small boy was holding the puppy in his
He looked up at his grandmother and said,
¡°Look, grandma! They found homes for all the
puppies except the pretty one, and he looks
just like me.¡±
cleft lip and palate and could not close its little
mouth. I decided right then and there that if
there was any way to save this animal, I was
going to give it my best shot.
I took the puppy to the vet and was told noth-
ing could be done, unless we were willing to
spend about $1,000 to try to correct the defect.
He told us that the puppy would die mainly
because it could not suckle. After returning
home, Judy and I decided that we could not
afford to spend that kind of money. We at least
needed to get some type of assurance from
the vet that the puppy had a chance to live.
However, that did not stop me from purchasing
a syringe and feeding the puppy by hand. I did
that every day and night, every two hours for
more than 10 days. The little puppy survived
and learned to eat on his own, as long as it was
soft, canned food.
The fifth week, I placed an ad in the newspa-
per, and within a week, we had people inter-
ested in all of the pups, except the one with the
deformity. Late one afternoon, I went to the
store to pick up a few groceries. Upon return-
ing, I happened to see the old retired school-
teacher, who lived across the street from us,
waving at me. She had read in the paper that
we had puppies and wondered if she might get
one for her grandson and his family. I told her
all the puppies had found homes but I would
keep my eyes open for anyone else who might
have an available Cocker Spaniel. I also men-
tioned that if anyone should change his or her
mind, I would let her know. Within days, new
families had picked up all but one of the pup-
pies. I was left with one brown and tan pup as
well as the smaller puppy with the cleft lip and
Two days passed without me hearing anything
from the gentleman who had been promised
the tan and brown pup. I called the school-
teacher and told her I had one puppy left and
that she was welcome to come and look at it.
She advised me that she was going to pick up
her grandson and would come over at about 8
o¡¯clock that evening.
That night at around 7:30 p.m., Judy and I
were eating supper when we heard a knock on
the front door. When I opened the door, the
man who had wanted the tan and brown pup
was standing there. We walked inside, took
care of the adoption details, and I handed him
Judy and I did not know what we would do
or say when the teacher showed up with her
At exactly 8 p, the doorbell rang. I opened the
¡°The level of our
success is limited only
by our imagination and
no act of kindness,
however small, is ever