Friday, April 18, 2014

The Balloon


hello there.

this is me, resuscitating this page from the blog graveyard, where it died roughly 11 months ago.

Why is this happening after all this time?

Enter Suz, my mother, to end almost a year of blog silence by introducing me to something known as "the balloon".

Let me paint you a little picture.

Once upon a time, my mother (henceforth referred to only as "Suz") bred poodles. Like, a lot of them. And not the cute kind.

Not this kind. The small, appropriate amount of poodle. 

No, my mom bred the redheaded step-children of the poodle world known as Standard Poodles. Standard Poodles are an embarrassing dog to have as a kid.  They are one of those dog breeds where you always find yourself justifying even owning one, much less 2-3 at a time like we did. You say things like, "Well, they're really smart dogs," or "They don't shed!", or "They have great dispositions." None of these things are false, but they don't negate the fact that you're walking a 60 pound Brillo pad down the sidewalk. 

Right now you are probably thinking, "THAT IS TOO MUCH POODLE," and you are right. HAVING Standard Poodles growing up was kind of embarrassing enough. It was kind of the same type of embarrassing as having your mom drive one of these around for most of your childhood....


That, my friends, is the Volkswagon Eurovan. I put up two pictures of Eurovans because we had not one, but two Eurovans growing up. The first was white and I assume Suz loved it because she was hauling around five gross kids at any given time. The second was green, and Suz must have just really loved Eurovans because at that point it was just us two youngest kids left. We really just had to accept Eurovans as our transportation reality at that point, so we affectionately referred to Eurovan #2 as the Green Bullet. Or at least I did.

So, Suz drove Eurovans and bred Poodles.

When the poodle-breeding was transpiring when I was younger, I was never present or cognizant of the "main event." I suppose I thought there was a poodle fairy who came around every couple of years and dropped 13 poodle babies at a time into a kiddie pool in our garage.

Apparently, kids, that's not how it goes down AT ALL.

A couple months ago, Suz decided it might be a fun adventure to try to breed her newest canine addition, Ruby. Ruby is a 15-pound goldendoodle-Cavalier King Charles spaniel hybrid known as a "Cavachon." Very cute dogs. Only slightly poodle-y.

Suz doesn't want to breed-for-profit, as she did in the past with the poodles. This endeavor was more in the category of Ruby-is-awesome-let's-maintain-that-gene-pool-for-a-while-by-way-of-making-puppies. If you're not trying to breed a dog for profit, you aren't necessarily going to advertise for the puppies. Thus, it's a good idea to have a list of people that have expressed interest in taking a puppy once the deed is done.

Given that I am #1 on that list for a Ruby-pup, I have developed a vested interest in this process.

This vested interest has caused me to do strange things.

Before today, I never thought I would be yelling "Are they doing it yet???" every five minutes from the kitchen table.

Before today, I never thought I would be hopping up from said kitchen table every 10 minutes to creepily stalk by the window in the hopes that I'd catch two dogs doing it in my mom's backyard.

Having developed this interest, and no longer being 12 years old like with the poodles of yore, Suz has obliged me with the ACTUAL process of making a dog baby.

I'm 27 years old. I know how babies are made. But y'all.


Apparently there is something called a "balloon"

And something called "flagging"

And something called "knotting"

This prompted an internet search on my part that led to some horrifying discoveries about dog coitus. (ps--a LOT of people have googled "actual steps of dog intercourse")


Things can get injured.


Things expand in places where it seems like they shouldn't and sound painful.


This whole "main event" show lasts for 25 MINUTES.

And other awkward, gross things about dogs that will now taint my opinion forever of precious little Ruby.


AS I was writing this, I got up from the computer to go and check on the status of the two dogs in Suz's backyard, because I got concerned after reading about all the juicy details of this biological event.........AND THEY WERE DOING IT.

I yelled for my mom, as I obviously could not handle this situation myself, she went flying into the backyard to help facilitate the process, and apparently it. is. happening. As we speak.

Suz called for me to bring her cell phone to the scene of the event just now, and apparently the stud-dog Luke was supposed to be brought back home from this little playdate at 3:45. It is currently 3:41, and trust me when I say that Luke is in no position to move from our back porch right now. He's a little "tied up."

I was tasked with the incredibly awkward job of calling Luke the Bichon's owner and explaining that we couldn't bring Luke back on time because his balloon was expanded.....

The call went something like this:

Luke's Owner: Oh hey Suzy!

Me: Hi, no, this is actually Shannon, Suzy's daughter. So, it turns out we can't really drop Luke off right now, because he is.....linked up.......locked together......attached.....ugh, I'm sorry, I really don't know the terminology but they are doing.....things.

Luke's Owner: Oh, okay! Well, do you know how long it will be?

Me: Umm.....They've been....doing it? for 10 minutes or so. I don't know. I don't know how long this process takes. My mom just said to tell you we can't move him. I'm ....I'm sorry.

About two minutes after that call, my sister Stephanie came trudging back into the kitchen from the backyard, distress written all over her face, announcing that the deed was done.

It's done? Mike and I asked her at once.

"Ugh, yes, it's done. Trust me, unfortunately I saw the balloon."

I'm not going to explain to you exactly what the balloon is, but suffice it to say Stephanie is adequately traumatized by having seen it.

As of press time, Ruby is potentially impregnated, and all of the humans involved are potentially scarred for life.

I've decided that puppies have to be as cute as they are to make up for the horrifying process of how they are created.

Circle of life, my ass. Puppy-making is gross.

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