|~5 months old|
|about 8 months old|
A few photos of
|~ 1 month?|
I am no biologist, although I've been playing one for a few years. And I am certainly no philosopher.
But I think what we have here is a real life moral dilemma.
Let us first state the uncontested circumstances. Rocky is a male mammal. Sweetheart, the pup's mom, a female. Neither has been neutered.
If memory serves, when the neighbor kids first introduced me to their new dog last year, her appearance indicated that she'd recently had pups.
At their initial meeting-- separated by a fence-- Rocky was certainly a virgin. We cannot say the same for Sweetheart. (I place this in the uncontested category not because of biology, but of life experience.)
Let us now consider the circumstantial circumstances. Rocky is off-leash in the fenced-in pastures, and around the house. He is closely supervised around the house, less so in the pastures. He did go walk-about to visit Sweetheart once, but that was early spring. (So unless Sweetheart stores sperm... .)
Thanks to little neighbor Caroline, the fence separating sweetheart from Rocky is not perfectly perfect. Are the small gaps big enough for Rocky to slip though? No. Sweetheart? Questionable. In any case, we are in the pasture.
Now to the errant data.
The neighbors have a gaggle of cats and kittens. They breed cyclically. I assume most die accordingly. Point is, when I turn the dogs out, they run to get a good whiff of the cats & kittens across the fence line.
While they aren't always side-by-side, Rocky & Missy stay pretty close to one another in the pasture. There have been a few times recently when I've moved along, called, called, Missy came and Rocky delayed. I have no idea what Rocky was up to during the delay.
So is it possible that pup that looks remarkably like Rocky is Rocky's pup? Sure. I do not think a fence really stands in the way of Mother Nature's Call.
You may be thinking that this is the Moral Dilemma. Should we take responsibility for Rocky's apparent offspring? Of Course. I'll be emailing the Bartman shortly.
But that's not the real moral problem we have right now.
We are separated from our neighbor by several football fields. And tonight, Sweetheart was on the patio, licking up crumbs. Her ribs were showing. She's underfed, to say the least. And she's still nursing three pups.
As soon as we opened the door, she skedatled. We put a bowl of food out, in the event she comes round again.
And here is where I confront the real dilemma.
"Sorry, Missy, I wasn't paying attention. What's that you said?"
"What's to be done about poor little Sweetheart? She's not a member of our family and you always say, 'Live and let live'."
"I don't know. Missy. I just don't know what's to be done about Sweetheart's state of affairs. But one thing I do know-- and pay attention to this you two-- 'Live and let live' does not mean there's no such thing as right and wrong. Got it?"