Lily, My Fertility Drug
It was January 1998 and I had just come back from one of those gourmet kitchen parties that was hosted by my very pregnant cousin. I remembered coming home and feeling very depressed. Three of my other cousins who were also at the party were pregnant too. It seemed like everyone around me was getting ‘knocked up’ and I wasn’t. What made it even worse was that my hubby and I had been trying for over a year and nothing.
I walked through the door and sat down on the couch with tears trickling down my cheeks. Our two black cocker spaniels, Annie and Jasmine knew right away that something was wrong as the two of them jumped on the couch and began licking the tears from my cheeks. They were our ‘babies’. I loved my girls, but I felt like something was missing. A child.
A few weeks went by and it was a typical day at my dog grooming shop. I had already groomed five dogs that day and was waiting for the last dog of the day. I was curious to see this ‘new’ client. The customer said she was a cocker spaniel also named Annie. What the customer failed to tell me was that she was “very” pregnant. She was due in a few days. Normally, I would have turned them away, but I didn’t know she was pregnant until she came through the door. The little ‘black bear’ was in dire need of a groom. All that kept going through my mind was that I had to groom her and get rid of the extra hair so the puppies could find her nipples to feed.
So as carefully and quickly as possible, I shave the little black cocker spaniel down. I say quickly because the whole time I was worried that she would give birth right on my grooming table. The owner came and was very pleased and promised to call me when the puppies were born.
Two days later, Annie had six puppies: five females and 1 male.
Weeks went by and still not pregnant. I was getting more and more depressed. I had started to wonder if there was something wrong with me and strongly debated on whether I should go see a doctor and find out why I wasn’t pregnant yet.
It was the beginning of March when I got a phone call.
“Jamie! Hi, it’s me Brenda, Annie’s mom.” She said cheerfully.
“Oh, hello.” I tried to sound cheerful.
“I wanted to call and see if you would like to come and see the puppies. They are so adorable.” She said.
“I bet they are.” I said. I knew they would be adorable. I loved cocker spaniels, having two of my own, plus my parents had a buff colored boy name Milo. He was the man/mascot of my grooming shop. After all, it was named after him, Sir Milo’s Dog Grooming.
“Would you like to come up and see them?” She asked again. I could hear the puppies yelping in the background and my heart sputtered.
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe.” I hesitated. She gave me her address and said I could stop by anytime. I thanked her then hung up the phone. For the rest of the day, all I could think about were the six little cocker spaniel puppies running around and playing.
So after work, I drove to her house. My heart was beating a mile a minute as I walked up her front porch then knocked on the door. Brenda greeted me at the door with a smile on her face.
I followed her through the dining room then into the kitchen…and there they were; playing in the middle of the kitchen floor. I gasped at the sight of them. Four of them were black and two were white with brown spots. I giggled like a little kid as I sat on the floor. I opened my arms and began cooing at the four week old puppies that barely had their eyes open.
First a chubby black one came over to me. I picked her up and rubbed her tiny fuzzy face in mine. Brenda stood by the counter watching and laughing. I carefully set the black one down then turned to the small white and buff colored puppy. I lifted it up to see what gender it was.
“You are a little girl.” I laughed as she looked at me with her dark round eyes. I studied the cute little ball of fur for a moment and said, “you look like a Lily.”
“Yes, she does. She does look like a Lily.” Brenda agreed then came over and sat on the floor beside us. She stretched her little neck out and licked my nose as I held her face close to mine.
“Awww, I love puppy breath.” I cooed as ‘Lily’ continued to lick my nose.
“If you want her, I can hold her for you.” Brenda said. My eyes shot open as I turned around to look at her. “Oh no, I can’t get another dog. We already have two at home. Bob would divorce me if I brought home another dog.” I replied. I glanced down at the sleeping puppy as I cradled her in my arms. She does look like a Lily.
“Well, if you change your mind, call me.”
