"Mommmy! Mommy! Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahmmmmeeeeeeeeee! Sam and Susie are stuck together in the front yard and we can't get them apart!"
That was the announcement we made to my mother on that sunny afternoon of my childhood.
Sam was our muttish dog, a Beagle and Dachshund mix. Susie was the AKC registered Shelty of our neighbors whose pride and glory was their prize winning dogs. Susie was the youngest among them and the prettiest. Susie was, of course, also in heat. The neighbors had come specifically to ask that Sam be kept away from their yard during this time. My parents complied and when Sam was outside our home he was tied to a lead which was tethered to a stake near the porch.
On this day, Susie came to him. She had dug deeply enough under the chain link fence of her yard to wiggle through and run free. And she ran straight to Sam. And there they were, the two of them, doing IT in our front yard.
Of course, I was young enough and innocent (oh, so innocent) enough to have no clue what was happening. The action elited a lot of discussion amongst my neighborhood friends. We told them to stop! We told them to let go! We told them it wasn't right to be stuck together like that! And then we told my mom.
She of course was at a complete loss as to what to do about it all as well. I mean there it was, a full public display of affection happening in her front yard for all the world to see. And there we were, a half dozen kids with wide eyes and inquiring minds asking the hard questions to a Mama who just. didn't. know. what. to. say.
She turned to my Dad by telephone. First reaching my Uncle Steve who worked alongside my Pop, she blurted out the news: "The dogs are stuck together on the front lawn! What do I do? What do I do?" My uncle's reaction was to double up in red-faced laughter and because he was unable to speak through the roaring guffaws he held out the receiver to my Dad. Daddy picked up the phone to hear the same panic report and with a somewhat subdued giggle in his voice gave the best advice he could muster at the moment: "Honey, pull up a chair and watch!"
Not long after that day, my parents sat me down and I got to hear all about the birds and the bees.
And the dogs.