For the Busy Business-Parent

Whimsical Bedtime Stories for Children of All Ages

Part Of The Family

Jenny wanted a puppy. She'd like to have a kitten too but her little brother was allergic to cats. Her parents said "No" to a cat, but "Maybe" to a puppy if they could find a small, short haired puppy that didn't shed much. Her mother worked at a pet store and promised Jenny she would help look for the right kind of puppy. In the meantime, Jenny pretended her stuffed puppies were real and hung pictures in her room of sweet adorable puppies that she'd like to have.

Coming home from school one day, Jenny heard her father talking on the phone to her mother. They talked for a long while and then Jennys' father came to her.

"There are two newborn orphan puppies at the pet store," he said. The owners can't keep them and are looking for a home for them. Your mother wants to bring them home but she'll need everyones' help to take care of them. It's going to be a lot of work to look after them and we don't know if they'll survive. Do you want to help?" he asked. Jennys' eyes were as big as saucers! She couldn't believe her luck!

"Oh, yes!" she whispered. "I'll do anything to help! How big are they? When are they coming?" She clapped her hands together in excitement then threw her arms around her Dad for a big thank-you hug.

"She's bringing them home when the pet store closes," her dad said. While waiting, Jenny and her father found a round wicker basket and lined it with soft blankets. Her mother would bring everything else the puppies needed. Jenny was dancing from one foot to another in anticipation by the time her mother arrived. In a box were two of the tiniest puppies she had ever seen. They fit in her moms' hand and had hardly any hair. Jenny thought they almost looked like little mice.

"We have to feed them every two or three hours," her mom said. "And we have to keep them warm. See how they're starting to shiver?" Her eyes wide with wonder, Jenny helped her father put a heating pad in the wicker basket. They wrapped the babies in small towels while her mother mixed formula and poured it into doll sized baby bottles. The formula needed to be warm, but not hot. Her mom and dad showed Jenny how to feed the puppies. They were so hungry! They went to sleep as soon as they were finished eating. Jennys' parents carefully placed them in the basket, explaining that the babies couldn't be handled very much for the first few weeks. Her mother would get up during the night to feed them and would also feed them before she went to work in the morning. Jennys' aunt would come in at noon to feed the babies and Jenny and her father would feed them after school.

"It's just like having real babies!" Jenny exclaimed. "When will I be able to play with them?"

"It'll be several weeks before they're big enough to play with," her mother replied. "All they'll do for now is eat and sleep."

It wasn't long before the puppies were stirring and making whimpering sounds. Again, formula was mixed, warmed, and poured into bottles. Jenny helped feed one this time. The baby quickly drank part of the bottle and, again, drifted off to sleep. When they woke again before Jenny went to bed, she fed the other puppy.

In the morning, Jenny and her mother fed the puppies before Jenny went to school. Her mother had been up during the night to feed them. She looked tired. At school, the little girl excitedly told her friends about the new babies at her house. Her teacher asked her to bring them in for "Show & Tell" when they were old enough. Jenny hurried home from school to help feed the puppies. Everyone in the family helped feed them and keep them warm and dry. Everyone agreed the babies were a lot of work, but no one minded.

The babies slowly grew bigger and stronger. They began moving around in their basket. Jenny came home from school one day and discovered one of the puppies had opened his eyes! The next day, the second puppy opened his eyes.

The family named the pair Oscar and Casper. Casper was white with tan ears and two tan spots on his back. Oscar was the smaller of the two. He was mostly tan with a white face and tummy. He was more demanding than Casper. Oscar wouldn't go to sleep until he had been held and cuddled for a while.

The puppies grew bigger and stronger. They soon found their way out of the basket and ventured a little farther each day. Jenny now had to look for them when she came home from school. She would find them in the kitchen, bathroom, or 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.

Jenny 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.

Jenny helped the growing puppies learn to drink from a bowl. Everyone was proud when the pair began eating real puppy food, and the bottles could finally be put away.

Jenny kept her class informed of the puppies' progress and everyone waited patiently for her to bring them to "Show & Tell."

Late one afternoon, Oscar 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, Jennys' father took Oscar to the veternarian who gave him antibiotics to take twice a day. Instead of getting better, the little puppy grew sicker. When Jennys' 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.

Casper missed his brother very much. He padded around and around the house, searching for little Oscar.

It was a happy day for everyone when Oscar finally came home. He made steady progress and was soon back to his old devilish self!

The day finally arrived when Jenny took Casper and Oscar to "Show & Tell." Her classmates were fascinated with the puppies and had many questions about them.

Her teacher said, "It was a lot of work raising those puppies. If you had a chance to do this all over again, would you do it?"

Jenny didn't hesitate before answering, "Of course, I would. They're a part of my family!"

A Part of The Family
Bedtime-Story / Dorothy Wurst - Copyright 1996 - All Rights Reserved

About the author:

Dorothy Wurst has lived in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada for several years with her husband, stepchildren, and of course, 2 dogs named Oscar and Casper! She's a full time Licensed Practical Nurse and loves to write short stories in her spare time. Dorothy has been published in the Daily Herald-Tribune, Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald, and the Toronto Star.

Other stories written by Dorothy Wurst:

The Adventures of Oscar, The Mouse
A Place To Hide
New Beginnings

Send Mail to Author: (dOROTHY wURST)

About the Illustrator

Estelle Cappellieri is both a professional copywriter and office manager for a Connecticut marketing and promotions company which specializes in children's products. Estelle has longed to make art her profession since she was 12 years old. When her children were still young she made the decision to go back to college to study in the graphic design/illustration program at a local university. Estelle looks forward to illustrating additional children's books .

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