So Bagel our beagle has become a woman!
How exciting. Our little puppy has come into season for the first time, aged 14 months.
What I didn’t realise is that this event would fast forward me into an area of parenting I was not expecting for some years yet! What to tell your 7 year old daughter about periods.
Events unfolded like this – Bagel came into season on Friday. We told Botboy to stop wrestling with her on the floor as she had a tummy ache, trying to ignore the . . . how to put this delicately . . . drips, that were visible.
On Saturday Mr G and I were off in a van to help my bestie move house – an 8 hour round trip with some furniture lugging in the middle. Half way up the M6 my mum called in a panic!
“Sackgirl is asking why the dog is bleeding, what do I tell her?”
Well, a three way conversation via a dodgy mobile signal was not how I imagined explaining to my little girl that one day she would be subjected to monthly stomach cramps, pains, anger issues and serious acne – not to mention the mess. No, I really feel that’s something we will do in private, in a year or two.
So I instructed my mum to tell her that Bagel was a grown up doggie now, it just meant that she was able to have puppies and she wasn’t poorly. Then, since I distinctly remember to this day how my mum explained periods to me (!) I told her to leave it at that. Any further questions could be answered with “I don’t know anything about dogs.”
Of course, things never go quite to plan. While this phone call was happening, Sackgirl had texted her big cousin Tink and asked her why our puppy was poorly. Tink, aged 10, sent a very well worded text back which confirmed the dog was not ill and basically repeated my own words.
Until I got home, to be greeted by Sackgirl and Botboy (who she had of course updated), totally ecstatic that we were having puppies!
Guess who got to be the bearer of bad news and promptly burst that bubble!
In the end I did get to have a little chat with my daughter after all. I explained that it didn’t mean Bagel was having puppies, just that she could. I explained that this was something called a season, that it would happen every 6 months or so.
Of course, being inquisitive and great at leaping forward 4 steps at once in any conversation, Sackgirl started to ask about how the puppies get there.
I took the cowards way out – because I do think 7 is still just too young to know everything.
“But when will she have puppies, mummy?”
“Well,” I said. “She can’t have puppies this year can she? I mean, she doesn’t even have a job yet!”