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      “What breed did you say?”  Maxine had no idea what the woman had just said.  She  asked her to repeat herself.

       Lorene was obliging. “They are King Charles Cavalier Spaniels.”

       “King Charles, what?”  Maxine was still dense.  “Wait a minute? Let me get a pencil.  Now tell me again?”

       “King Charles Cavalier Spaniels.”  Lorene was ever the woman with a nurse's personality. She  patiently repeated herself.

       Maxine stood looking at the three puppies who were nothing more than little balls of soft haired fluff.

       People pay five hundred dollars a piece for these and you are giving them to me?”  Maxine was just a little suspicious.

      “Well, it's like this.”  Lorene was known to have a quiet wit. “It is like this.  I'm really not in the dog business anymore. I didn't think my old male dog was going to bring me another liter, but as you see here they are.”

       So it was Maxine's family became heir to three dogs originally bred for Prince Charles, she was told. It didn't matter that their's wasn't exactly the environment for the royal animals. One by one there were such comments made to make the woman know her thinking wasn't too far off.

      “Aw shucks!  Those there ain't country dogs. Them are lady's lap dogs.”  One of her neighbors laughed when he saw them.

       “What good are they anyway?”  Someone else was honest with their opinion.

      “For heaven's sake!  Whatever are you going to do with them?  They will be so much work. Just keeping them groomed will be a chore.”  Another one of her friends wanted to know how she was going to manage.

      The kid's have already named the dogs. I guess we are stuck with them. It was either me or the pound. I couldn't stand to see these well bred little animals wasted.” Maxine tried to be diplomatic and not insulted with folk's opinion of her station in life. She knew she was forever burdened with chores.  Somehow they would find a place for the defenseless tiny puppies.

       It wasn't easy to make the small dogs comfortable in the outdoors. Fortunately Maxine's husband was a genius at engineering anything. What was difficult about providing for dogs? He built a dog house just big enough for them where they could curl up together for warmth in the winter. It had a heavy rubber flap on the door to close it off.  The dog house was insulated to the maximum. He even had a structure over and around the doghouse creating a dead air space where a large lamp could be placed in the winter time. The doghouse itself had a solid board fence around it so the winter winds would be stopped.  Of course, the puppies were raised at first in the house. By the time they were grown their outdoor amenities were ready for them.

       So went the growth of the animals. All the jokes,  jibes and taunts about the well bred, out of place Spaniels were simply ignored. The children loved them and played endlessly with the gentle breed that never seem to grow up. They were oddly forever puppies with the same tie a puppy had with a person. One did disappear. That was Rose. No one knew what had happened to her. Because the other two would run for the cover of a bush or anything when a hawk floated lazily overhead it always made them wonder if she had been lifted away by one of the large birds. The close proximity to the lake where there were giant eagles was a possibility too.

        And then one day Peaches repaid them all. The curious little dog was snooping around under a shed at the back of the lot when all at once she was running while crying hysterically.  She sounded like a child screaming.  It was a distance from where Maxine was standing to where the dog was at the time.

       Their oldest daughter could go into a jittery screaming fit over something as harmless as a June Bug. Even though she was close to the dog Maxine felt she herself would have to run to the little dog's aid. The women didn't have a clue for what had happened to the dog either.

        With one swoop of her hand the girl picked the dog up off the ground. She turned the little Spaniel over,  belly up,  and jerked off the very large Bumble Bee.

       That evening when Maxine told her husband about the girl's bravery he smiled and said, “It is a good thing that little dog found those things too. I hate to think what would have happened if the baby had toddled into the bee's nest.

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