I carefully laid ‘Lily’ beside her mother and thanked Brenda for letting me see them. I went home that night and told Bob about my little puppy visit.
“We don’t need another dog.” He bellowed.
“I know, I know. I was just telling you how cute she is and that she looked like a ‘Lily’ is all.” Tears welled up inside me as I turned to go to the bathroom.
Two weeks went by and all I could think about was her cute little face and her sweet smelling puppy breath. I got teary-eyed every time I thought of her going to a home and being neglected.
“Jamie, what’s wrong?” Bob asked one night during dinner.
“Nothing.” I sniffled. I knew if I brought up the puppy again he would get pissed. I also knew that part of my depression was me not getting pregnant and having a puppy…well…I would have someone to baby.
“It’s about Lily isn’t it?” I shook my head, no.
He sighed heavily then shook his head.
“Go get the damn dog.” He said. My eyes shot up as I wondered if I heard him right. “What?”
“I said, go get the dog. If all you are going to do is cry then you might as well get her.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. I jumped up from the seat and grabbed the phone book and called Brenda.
Lily was seven weeks old when I brought her home to meet her new family. Jasmine took a liking to her right away, but Annie (our first ‘baby’) didn’t care too much for her. It took two months for Annie to come around.
I took Lily to the shop with me every day and like a proud mamma, I showed her off. One guy saw me walking her along the street one day and stopped an offered me five hundred dollars for her. Of course I said, NO! She was my baby.
More weeks went by, and all I had time for was working and fussing over my new ‘baby’. As she grew so did her nicknames: Lilypad, Pick, Pickles and Lily lily pick a dily. Of course we could have called her shithead and she would have come to us.
It was April and the grooming business was starting to get really busy. I had called Missy, a friend of mine to come and help me.
While Lily lay in her cage, sleeping, we were busy bathing and grooming dogs.
“So, are you still trying to get pregnant?” Missy asked. I grabbed the poodle from the table and handed him over for her to bath. “Yeah, but nothing has happened yet. I’m beginning to think that these child bearing hips that I inherited from my grandmother are defective.” I laughed lightly.
Just then the phone rang. I grabbed the phone and my appointment book and walked out front to where it was quieter. As I stared at the dates, something seemed off. I quickly made the appointment with the customer then hung up. I started back tracking the date to when I had my last menstrual cycle then gasped. I was late. Not by much, just a few days, but I was late. And I was never late, so this was HUGE. I ran to the back room and grabbed my purse.
“Missy, I will be right back. I’m going to the pharmacy down the street.” I ran out the door, to the drug store that was only 4 buildings down. My heart was racing as I stared at the small selection of pregnancy tests. I grabbed the most expensive one and a bottle of Mountain Dew.
“Jamie, what’s going on?” Missy asked as she began to towel dry the poodle. “I’m late.” A huge smile grew on her face. I pulled the pregnancy test out of the bag and went to the bathroom. I was anxious and scared. I had been down this road so many times and ended up disappointed. I knew if Bob ever found out how much money I had spent on pregnancy tests, he would shit himself.
I squatted on the toilet and peed on the little white stick then carefully laid it on a paper towel on the back of the toilet. I walked out into the grooming area where Missy was waiting for me.
“Well?” She asked, anxiously.
“It says to wait ten minutes.” I sighed heavily.
“Missy, I’m going to take Lily outside to pee. Will you keep an eye on the test for me? If it says positive come outside and find me…if not…” Missy smiled, “Sure.”
My hands were shaking like a leaf as I walked Lily down the street. Her little black nose and her white stub of a tail moved vigorously as she searched for the perfect place to pee. After about five minutes and finally peeing, we turned around and headed back towards the shop. I looked up and saw Missy standing outside the door, waving her arms. “IT’S POSITIVE! YOU’RE PREGNANT!” She hollered.
I looked down at my little white/brown cocker spaniel and patted her head and thanked her for being my fertility drug.