Elizabeth Willis Barrett…………..September 2020

I am a very prudish person and don’t usually talk about balls in this way, but the discussion of balls became very important to our extended family recently. 

As some of you know, Brad’s beloved St. Bernard, Cash, died recently.  He has not been the same since.  (Brad, not Cash)  The only thing to do was replace him as quickly as possible.  (Cash, not Brad)

That sounds like it shouldn’t be so hard, but in our case, replacing Cash has become a thirty-two person extended project.   First of all, the replacement must be a St. Bernard.  As I have said before, Brad would not be happy with any other breed.  And when you get this old, you might as well get what you want and not just make do.  

But Brad’s breed is not just a regular St. Bernard.  It is a Vintage St. Bernard which has the breed standards of the original Swiss St. Bernards with a longer muzzle and less saggy jowls.  They are not easy to find.  

Brad has looked all over the country and so have all thirty-two members of our family.  They have pulled up pictures of every available Saint Bernard puppy only to run into puppy mills and scamming puppy businesses and many show breed St. Bernards which are definitely not Vintage.   

Brad finally found the perfect breeder in Kentucky and paid a deposit to be put on the list for the litter that will be available next Spring.  Brad without a dog until next Spring will be a very sad Brad.  

Then a miracle occurred.  The same Kentucky breeder had a puppy he was saving for stud purposes, but this little puppy didn’t pass the test at his first vet appointment—his testicles hadn’t dropped.  Hallelujah!  Brad could have that perfect puppy if the balls still hadn’t dropped by the next vet visit on September 9th.  

Brad was ecstatic!  So were all the grandkids.  They couldn’t wait for the new puppy to arrive at our new Farmhouse.   He was already given a name—Diego—for Brad’s old stomping grounds—San Diego.  Brad found the crate hidden in all our moving stuff so he could crate-train Diego and unearthed the stacks of dog training books used to train the other dog members of our family to perfection.  

Then we all added an unfailing ingredient—prayer.  At least once daily a prayer was sent up to “please don’t let Diego’s balls drop.”  Brad was quick to point out that it would be very hard to be God in this situation: the Kentucky breeder was praying that the balls would drop and we were praying that they wouldn’t drop.  Hmmmmm.  Who was He going to favor?  

Well, sadly for us, the Kentuckian’s prayers won out.  The balls dropped.  Diego isn’t coming.  Not this Diego anyway.  

So it’s back to the searching or waiting for Spring.  And in spite of this outcome, I have lots of faith in prayer.  Prayers will continue.  Somewhere out there is the perfect Diego to take the place of Cash.  And Brad will be happy again.  

In the meantime, just a suggestion for all—don’t drop the ball!